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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)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

This activity focuses on the relationship between science of looking for life and the tools, on vehicles such as the Mars Rover, that make it possible. Learners will create their own models of a Mars rover. They determine what tools would be... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

This is an activity designed to develop a working definition of life. Learners will conduct a simple experiment, looking for signs of life in three different "soil" samples. The experiment introduces children to the difficulty that scientists face... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

Using common items - a glass soft drink bottle, a straw, clay and food coloring - students assemble and calibrate a thermometer and then use it to measure outdoor temperatures. Students record and graph the temperature data and, additionally,... (View More)

Keywords: Temperature

This activity examines the relationship between carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere and chlorophyll-a measurements in a watershed. Students analyze and compare two Excel plots-one showing carbon dioxide data values from the Keeling Curve and the... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

Students begin by determining dew point using an aluminum can, stirring rod, ice and thermometer. Air temperature is also measured and recorded. Students then use those two data in conjunction with the Lifting Condensation Level approximation, to... (View More)

Students are introduced to the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) satellite mission and its role in studying the water cycle. This webquest provides links to eight websites, allowing middle school students to explore the water cycle and its... (View More)

This activity focuses on how the search for life on Mars is portrayed in fiction and videos. Learners will consider depictions of Mars from science fiction books and video clips. As a group, children discuss what they know about Mars and compare... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

Using the 5E instructional model, students discover the value of using color maps to visualize data. The activity requires students to create a color map of the ozone hole from Dobson data values derived from the Aura satellite. Students then... (View More)

This paper model shows the orbit of Comet ISON (late 2013) with respect to the innermost planets of the solar system. After reading background information about comets - how they form and where they come from - students cut out and tape together the... (View More)

This is an activity about using models to solve a problem. Learners will build four models of the MMS satellites using fabrication software. Their designs will based upon observations and data collected through prior activities (in the educator's... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

Instructions are provided for constructing a terrarium. The analogy between the terrarium and Earth is also provided. This activity is part of the Climate Kids website, a NASA education resource featuring articles, videos, images and games focused... (View More)

The total amount of water on Earth, the places in which it is found and the percentages of fresh vs. salt are examined in this lesson. A short demonstration allows students to visualize the percentage differences and a coloring exercise illustrates... (View More)

This is a set of three activities about how scientists study other worlds. Learners will explore and compare the features of Mars and Earth, discuss what the features suggest about the history of Mars, and create a model to help them understand how... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

This module focuses on ultraviolet radiation on Earth and in space and how it affects life. Learners will construct their own "martian" using craft materials and UV beads. They will explore how UV radiation from the Sun can affect living things,... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

The Cosmic Times Gallery Walk and Cosmic Times Jigsaw lessons serve as extensions to the Cosmic Times suite of curriculum support materials. They are intended to provide an introduction to Cosmic Times as a whole, giving students the larger picture... (View More)

Keywords: Cosmology
Audience: Middle school, High school, Higher education
Materials Cost: Free

Through the use of the 5E instructional model, students discover the value of using color maps to visualize data. The activity requires students to create a color map of the ozone hole from Dobson data values derived from the Aura satellite.... (View More)

A product of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), this website features sections entitled "Learn the Basics," "See the Impacts," "Think Like a Scientist," and "Be Part of the Solution" through which participants gain a deeper understanding of... (View More)

Keywords: Global warming
Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

In this activity, students face an engineering challenge based on real-world applications. They are tasked with developing a tool they can use to measure the amount of rain that falls each day. Students will find out why freshwater is important,... (View More)

After making observations of their natural surroundings, students uncover the intricate relationships between the atmosphere, biosphere, geosphere and hydrosphere. This introductory lesson uses the 5E instructional model. All background information,... (View More)

In this activity, participants learn about the atmosphere by making observations and taking measurements. They will go outside and use scientific equipment to collect atmospheric moisture data (temperature, relative humidity, precipitation and cloud... (View More)

Water is essential to Earth’s living system, the biosphere. In this lesson, students determine the types of living things within an outdoor study site, use a taxonomic key to determine the predominant land cover type of their site, then predict... (View More)

In this activity, students will watch a short video on the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission, learn about the parts of the satellite, and then construct their own edible model of GPM. This lesson uses the 5E instructional model and is... (View More)

In this activity, participants learn about the geosphere by making observations and taking measurements. They will go outside and use scientific equipment to investigate water in the soil by measuring soil moisture, temperature, color and... (View More)

Students will design, build and then test a rain gauge to measure precipitation. By sharing their results, they will recognize the need for standardization and precision in scientific tools. All background information, student worksheets and... (View More)

This activity allows participants to build a paper model of the GPM Core Observatory and learn about the technology the satellite uses to measure precipitation from space. Directions explain how to cut, fold and glue the individual pieces together... (View More)

This is a kick-off activity about the solar system and Jupiter. Learners will discuss what they know, work in teams to read about the Sun, eight planets, asteroid belt, and the dwarf planet, Pluto. They use their knowledge to create a poster about... (View More)

Keywords: Jupiter

This is a lesson about the nature of a scientific question. Learners will construct a valid scientific question that can be answered by data and/or modeling and choose an appropriate mission for their rover that will answer their scientific... (View More)

This is a lesson about scientific and enginering investigation. Learners will review what they have learned, construct a valid scientific question that can be answered by data and/or modeling, and choose an appropriate mission for their rover that... (View More)

This is a lesson about the size and scale of the planets in the solar system. Learners will help create and then navigate an outdoor course of the traditional planets (including dwarf planet Pluto), which are represented by small common objects. By... (View More)

Learners will build edible models of Jupiter and Earth to compare their sizes and illustrate their internal layers. They discuss how the Juno mission will infer details about Jupiter's interior by measuring its gravity field and magnetic field. This... (View More)

This is an activity about magnetic fields. Learners will study magnetic fields at four separate stations: examining magnetic fields generated by everyday items, mapping out a magnetic field using a compass, creating models of Earth's and Jupiter's... (View More)

Learners will explore Jupiter's origins through three stories. First, they model their own lifetimes by tying knots in lengths of yarn to represent key events in their pasts. Then, children listen to and act out a cultural origins story, such as the... (View More)

Learners will shrink the scale of the solar system to the size of their neighborhood and compare the relative sizes of scale models of the planets, two dwarf planets, and a comet as represented by fruits and other foods. This activity requires... (View More)

Keywords: Jupiter

In this data activity, students use NASA satellite measurements of atmospheric pressure to learn that pressure decreases with height in the atmosphere. Step-by-step instructions for use of the MY NASA DATA Live Access Server (LAS) guide students... (View More)

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)

In this field-based investigation, students survey vegetation and small animal diversity in a study plot. They calculate the biomass of different organisms, and create a habitat action plan based on their data. A student data sheet is included. This... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free per group of students

In this activity, students analyze a 2011 article by physicist Dr. Richard Muller addressing the climate change skeptic's claim that the scientific data used to support global warming is poor or unreliable. He headed a two-year study where his... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free per student

In this activity, students will create a basic bar graph using authentic NASA data downloaded by the instructor. Step-by-step instructions for use of the MY NASA DATA Live Access Server (LAS) guide students through selecting a data set, importing... (View More)

In this problem-based learning activity, students assume roles as members of the Department of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). Your major area of concern is locating areas best for collecting solar power. You will need to evaluate... (View More)

In this data analysis activity, Students will plot and analyze a time series of data for high cloud coverage from a specified location (home or school) and determine whether or not a seasonal pattern exists. The lesson includes step-by-step... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free per student

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

In this problem-based data analysis activity, students assume roles as members of an International Team of Marine Biologists, tasked with predicting and monitoring possible harmful algae blooms. Students use data maps and guiding questions, to... (View More)

This textbook chapter tells the story of DDT and the the near-extinction of the Perigrine Falcon. The role of the Rachel Carson's best-seller, Silent Spring, and the role of research in the recent recovery of bird populations in the United States... (View More)

In this guided research investigation, students investigate the process of science and build media literacy by studying the public debate about climate change. Students compare media articles from 1989-2010, and observe that statements differ... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: 1 cent - $1 per student

This is a lesson about the Moon's Copernicus Crater. Learners will use observation to make their own geologic map of the Crater. They then identify crater features in a photogeologic image and use those observations to color their map with the... (View More)

Keywords: Cratering

In this data activity, students use satellite data to help determine the renewable (solar) energy potential of a region by comparing solar energy and cloud cover data. Step-by-step instructions for use of the MY NASA DATA Live Access Server (LAS)... (View More)

Keywords: radiant energy
Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free per student

In this data analysis activity, students connect the idea of the tilt and orbit of the earth (changing of seasons) with monthly snow/ice data. The lesson includes step-by-step instructions for use of the MY NASA DATA Live Access Server (LAS),... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school
Materials Cost: Free per student

In this data activity, students use NASA satellite data to compare surface temperature and precipitation of different islands in the Pacific Ocean. Students will create climographs for the island of Guam and 2 other islands using the MY NASA DATA... (View More)

In this activity, students will identify, compare and contrast multiple geo-referenced Earth data sets, and understand that Global Information Systems (GIS) are composed of geo-referenced data layers. Students compare ocean buoy data with satellite... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free per student

During the last sunspot cycle between 1996-2008, over 21,000 flares and 13,000 clouds of plasma exploded from the Sun's magnetically active surface. These events create space weather. Students will learn more about space weather and how it affects... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

During the last sunspot cycle between 1996-2008, over 21,000 flares and 13,000 clouds of plasma exploded from the Sun's magnetically active surface. Students will learn more about space weather through reading a NASA press release and viewing a NASA... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

Students will learn about the Transit of Venus through reading a NASA press release and viewing a NASA eClips video that describes several ways to observe transits. Then students will study angular measurement by learning about parallax and how... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

Students will learn about the twin STEREO spacecraft and how they are being used to track solar storms through reading a NASA press release and viewing a NASA eClips video segment. Then students will examine data to learn more about the frequency... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

Students will learn about NASA's Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RBSP), Earth's van Allen Radiation Belts, and space weather through reading a NASA press release and viewing a NASA eClips video segment. Then students will use simple linear functions to... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

Students examine a text discussing climate change and identify tools of argumentation: evidence, qualifiers, claims and support. A student worksheet supports the activity. This resource is supported by Chapter 7, What is the Controversy About?, in... (View More)

In this data analysis activity, Students will use longwave radiation data to determine whether the climate has changed in Portland, Oregon over a 20 year time span. This lesson offers two options: plotting data from Portland provided by the teacher,... (View More)

In this activity, students learn that infrared light is reflected in the same manner as visible light. Students align a series of mirrors so that they can turn on a TV with a remote control when the remote is not in a direct line with the TV. As a... (View More)

Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

This is a lesson about statistics in science as it applies to the measurement of dust in space. Learners will be introduced to the concepts of error analysis, including standard deviation. They will apply the knowledge of averages (means), standard... (View More)

This is a lesson about using light to identify the composition of an object. Learners will use a spectrograph to gather data about light sources. Using the data they’ve collected, students are able to make comparisons between different light... (View More)

This is an activity about the Signal-to-Noise Ratio. Learners will engage with a hands-on activity and an online interactive to understand the terms signal and noise as they relate to spacecraft communication; quantify noise using a given dataset;... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

In this chapter, students will explore relationships between air quality and population density using the image visualization tool, Google Earth. You will learn how to download NO2 data and analyze them to develop a conceptual understanding of how... (View More)

Keywords: Google Earth
Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

This is a lesson about elemental spectra. Learners will compare known elemental spectra with spectra of Titan and Saturn’s rings from a spectrometer aboard the NASA Cassini spacecraft. They identify the elements visible in the planetary and lunar... (View More)

This is an activity about spacecraft radio communications. Learners will explore spacecraft radio communications concepts, including the speed of light and the time-delay for signals sent to and from spacecraft. Learners measure the time it takes... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: $1 - $5 per group of students

This is a lesson about emission spectra. Learners will look at various light sources (including glow sticks and christmas lights) and make conjectures about their composition. The activity is part of Project Spectra, a science and engineering... (View More)

This is an lesson about spectrographs. Learners will build and decorate their own spectrographs using simple materials and holographic diffraction gratings. After building the spectrographs, they observe the spectra of different light sources.... (View More)

This planetarium show is designed to engage visitors directly in activities and demonstrations, and is optimized for group sizes of 25 to 70 people. Show content includes general planet-finding techniques (Doppler, astrometric, etc.), an audience... (View More)

Keywords: Exoplanets

This is a game about the formation of the solar system. Learners dynamically engage in modeling the growth of asteroids from specks of matter. Similar to tag, the children run around, have fun, and burn off energy. Different from tag, there is... (View More)

This math problem determines the areas of simple and complex planar figures using measurement of mass and proportional constructs. Materials are inexpensive or easily found (poster board, scissors, ruler, sharp pencil, right angle), but also... (View More)

Learners will build an open spectrograph to calculate the angle the light is transmitted through a holographic diffraction grating. After finding the desired angles, the students will design their own spectrograph using the information learned. The... (View More)

In this lesson, students will use real satellite data to determine the changes in near-surface air temperature over the Caribbean Sea at different times of the year. Step-by-step instructions for use of the MY NASA DATA Live Access Server (LAS)... (View More)

Keywords: Authentic data use
Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

This is a problem-based learning activity in which students assume the roles of musicians planning a world tour. Students analyze precipitation data from tour cities to predict the best time of year to perform in these areas. Step-by-step... (View More)

Keywords: Precipitation
Audience: Elementary school
Materials Cost: Free

In this lesson, students will use the Live Access Server to access and use historical satellite data for the Costa Rican (Central American) region. Students will examine monthly precipitation averages over three years to look for seasonal patterns.... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

This kick-off activity sets the stage for further explorations and activities in Explore! To the Moon and Beyond! - a resource developed specifically for use in libraries. As a group, learners will discuss what they know about Earth's Moon. They... (View More)

In this lesson, students consider observations and inferences to determine the support for each of two theories on the origin of the universe: Steady State and Big Bang. Working with partners, students draw from a set of Evidence cards (master... (View More)

Students are introduced to the scientific tool of spectroscopy. They each build a simple spectroscope to examine the light from different light sources, particularly the Sun (Warning: Do not look directly at the Sun) and artificial lights (e.g.,... (View More)

Activities in this lesson promote a fundamental understanding of relationships between graphed data. Sample graphs allow students to become familiar with interpreting data and to recognize relationships between variables. Additional microsets of... (View More)

Keywords: Scatter plot; Time plot
Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

This is an activity about size and scale. Learners will create and walk through a distance scale model of the size of the Solar System. This activity requires a straight line distance of approximately 295 meters (300 yards).

Audience: Elementary school

In this activity, students are reminded that the Universe is made up of elements and that the heavier elements are created inside of a star, as they learned in the "Elements and You" activity. They are introduced to the life cycle of a star and to... (View More)

In this lesson, students explore a discrepant event when they design an experiment to measure the rate that ice melts when in pure water versus salt water. It is designed to help students realize that a carefully-designed experiment may yield... (View More)

This is an educators guide to accompany the Journey to the Stars planetarium show. The materials include a section, titled Teaching With the Show, containing guiding questions to encourage class discussions about the life cycle of stars.

With this lesson plan, students observe a demonstration of cloud formation that uses a 2L plastic beverage bottle and other simple ingredients to learn the three factors required for cloud formation. A test and a control experiment are conducted.... (View More)

In this lesson, students explore the cosmic microwave background to understand why a completely smooth (isotropic) background poses problems for the Universe we see today. Students will participate in an engagement activity which demonstrates how... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: $1 - $5 per group of students

In this data activity, students explore real NASA satellite data to compare the near-surface air temperature and surface temperature in different climate regions, and draw conclusions about the seasonal patterns and the effect of the underlying... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

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

The purpose of this lesson is to model for students gravitational waves and how they are created. Students will build a simple "Gravitational Wave Demonstrator" using inexpensive materials (plastic wrap, plastic cups, water, food coloring, and... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: $1 - $5

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)

Students examine CERES radiation data to understand how the Earth's tilt causes seasonal differences in incoming solar energy, and to explore how clouds, deserts and ice modulate the reflection of energy from the Sun. The investigation is conducted... (View More)

Students are introduced to the basic properties, behavior and detection of black holes through a brief discussion of common conceptions and misconceptions of these exciting objects. They "act out" a way black holes might be detected through their... (View More)

In this lesson plan, students participate in a hands-on activity using a plastic bottle and other simple ingredients to learn the three factors required for cloud formation. Detailed Procedure and materials, vocabulary linked to an on-line glossary,... (View More)

Keywords: Clouds

This lesson uses a simple discrepant event to demonstrate the underlying cause for early miscalculation of the size of the Milky Way galaxy. By standardizing the Cepheid period-luminosity relationship without recognizing there were two types of... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: $1 - $5 per group of students

Students utilize two reading strategies that can be used to understand the Cosmic Times materials, and other readings that may be challenging to them. The first strategy, called Talking to the Text, is an independent strategy in which the students... (View More)

In this activity about magnetic fields and their relation to the Sun, learners will simulate sunspots by using iron filings to show magnetic fields around a bar or cow magnet, and draw the magnetic field surrounding two dipole magnets, both in... (View More)

By matching maps of snow and ice amounts with maps of net radiation flux for the same time frame, students will use the Live Access Server to explore how the net radiation flux has affected the snow and ice amounts in the Northern Hemisphere, as... (View More)

Keywords: Authentic data use
Audience: Elementary school, Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

In this lesson, a correlation between chlorophyll, sea surface temperature, and sunlight will be derived from NASA satellite data. Students will download a year’s worth of data on each of these variables for the Gulf of Maine. Data will be... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

In this lesson, students investigate the relationship between precipitation, surface temperature and vegetation for four geographic locations. Students will download graphs of each of the three system components (vegetative index, surface... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

This is a graphic novel history about NASA's search for life in the universe. It tells the story of some of the most important people and events that have shaped the NASA Exobiology and Astrobiology science.

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

Cloud cover is a fundamental observation in the S'COOL project. The ability to reasonably estimate the percentage of cloud cover is introduced and practiced in this activity. The Students' Cloud Observations On-Line (S'COOL) project engages students... (View More)

Satellite data on ozone trends is investigated for different locations: the high Southern latitudes, the student's hometown, and a city near the North Pole. Students will download and plot ozone data for each location spanning a one year time... (View More)

Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

Students are introduced to the periodic table and the concept of atomic elements. The group discusses how all material in the Universe is composed of elements and that the atom is the smallest particle that still has the physical and chemical... (View More)

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