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Students will be introduced to the causes, locations, and hazards of landslides, as well as the role of satellite observations in predicting and studying them. To begin, students investigate the amount of precipitation sufficient to cause a... (View More) landslide in two different mediums (soil and sand), then use their findings in follow-up activities. After the lab, students will think about how rain information can be collected, especially via satellites, to model where landslides will occur. Finally, students will look at areas currently at risk of landslides and research landslide hazards and how to prepare for a landslide event, and create a public service announcement sharing that information. This lesson uses the 5E instructional model. All background information, student worksheets and images/photographs/data are included in these downloadable sections: Teacher’s Guide, Student Capture Sheet and Lab Instructions and PowerPoint Presentation. (View Less)
Intended for use prior to viewing the Science on a Sphere film "Water Falls," this lesson introduces students to Earth's water cycle and the importance of freshwater resources.
Students will explore how energy from the sun is absorbed, reflected and radiated back into space by Earth. By completing three short labs investigating the effects of surface color, type of material, or cloud cover on temperature change, students... (View More) will begin to consider how various surfaces might affect Earth's overall temperature. Earth's energy budget will then be explored through a video, simulation activity, and an interactive animation. This lesson uses the 5E instructional model. All background information, student worksheets and images/photographs/data are included in these downloadable sections: Teacher’s Guide, Student Capture Sheet, PowerPoint Presentation and three lab sheets. (View Less)
In this lesson, students will think about their experiences with hurricanes and severe storms, and then learn the basics of what causes hurricanes to form. Students will learn how hurricane prediction has progressed, and how satellite technology is... (View More) used to see inside storms to get improved data for enhancing computer-based mathematical models. To share what they’ve learned, students will create a news report (script or comic strip) to tell others about hurricanes and hurricane prediction. This lesson uses the 5E instructional model. TRMM is Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission. (View Less)
This activity is a short engineering design challenge to be completed by individual students or small teams. A real-world problem is presented, designing buildings for hurricane-prone areas, but in a simulated way that works in a classroom, after... (View More) school club, or informal education setting. Students are given simple materials and design requirements, and must plan and build a tower as tall as possible that will hold up a tennis ball while resisting the force of wind from a fan. After the towers are built, the group comes together to test them. If there is time after testing, which can be observational or framed as a contest between teams, students can redesign their towers to improve their performance, or simply discuss what worked well and what didn’t in their designs. (View Less)
Students will use NASA's Global Climate Change website to research five of the key indicators (vital signs) of Earth’s climate health. These indicators are: global surface temperature, carbon dioxide concentrations, sea level, Arctic sea ice, and... (View More) land ice. They will use this information, shared in their expert groups, to create an informative poster about their assigned key indicator. The poster will be used by other groups to learn about all five of the key indicators and how Earth scientists use these indicators to analyze changes in Earth’s climate. The lesson plan uses the 5E instructional sequence. (View Less)