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This textbook chapter describes how the Earth is unevenly heated by the Sun, and the role this plays in determining the Earth’s seasons, global winds, and weather events such as storms and tornados. The resource includes a demonstration model of... (View More) the uneven heating of the Earth's surface and links to current news articles, and a suite of pre- and post-unit assessments. A teacher's guide supports classroom use. This is the seventh chapter in the unit, Energy Flow, exploring the transfer of energy through the atmosphere, oceans, land, and living things over short and long timescales. The resource is part of Global System Science (GSS), an interdisciplinary course for high school students that emphasizes how scientists from a wide variety of fields work together to understand significant problems of global impact. (View Less)

This textbook chapter introduces the buffalo as a keystone species, and describes the environmental impacts of its near extinction, including today’s predominance of non-native species in the Great Plains. Human activities that contribute to... (View More) species extinction are addressed. Students graph historical sightings of buffalo, and calculate the number of buffalo killed for bone used in refining sugar and fertilizer and in the production of bone china. The resource includes a link to current news articles and a teacher's guide. This is the second chapter in the unit, Losing Biodiversity, examining the endangerment and extinction of entire species of plants and animals throughout the world due to human actions. The resource is part of Global System Science (GSS), an interdisciplinary course for high school students that emphasizes how scientists from a wide variety of fields work together to understand significant problems of global impact. (View Less)

Students will learn about how human activity impacts Earth's climate through reading a NASA press release and viewing a NASA eClips™ video segment. Then students will examine simple mathematical models that predict changes in the Earth system in... (View More) response to human activity. This activity is part of the Space Math multi-media modules that integrate NASA press releases, NASA archival video, and mathematics problems targeted at specific math standards commonly encountered in middle school textbooks. The modules cover specific math topics at multiple levels of difficulty with real-world data and use the 5E instructional sequence. (View Less)

Students will learn about the Landsat spacecraft and its study of Earth from space through reading a NASA press release. By viewing a NASA eClips™ video segment, students will see how Landsat monitors conditions in the Chesapeake Bay. Then... (View More) students will use fractions to understand land use on Earth based upon Landsat data. This activity is part of the Space Math multi-media modules that integrate NASA press releases, NASA archival video, and mathematics problems targeted at specific math standards commonly encountered in middle school textbooks. The modules cover specific math topics at multiple levels of difficulty with real-world data and use the 5E instructional sequence. (View Less)

Students will learn more about how the orbit of the International Space Station changes as a result of atmospheric drag through reading a NASA press release and viewing a NASA eClips™ video segment. Then students will read a paragraph describing... (View More) the increases and decreases in the orbit altitude to calculate the final orbit altitude. This activity is part of the Space Math multi-media modules that integrate NASA press releases, NASA archival video, and mathematics problems targeted at specific math standards commonly encountered in middle school textbooks. The modules cover specific math topics at multiple levels of difficulty with real-world data and use the 5E instructional sequence. (View Less)

Students learn about changes in sea ice observed by NASA satellites through reading a NASA press release. By viewing a NASA eClips™ video segment, students discover how scientists study the effects of global climate change on Earth's biomes.... (View More) Students then explore global climate change by studying the properties of functions that have been derived from actual data describing ocean level rise, temperature and carbon dioxide increases, and arctic ice declines, among other climate data. This activity is part of the Space Math multi-media modules that integrate NASA press releases, NASA archival video, and mathematics problems targeted at specific math standards commonly encountered in middle school textbooks. The modules cover specific math topics at multiple levels of difficulty with real-world data and use the 5E instructional sequence. (View Less)

Students will learn about the temperature change of Earth during the 20th century and through 2010. They will read a NASA press release describing recent trends in global climate change since 1900, and view a NASA eClips™ video segment about the... (View More) energy budget of Earth. They will then examine data to look for trends, calculate slopes and rates of change, and use this information to predict climate change for the year 2050. This activity is part of the Space Math multi-media modules that integrate NASA press releases, NASA archival video, and mathematics problems targeted at specific math standards commonly encountered in middle school textbooks. The modules cover specific math topics at multiple levels of difficulty with real-world data and use the 5E instructional sequence. (View Less)

In this engineering challenge, student teams are introduced to the engineering design process, and then construct and test an earthquake-resistant structure. The lesson plan includes teacher support, student worksheets, multimedia assets, and links... (View More) for students to conduct Web-based investigations. Authentic assessments, a multiple choice test, and rubrics are included. This is an optional extension activity associated with the resource, Flight Mission Challenge: Improving Earthquake Monitoring, a 3 part, multiple-day Earth science and engineering investigation. (View Less)

Materials Cost: 1 cent - $1 per group of students

Clouds serve as a theme in a series of linked introductory explorations in math, language arts, and science. After participating in a demonstration of cloud formation, students are directed to create an acrostic poem (a poem that uses the letters in... (View More) a word to start each line of the poem) and peer review and edit each other's work. The class collects atmospheric temperature and cloud cover data over a period of days and then construct graphs to assist in analysis. This lesson is supported by observation protocols, teacher resources, and a glossary of scientific terms. This activity is related to the NASA CERES Students Cloud Observations Online (S'COOL) project. (View Less)

Math skills are applied throughout this investigation of windows. Starting with basic window shapes, students determine area and complete a cost analysis, then do the same for windows of unconventional shapes. Students will examine photographs taken... (View More) by astronauts through windows on the Space Shuttle and International Space Station to explore the inverse relationship between lens size and area covered. This lesson is part of the Expedition Earth and Beyond Education Program. (View Less)