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Heat and thermodynamics  
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Correlations between sea surface temperatures and the frequency and intensity of hurricanes are investigated in this lesson. The activity focuses on six named hurricanes that occurred between 1999 and 2009. Satellite data on those hurricanes, along... (View More)

Assuming the role of a meteorologist, students will proclaim one month as "Thunderstorm season" for their chosen study area. This decision will be based on analysis of deep convective cloud data downloaded from the Live Access Server. This lesson... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school
Materials Cost: Free

This is an activity about the relation between day length and temperature. In one team, learners will create and analyze a graph of hours of sunlight versus month of the year for a number of latitudes. In another team, learners will graph... (View More)

In this hands-on activity, learners will build a solar cooker by lining a box with reflective material and adding a translucent cover. The cooker can be used to make food products. This activity recommends use of empty (clean) pizza boxes. This... (View More)

This activity provides a visual example of convection in fluids. Students will record their predictions and observations on diagrams of the experimental set-up showing convection currents. Materials required include hot and cold colored water,... (View More)

How effective would solar cells be in any particular area of the United States? In this activity, students answer that question by analyzing graphs of incoming solar radiation. Students will download two solar radiation graphs, one based on latitude... (View More)

Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

In this problem-based learning unit, students learn about the causes and impacts of urban heat islands. Numerous studies have shown how concrete pavements and buildings retain heat in cities, making cities several degrees warmer than the surrounding... (View More)

Hurricane Katrina serves as the focus for this lesson on the relationship between sea surface temperatures and hurricane intensity. Students assume the roles of Senior Science Advisors for the Louisiana Environmental Agency to research and plot the... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

In this inquiry exploration, student design an experiment to test the absorption of heat by different earth materials. Materials required include plastic water bottles, soil, sand, water, thermometers, lamp with 60 watt bulb, and stopwatch. This... (View More)

In this experiment, students create a "lava lamp" - a beaker on a hotplate, and investigate buoyancy, convection and other fluid and thermodynamic properties using ink, water, vegetable oil and Alka-Seltzer tablets. The activity is from PUMAS -... (View More)