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Students are introduced to classification through progressive activities. Initially, the teacher models the task by classifying buttons. Students then devise a classification scheme for paper clips. Subsequent activities use objects brought from... (View More) home or the playground by students. The objects are assigned to two categories: natural or human-made, then classified as solid, liquid, gas or a combination. Simple bar graphs are used throughout to compare classification data. (View Less)
In this lesson, students analyze land cover change in order to help them grasp the extent, significance, and consequences of land cover change; and to introduce them to the perspective of space-based Earth observations. Students learn to identify... (View More) kinds of land cover (such as roads, fields, urban areas, and lakes) in Landsat satellite images. They decide which land cover types allow the passage of water into the soil (pervious) and which types do not allow it (impervious). They consider some effects of increasing impervious surface area on ecosystem health. Students then make land cover maps using two Landsat satellite images taken about a decade apart, and quantify the change of land cover from pervious to impervious surface. They also make predictive maps of what they think the nature and extent of land cover change in the area will be in the year 2025, and speculate about the consequences for the availability of water for people and ecosystems. Students justify in writing their predictive maps and their thoughts about the consequences of change. This activity uses Landsat images of Phoenix, Arizona; links are also provided for finding Landsat images of other cities. (View Less)
This is an activity about the magnetic fields of the Sun and Earth, and the interplanetary magnetic field, or IMF. Learners will engage in a question and answer dialogue, make connections using bar magnet examples and overhead transparencies, and... (View More) ultimately write an assessment of concepts learned. This is Activity 1 in Session 3 of the Exploring Magnetism in the Solar Wind teachers guide. (View Less)
This is a lesson plan for an activity that explores time zone math. Learners will translate their local time to times in other zones around the world and work with the concept of Universal Time, specifically in reference to the reporting,... (View More) description and analysis of solar flares and coronal mass ejections. This is activity 10 from Exploring Magnetism Guide 3: Magnetic Mysteries of the Aurora educator guide. (View Less)
In this activity, learners build a sextant to measure the altitude, or height above the horizon, of an object. The activity was originally designed to accompany a previous NASA-funded educational program, entitled The Sun in Time.