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Through the use of satellite images taken during a winter storm over the Central United States in 2000, this lesson provides the opportunity to conduct a case study of cloud coverage. Students will use satellite images to not only estimate total... (View More)

Net Radiative Flux (NRF) is used to determine the flow of solar energy in and out of the Earth system. NRF is influenced by seasonal variations related to the tilt of the Earth's axis and degree of cloud cover as well as Earth’s surface features.... (View More)

Keywords: Solar energy
Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

Satellite data on cloud cover is used in this investigation to show the relationship between clouds and solar declination. Students will download data on declination angles along with data on clouds and cloud cover for a one-year time period.... (View More)

Keywords: Solar inclination
Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

In this activity, students compare and analyze lapse rates (rate of decrease in atmospheric temperature with height) for two U.S. locations. It requires the use of atmospheric temperature data downloaded from the Internet into a student developed... (View More)

Accessing, graphing and analyzing data are skills emphasized in this lesson. Using the S'COOL (Students' Cloud Observations On-Line) website, students will download NASA data on cloud cover, temperature, pressure, and relative humidity to generate a... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school, Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

In this activity, student teams design small-scale physical models of hot and cold planets, (Venus and Mars), and learn that small scale models allow researchers to determine how much larger systems function. There is both a team challenge and... (View More)

In this activity, students explore the importance of adequate sampling strategies when conducting a scientific investigation. They are tasked with determining the average temperature of the Earth, using data sets easily found on the Internet, and... (View More)

In this activity, students pose several hypotheses for what will happen if you continue heating or supplying energy to the hot and cold planet models (Mercury, Mars, Venus, and Earth) and then test their hypotheses using a spreadsheet based... (View More)

In this kinesthetic activity, the concept of energy budget is strengthened as students conduct three simulations using play money as units of energy, and students serve as parts of a planetary radiation balance model. Students will determine the... (View More)

This story can be used to teach that results must be checked against known facts to see if they're reasonable. It is designed as a follow up to "The Fall of the Ruler." This resource is from PUMAS - Practical Uses of Math and Science - a collection... (View More)

Keywords: Reaction times
Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free per student