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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

The recycled paper produced from the instructions provided contains an additional component - wildflower seeds. The entire paper disc can be planted; the sprouting of the flowers can be observed and analyzed. The Climate Kids website is a NASA... (View More)

In addition to instructions for making a model bee out of polymer clay, this site also contains related information about bees: a fact list, factors that threaten them, suggestions on how to help them, a waggle dance diagram and video, and even bee... (View More)

Keywords: Global warming
Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: $1 - $5 per student

This is a poster about the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM), an instrument onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Learners can find out what it does and how it works. Then you can go online and start exploring the Red... (View More)

This site lists the necessary supplies, along with the step-by-step directions, to turn a t-shirt into a carry-all bag. Also included are links to two iron-on transfers - the Climate Kids banner and the Leaps and Flutters game - for use in... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: $1 - $5 per student

Instructions are provided for making a solar oven, followed by directions for using the oven to make s'mores. A side column discusses the practicality of using solar ovens in places like western Africa. The Climate Kids website is a NASA education... (View More)

Some bird species appear to respond to extreme weather changes in their native habitat by moving to more hospitable environments. This article discusses the role of NASA satellites, along with field and citizen scientists, in studying that movement.... (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)

This is an activity about ultraviolet light. Participants will experiment with ultraviolet light sensitive plastic beads, which are generally white but turn colors when exposed to UV light. Participants are informed about the nature and risks of UV... (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)

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)

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)

In this activity, participants learn about the hydrosphere by making observations and taking measurements. They will go outside and use scientific equipment to investigate temperature, pH and transparency of a body of water. They will use this... (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 and their families are encouraged to go outside on a clear evening and view the sky to see the planets for themselves. Using sky charts and other resources, and possibly in partnership with a local astronomical society, children navigate... (View More)

This is an activity about asteroids. Learners will shape mashed potatoes into their own odd-shaped asteroids. They can then bake them in the oven to turn them (more or less) asteroid color, and eat them for dinner.

In this demonstration activity, students make structural models of gas molecules using pipe cleaners and polystyrene balls and test their molecules for their resonant frequency. Students shake the models, count vibrations, and compare the resonance... (View More)

This is a lesson about geologic history. Learners will work together to create models of volcanic lava flows and analyze the layers that form on a planet's surface. They will sequence lava flows produced by multiple eruptions. Students will be asked... (View More)

In this activity, learners select the scientific instruments for their satellite, calculate the power requirements for all the subsystems, and construct a scale model of their very own Earth observing satellite using building blocks and/or Legos.... (View More)

In this hands-on activity, students learn about the different realms of the Universe and explore their sizes and relative scales. They will be guided through a process that uncovers the immense sizes of the Sun, Solar System, Solar Neighborhood,... (View More)

Keywords: NSTA2013

In this activity, students learn that light carries information. Students also discover that infrared (IR) radiation is a form of light that in some cases behaves like visible light and in other cases behaves very differently. For example, some... (View More)

This is an activity about sunlight as an energy source. Learners will create a plant box and observe that a plant will grow toward the Sun, its primary source of energy. This hands-on activity is an additional lesson as part of the book, The Day... (View More)

This is a set of three activities about the distance to Saturn. Learners will use simple props to create a playground model for size and distance for the Sun, Earth, and Saturn - then walk on their scale model to Saturn. Includes a glossary,... (View More)

In this concluding activity, learners will design a culminating "celebration" display and event, based on their Saturn Discovery Logs and on products produced from their working knowledge of Saturn and Cassini. These final projects provide a way for... (View More)

Keywords: Saturn

Clouds serve as a theme in a series of linked introductory explorations in math, language arts, and science. After participating in a demonstration of cloud formation, students are directed to create an acrostic poem (a poem that uses the letters in... (View More)

This is a set of four activities about Saturn. Learners will read a series of Saturn minibooks, and then use this information to answer questions and construct a poster to display their learning. The fourth activity returns to the idea of size and... (View More)

Children will learn to write with scientific accuracy to characterize Saturn and its features as they create their own multilayer 3-D book of Saturn, with diagrams showing its various layers, ring system and many moons. Includes a glossary,... (View More)

Keywords: Saturn

This is a set of four activities about spacecraft design. Learners will think like engineers as they design, peer review, and then construct and present their spacecraft to travel to Saturn. Includes a glossary, information for families, and... (View More)

Keywords: Saturn

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

In this activity, students use mathematics to understand tides and gravitation and how gravity works across astronomical distances, using an apparatus made from a slinky, meter stick, and a hook. A description of the mathematical relationships seen... (View More)

In this two-part activity, learners compare how soil forms on Earth and the Moon. They examine different soil samples and compare them to lunar "soil" simulant. They explore how water, wind, and impactors help to make soil. This activity is part of... (View More)

In this activity, learners consider the requirements for human life beyond Earth's protection: air to breathe, plentiful food, shielding from ultraviolet light, power, etc. They then work in teams to design and construct a model of a space colony... (View More)

This is a lesson about the electromagnetic spectrum. Learners begin by arranging a set of picture cards; in the discussion afterwards, this activity is related to the electromagnetic spectrum as an arrangement of energy waves. Next, using a... (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)

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)

This is an activity about seasons. Learners begin by brainstorming a list of activities and events that occur in each season. Next, learners perform an experiment by comparing the temperature on thermometers left under a lamp for different lengths... (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

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

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, students examine the idea of inflation in the Universe using rising raisin bread dough as a model for universal expansion. Students will read the Cosmic Times 1993 edition and use two articles: Pancake or Oatmeal Universe - What's... (View More)

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

In this lesson, students will explore the density of substances as a model for understanding the mass to light ratio as a predictor of dark matter. They will measure and calculate mass and volume to calculate the density of a foam ball. Students... (View More)

In this lesson, students explore how eclipses happen and why Einstein needed a total eclipse to image stars near the Sun in order to demonstrate how the Sun's mass bends the light from a far away star. Using a foam ball and a lamp, learners create a... (View More)

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

In this lesson, students will read the 1919 edition of the Cosmic Times (see related resources) and respond by raising questions to be answered with further research. They will make a model of curved space to view the motion of spheres as explained... (View More)

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

This resource describes the physics behind the formation of clouds, and provides a demonstration of those principles using a beaker, ice, a match, hot water, and a laser pointer. This resource is from PUMAS - Practical Uses of Math and Science - a... (View More)

In this activity, learners replicate the scientific processes of observing, forming an explanation, revising and communicating about a model of a comet. Learners construct a model of features of a comet using an assortment of common craft supplies.... (View More)

This is a lesson about using gravity to assist in spacecraft navigation. Learners will relate an elastic collision to the change in a satellite's or spacecraft's speed and direction resulting from a planetary fly-by, often called a "gravity assist"... (View More)

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

In this lesson, learners will discover how certain snakes (pit-vipers) can find prey using a natural infrared sensor and will extend their understandings by exploring infrared technology applications. The lesson features background information for... (View More)

In this multi-day activity, students use infrared and visible images of animals and sort them into broad categories based upon the learner's own reasoning and observations of the images. Further explorations reveal that warm and cold-blooded animals... (View More)

In this introductory activity, learners investigate and discuss infrared images of various everyday objects, such as toasters, hairdryers, and running water, to learn about infrared imaging. Student questions about the false-color images help guide... (View More)

In this activity, learners construct a classroom-based Space Weather Action Center and use it to obtain, analyze, and record real solar data on a weekly basis. A set of sequential activities are also provided to engage the audience in making... (View More)

In this learning activity, student will identify clouds and describe related weather, then incorporate the observations into a poem. The resource includes a multiple choice assessment. The lesson is supported by S'COOL cloud tutorial, and several... (View More)

This activity is designed to introduce students to planetary geologic features and processes. First, students will use NASA satellite images to identify geologic surface features on the "Blue Marble" (Earth), and will explore the connection between... (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)

In this activity, students devise ways to demonstrate that energy can change from one form to another in accord with the law of conservation of energy. Small appliances, toys, marbles, vinegar and baking soda, simple electrical supplies available... (View More)

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

In this field activity, students document examine the role of a tree in its ecosystem and as part of the environment in a human community. Students measure the tree's dimensions, examine co-residing organisms, leaf litter, and soil, and research the... (View More)

In this laboratory investigation, student teams discover that the ocean's capacity to dissolve carbon dioxide depends on its temperature, and consider the effect of a warming ocean on CO² absorption. The activity requires Bromothymol blue indicator... (View More)

In this lesson bridging art and science, students build understanding of the terms translucent, opaque, and transparent, as they apply to cloud descriptions, and create a collage using materials matching these characteristics, as well as a... (View More)

In this hands-on activity, students will test one aspect of a theory that reduction in the polar caps will speed global warming. They simulate a polar region with pans of water, one painted white to represent a glacier, and one painted black or blue... (View More)

Students investigate magnetic fields in two and three dimensions, and compare the magnetic field of a pulsar to that of the Earth and other astronomical objects. This is Activity 3 of the Supernova Educator Guide developed by the XMM-Newton and... (View More)

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

This is an activity about bar magnets and their invisible magnetic fields. Learners will experiment with magnets and a compass to detect and draw magnetic fields. This is Activity 1 of a larger resource, entitled Exploring the Sun. The NASA... (View More)

In this activity, students are introduced to the concept of remote sensing. In the course of this experiment, students will investigate heat conduction on two surfaces and understand the application of these techniques to spacecraft investigations... (View More)

This activity, effective outdoors or indoors, demonstrates how insolation is affected by latitude by using a pair of thermometers, each taped to some cardboard, placed outside on a sunny day. A globe can also be used, outdoors or indoors. Students... (View More)

In this lesson, learners will construct their own 3-D glasses in order to use them on 3-D images, such as images of the Sun from the STEREO spacecraft. This activity requires special materials, such as red and blue acetate paper and can be used with... (View More)

In this lesson, students are introduced to the electromagnetic spectrum. They observe a demonstration of the visible light spectrum created by a flashlight and a prism, complete an activity sheet where they identify the wavelength that is involved... (View More)

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)

Keywords: Classification

This is a hands-on lab activity about the water cycle, specifically evaporation and condensation. Using materials such as clay, ice and a lamp, learners will observe the relationship between temperature and condensation and temperature and... (View More)

This is a lesson about the categorization of the three domains of life on Earth and how they relate to the study of astrobiology. Learners will explore, compare, discuss, and explain the basic differences between organisms assigned to the... (View More)

In this lesson, students determine whether an object reflects or absorbs red, green or blue light, and create a simple spectral signature. Student worksheets and an answer key are included. This is Lesson 2 in Understanding Light, part of IMAGERS,... (View More)

This is a lesson about discovering distant planets using an Earth-based observing technique called stellar occultation. Learners will explore how a stellar occultation occurs, how planetary atmospheres can be discovered, and how planetary diameters... (View More)

In this lesson, students explore the visible light spectrum using a flashlight and red, blue and green theatrical gels or cellophane. They also record data on a worksheet, and learn about mixing wavelengths of light. A student worksheet, data sheet,... (View More)

This educational wallsheet illustrates Newton's Third Law of Motion. The accompanying activity is an experiment in which students create a balloon and straw rocket. Students must figure out how to shoot the balloon from the back of the classroom and... (View More)

This is a hands-on lab activity about evaporation. Learners will conduct experiments to observe the process of evaporation. They will then describe the process of evaporation, and the general water cycle, through discussion and pictures. Background... (View More)

Keywords: Water cycle

This is a series of hands-on activities comprised of fieldwork and lab work about the basics of soil science. Learners record soil context descriptions, measure soil moisture, describe soil color, structure, consistency, and texture and conduct... (View More)

This is a hands-on lab activity about seawater density. After developing a hypothesis, learners will conduct a simple investigation of density. They will discuss changes in density observed and describe how salt affects the density of water.... (View More)

This is a hands-on lab activity about the chemical composition and conductivity of water. Working in groups, learners will: conduct an experiment involving the process of electrolysis, prepare an experiment to better understand the process of ion... (View More)

Keywords: Electrolytes; Salinity
Audience: High school
Materials Cost: $1 - $5 per group of students

This is a hands-on lab activity about the composition of salt. Learners will explain the general relationship between an element's Periodic Table Group Number and its tendency to gain or lose electron(s), and explain the difference between molecular... (View More)

In this laboratory activity, students experiment with becomes CO² concentrations in water as a prelude to investigating the marine carbon cycle. The activity includes a worksheet and assessment questions. Tap water, ocean water (real or simulated),... (View More)

This is a hands-on lab activity about seawater density, specifically the relationship between density of fluid, weight of an object, and buoyancy. Learners will develop hypotheses and observe a demonstration of density to understand its role in... (View More)

These two hands-on labs are about the role of temperature and salinity in governing the density of seawater, a major factor controlling the ocean's vertical movements and layered circulation. In the first activity students work in groups to... (View More)

Students will make predictions about what they think they will find in a sample of soil. They will investigate the sample and sort out the various items they find. Next they will spend time outside observing one or more sites to see what they find... (View More)

Keywords: Soil; Graphic novel

This activity has two purposes: challenge the learner to develop a procedure for investigating a research question and to learn more about factors affecting the dynamics of air in motion. It demonstrates that warm air and cold air differ in weight... (View More)

In this activity, students will record a list of things they already know about hummingbirds and a list of things they would like to learn about hummingbirds. Then they will conduct research to find answers to their questions. Using their new... (View More)

This is an activity about modeling the apparent motion of the Sun as seen from Earth. Learners will use a flashlight, toothpick, and styrofoam model Sun to mimic the relative shadow motion produced by a sundial. The activity will help learners... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: $1 - $5

This is a lesson about water and water-ice. Learners will explore the molecular geometry and mechanics of ice. They will create a model of H2O, investigate its molecular structure and its consistent shape. Faraday's experiment is used as background.... (View More)

This is an activity about magnetism. Using bar magnets, classroom materials, and a compass, learners will explore how bar magnets interact with one another and with other materials, use a compass to find the direction north, and use various... (View More)

The purpose of this investigation is to understand how the amount of water vapor in the air at various temperatures affects the way the human body responds. This is an important basic concept for understanding why one might feel either comfortable... (View More)

This experimental activity is designed to develop an understanding that air has mass. Students conduct an investigation and observe the change in the position of a bar balancing a balloon inflated with air on one end and a uninflated balloon on the... (View More)

Using information from their own observations, students construct a sky scene with trees and buildings as reference points on the ground and cloud types ordered by altitude in the sky. Students will describe clouds and then correlate their... (View More)

This is an activity about measuring angular size and understanding the solar and lunar proportions that result in solar eclipses. Learners will use triangles and proportions to create a shoebox eclipse simulator. They will then apply what they learn... (View More)

Students will learn about magnification and how a magnifying lens works. They will examine a variety of different objects, first without a magnifier and then with a magnifier, and compare what they observe. They will practice observing details of... (View More)

Keywords: Hydrosphere

This lesson is about robotic exploration. After reading and discussing the book "Touchdown Mars!," learners will work individually or in pairs to create their own Mars ABC book based on their current level of Mars knowledge. This is lesson 7 of 16... (View More)

In this activity, students monitor the change that takes place when water vapor condenses from a gas to a liquid and see how a change in temperature affects this transformation. Materials needed to conduct the investigation include two thermometers,... (View More)

This experimental activity is designed to develop a basic understanding of the interrelationship between temperature and pressure and the structure of a device made to examine this relationship. Resources needed to conduct this activity include two... (View More)

In this activity, each student will keep a science journal during each of the four seasons. Students will record observations of the general outdoor environment they visit and then will make observations of one specific item from the habitat in each... (View More)

Keywords: Graphic novel

This experimental activity is designed to develop a basic understanding of the relationship between temperature and pressure and that a barometer can be constructed to detect this relationship. Resources needed to build a simple barometer include a... (View More)

This lesson is about collaborative design of a lander vehicle. Learners will design and build a descent and landing system for an egg. The students will also practice their writing skills by writing a letter or article about the success or failure... (View More)

This board game challenges players (ages 10+) to build a spaceship and fly to a black hole. The game provides opportunities for understanding phenomena based on current black hole research. During the game, players will experience the dangers and... (View More)

This lesson is about robotic programming. Learners will simulate the experience of operating a rover on Mars, by giving specific commands to construct a Lego model with their partners. This will introduce students to the fundamental communication... (View More)

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