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This activity demonstrates optical properties of water: that different constituents in water affect the transmission, absorption, and scattering of different colors in the visible light spectrum. Inexpensive, off-the-shelf components are used to... (View More) build a light sensor and source, creating a simple spectrophotometer that can measure light absorption. In the second part of this activity, principles of ocean color remote sensing are applied to measure reflectance. Using components that are clearly visible allows students to configure them in different ways. Playing with the instrument design gives students a practical understanding of spectrophotometers, in-water optics, and remote sensing. As an extension of this concept, students are encouraged to think about how ocean color is used to estimate the concentration of chlorophyll to infer phytoplankton abundance, colored dissolved organic matter, and suspended sediments. (View Less)
The bending and scattering of sunlight to create blue skies and red sunsets is explained and illustrated in this article. SciJinks is a joint NASA/NOAA educational website targeting middle school-aged children and their educators. It explores... (View More) weather and Earth science through articles, videos, images, and games. (View Less)
This ChemMatters article provides a history of the study of ozone, a description of an experimental simulation called "The World Avoided," a brief introduction to the chemistry of ozone, an explanation of how ozone is measured, and the difference... (View More) between "good" ozone in the stratosphere vs "bad" ozone in the troposhere. ChemMatters is an educational magazine published by the American Chemical Society. (View Less)
This ChemMatters article provides a brief background on smog, then examines the causes of it, efforts to reduce it, and methods used to measure it. ChemMatters is an educational magazine for high school students.
This article explains how Earth's atmosphere scatters the light from the sun, thereby creating the blue color we typically associate with our sky. Supplementing this article is an explanation of the importance of scattering sunlight. The article is... (View More) targeted to children ages 10-12. (View Less)
This article discusses the differences between ozone in the stratosphere and troposphere, and how NASA is measuring ozone using a spectrometer on-board the Aura satellite. The article includes an activity: building a spectroscope using a DVD cover... (View More) and inexpensive materials. (View Less)