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SMD Forum - Primary:
Earth Science  
Learning Time:
2 to 4 hours  
Educational Level:
High school  
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Air traffic (and therefore airplane contrails) was halted nationwide for nearly three days following September 11, 2001. Students will investigate whether that stoppage resulted in any changes to cloud cover, temperature and/or radiation. Using the... (View More)

In this introductory textbook chapter, students learn that life on Earth would not be possible without the atmosphere and its greenhouse effect. The history of research on the role of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is presented, and the concept... (View More)

This textbook chapter describes the role photosynthesis, food webs, and fossil fuels in the movement of energy through the biosphere. The resource includes a student investigation, links to current news articles, and an essay-based unit assessment.... (View More)

Keywords: Energy pyramid
Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free per student

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)

Keywords: Coriolis effect
Audience: High school

This textbook chapter makes the case for preserving desert old growth forests, and endangered species. The captive breeding program for the black-footed ferret is presented as a case study. Students learn about conservation practices they can do,... (View More)

This textbook chapter introduces the concepts of static and dynamic equilibrium, and discusses contemporary climate change. The greenhouse effect is presented in a discussion of Mars, Venus and Earth, the "Goldilocks" planet. Two investigations... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

In this textbook chapter, scientists studying the concentration of becomes CO² in the atmosphere are profiled. The techniques for measuring and recording carbon dioxide concentrations at the Mauna Loa Observatory are described. A link to a video... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

This textbook chapter presents several biodiversity case studies, including a study of prairie soil, the 1930's Dustbowl, and the importance of soil conservation practices. The resource includes a link to current news articles and a teacher's guide.... (View More)

This textbook chapter reviews the scientific evidence for global warming, presents proxy climate data, and discusses the increase in scientific knowledge as evidenced in the series of IPCC reports since 1990. The likelihood of a globe with doubled... (View More)

Readings in this chapter guide student reflection on sustainability of the planet, and whether the Earth system is near a tipping point, where ecosystems will reorganize and seek a new equilibrium, with consequences for biodiversity. The resource... (View More)

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