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Earth's energy budget  
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Why is NASA interested in Earth's ice? The creation of ICESat-2 is allowing NASA's scientists to make accurate maps of polar ice sheets. These maps help them make informed predictions about weather patterns, climate change, and the effects of... (View More)

Keywords: Cryosphere; Ice
Audience: Elementary school, Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

Designed as either a demonstration or an investigation for use in a formal or informal setting, this activity focuses on the effects of water density on water's movement. A list of materials, along with the instructions for building the apparatus... (View More)

When New England was hit by Tropical Storm Irene in 2011, there was not a satellite monitoring tropical storms that far north; the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) was operating in a band between the 35-degree latitudes. The Global... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

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

In this inquiry activity, teams of students are challenged with engineering a greenhouse heat trap for use with exotic plants. The investigation requires thermometers, plastic wrap, and a shoebox for each team. Students graph data and determine the... (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

This textbook chapter introduces Earth’s external energy source, and the nuclear fusion reactions that power the Sun, space weather and space storms. There is an interview with solar scientist, Dr. Janet Luhmann, UC-Berkeley. The resource includes... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

This textbook chapter traces the historical development of the modern scientific understanding of light, and reviews the electromagnetic spectrum and the Earth's atmospheric shield. The resource includes links to current news articles, and a suite... (View More)

In this introductory textbook chapter, energy is defined and its sources, forms, and flow are introduced. Students are introduced to the first law of thermodynamics, conservation of energy. The resource includes links to current news articles, and a... (View More)