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This series of ten lessons has been developed to teach students about local and global water issues. They are based on NASA’s Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Mission. The activities are done largely outdoors and include scientific data... (View More)

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)

In this lesson, students will learn about the water cycle and how energy from the sun and the force of gravity drive this cycle. The emphasis in this lesson will be on having students understand the processes that take place in moving water through... (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

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 the interiors of planets. Leaners will investigate the composition of unseen materials using a variety of tools - a process that mimics how scientists discover clues about the interiors of planets with cameras and other... (View More)

Keywords: Jupiter

Learners will weigh themselves on scales modified to represent their weights on other worlds to explore the concept of gravity and its relationship to weight. They consider how their weights would be the highest of all the planets while standing on... (View More)

Keywords: Jupiter; Mass; Weight

This is a demonstration about the density of the planets. Learners will compare the relative sizes and masses of scale models of the planets as represented by fruits and other foods. They will then dunk the "planets" in water to highlight the fact... (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

Learners will model the gravitational fields of planets on a flexible surface. Children place and move balls of different sizes and densities on a plastic sheet to develop a mental picture of how the mass of an object influences how much effect it... (View More)

Keywords: Jupiter; Gravity

In this concluding activity, children create a scrapbook or poster display documenting their trips to Jupiter. Learners will use their "My Trip to Jupiter" journals and select common craft items to represent the characteristics of each aspect or... (View More)

Keywords: Jupiter

In this activity, student teams will create a controlled experiment by building ecosystems in two 2-liter bottles. Teams determine the control conditions of both bottles, identify a test variable, and run the experiment for several weeks to... (View More)

In this lab activity, student teams hypothesize which source has a greater becomes CO² concentration: their breath, auto exhaust, or air in the classroom. They test gas samples from each of these sources, plot data, and hypothesize about the... (View More)

In this activity, students are introduced to light and colored gels (filters). Students make and test predictions about light and color using gels; learn about the importance of gels (filters) to astronomers; then analyze images taken with regular... (View More)

In this activity, students build a photocell detector, and use it to detect different colors of light in a spectrum. Then they place the detector just outside the red region of the visible light spectrum and see that the detector detects the... (View More)

This is a set of four activities about spacecraft design. Learners will use the information learned in previous lessons, combined with their own creativity and problem-solving skills, to design and test a parachuting probe that will withstand a fall... (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 is an activity about mission planning. Learners will use the roles of a navigation team, spacecraft, comet, Earth, and Sun to simulate how mission planners design a spacecraft/comet rendezvous. This activity requires at least four active... (View More)

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)

In this lesson, students explore a discrepent event by designing experiments to test either what makes a "come-back can" return (a can that when you roll away from you, always returns) or UV beads change color. This activity should come either near... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: $5 - $10 per group of students

In this lesson, students will investigate the Doppler Effect and discover how the same principle can be used to identify a possible tornado in storm clouds and investigate the rotation of distant galaxies. Students should be familiar with the... (View More)

This 24 minute planetarium show teaches about meteors, meteorites, asteroids, and comets. The show was created for fulldome theaters, but is also available on DVD to be shown in flat version for TVs and computer monitors, and can be freely viewed... (View More)

Keywords: Meteors; Meteorites
Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: $5 - $10

In this card game, players compete to be the first to build the Fermi satellite and use it to observe five astronomical targets. Eighty-six custom-designed cards contain information on the various Fermi components, science and education teams, and... (View More)

One particular type of domino game, sometimes called the All Fives Domino game, uses multiples of five in order to score points. It can be the basis for a number of games designed to develop conceptual understanding of multiples of numbers through... (View More)

Keywords: Dominoes

This activity introduces very young students to measurement, graphing and estimation as they learn how to use a thermometer. The resource includes teaching notes, assessment suggestions, and a vocabulary list linked to a glossary. This activity is... (View More)

This experiment has student teams comparing a sample of room air with one of the greenhouse gases - carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, or methane - and observing the relative effectiveness of the gases in trapping infrared (IR) radiation. The activity... (View More)

This is a series of five activities about geology on the moon. Learners will explore lunar stratigraphy (caused by lava flows), impact craters, the moon's history, spacecraft design in which students build models of the LRO out of edible or... (View More)

In this two-part investigation, students explore the concept of transits. In the first part, they discover that a transit is an event where one body crosses in front of another, like when a planet goes in front of a star. In the second part,... (View More)

Keywords: NSTA2013

This demonstration allows students to visualize inversion in a fluid, explain it in terms of density, and apply the concept to weather systems and convection. Materials required include four Ehrlenmeyer flasks, two thin glass plates, a heat source,... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: $5 - $10 per group of students

Students use a calorimeter made of common materials to demonstrate that energy can be measured and converted from one form to another. Hydrocarbons, such as paraffin, contain stored chemical energy; food contains stored chemical energy. The activity... (View More)

In this demonstration, evidence of the Earth's rotation is observed. A tripod, swiveling desk chair, fishing line and pendulum bob (e.g., fishing weight or plumb bob) are required for the demonstration. This resource is from PUMAS - Practical Uses... (View More)

This is an activity about ultraviolet light. Learners will make ultraviolet light detector bracelets and use them to experiment with artificial light and sunlight. Then, they experiment with various sun-blocking materials to see how such materials... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: $5 - $10

This is an activity about light. Learners will make their own spectroscopes from easily obtainable materials and use prisms to observe different types of white light sources to see the colors that form the visible light spectrum. This is Activity 2... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: $5 - $10

This is a lesson about detecting ice on the permanently shadowed craters of Mercury and the Moon. Learners will consider what might be in that ice and will examine why the polar regions of Earth, Mercury and the Moon are colder than elsewhere on the... (View More)

This is an activity about how light travels. Learners will perform two experiments. The first explores blocking light to create shadows. The second asks learners to use mirrors to figure out that light travels in a straight line. This is Activity 4... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: $5 - $10

This is a lesson about the field of astrobiology, the study of life in the universe, and ice as a preservative for evidence of life. Learners will consider the relationship between ice and life as they investigate the conditions required for life to... (View More)

In this activity, students are challenged to predict the next day's weather based on cloud observations, prevailing winds, and barometric measurements over a period of several days. The activity can be done as guided or open-ended inquiry and serves... (View More)

This chapter provides teachers with instructions to install a school weather station, and to build simple instruments to monitor weather conditions. Materials need to create a homemade weathervane include a two-liter soft drink bottle, a shallow... (View More)

In this activity, students build a basic understanding of how a sling psychrometer is used to determine relative humidity and learn how to read a chart to determine this relationship. In addition, the student will become familiar with the concept of... (View More)

In this activity, students will learn how technology can help scientists solve a problem. One of the challenges scientists face with any spacecraft is attitude control. Students will be introduced to the problem of attitude control in space through... (View More)

This is an activity about the basic properties of magnets and magnetism. Learners explore concepts such as magnetic fields and polarity, which form the basic ingredients of a study of Earth's magnetic field and the technology of magnetometers.... (View More)

This is an activity about visual analysis. Learners will compare and contrast images of Earth and Mars and then experiment with lenses to understand more about the instruments used to make the pictures. This is activity 1 of 9 in Mars and Earth:... (View More)

This is an activity about measuring the interplanetary magnetic field, or IMF. Learners will utilize cardboard boxes with a magnet inside to design a spacecraft, and experiment with ways to attach a magnetometer that will measure the IMF rather than... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: $5 - $10 per group of students

This is a lesson about how magnetism causes solar flares. Learners will set up an electrical circuit with magnets to examine magnetic fields and their similarities to magnetic fields seen on the Sun. Learners should have a conceptual understanding... (View More)

In this activity, students quantitatively evaluate the accuracy of a classification and understand a simple difference/error matrix. Students sort birds into three possible classes based on each bird’s beak: carnivores (meat eaters), herbivores... (View More)

This is a lesson about magnetism in solar flares. Learners will map magnetic fields around bar magnets and investigate how this configuration relates to magnetic fields of sunspots. This activity requires compasses, bar magnets, and a equipment for... (View More)

This lesson is an introduction to the use of a magnetic compass. At a specific location, learners will locate an object using a compass, identify its bearing, and others will attempt to locate the object by only knowing the bearing reading and the... (View More)

In this demonstration, students experience the Doppler effect for sound. Students can compute the frequency change for motion along the line of sight (LOS) and determine the vector LOS component for motions not exactly on it. A buzzer, battery,... (View More)

This lesson is comprised of three parts grouped to enable student understanding of classifying organisms. In part one of the lesson, students classify imaginary organisms represented by a mix of breakfast cereals, candies, nuts, raisins, etc.... (View More)

This is a lesson about infrared radiation. Learners will investigate invisible forms of light as they conduct William Herschel’s experiment and subsequent discovery of infrared radiation. They will construct a device to measure the presence of... (View More)

In this problem-based learning activity, students learn about weather forecasting and the role of the TRMM (Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission) satellite in data collection. Assuming the role of climatologists, students assist a reporter in... (View More)

In this activity, students build a model of an active galaxy. From this, they will learn about the geometry of the components of an active galaxy and develop an understanding that different viewing angles can lead to dramatically different... (View More)

In this kinesthetic game, student learn about light reflection. Teams line up with a series of mirrors and race to as they transfer a beam of light from one mirror to another as quickly as they can. A flashlight and 4 or 5 handheld mirrors are... (View More)

This is an activity about spectroscopy. Learners will build a spectroscope and use it to observe various types of lights. This activity requires spectroscope kits and diffraction gratings available from the Stanford Solar Center... (View More)

In this activity, students demonstrate the relationship between wave frequency and energy in the electromagnetic spectrum by shaking a rope to identify the relationships. This activity is part of Unit 2 in the Space Based Astronomy guide that... (View More)

In this activity, students study the range of colors in a visible light spectrum created from either a glass prism or holographic diffraction grating. This activity is in unit 2 of the "Space-Based Astronomy" guide that contains background... (View More)

In this activity, students perform a version of the experiment of 1801, in which ultraviolet light was first discovered by Johann Wilhelm Ritter. This experiment should be conducted outdoors on a sunny day - variable cloud conditions, such as patchy... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: $5 - $10 per group of students

This is an activity about critical observation skills. Learners will receive an egg to record its features from various vantage points, illustrating their size, shape, and location. They will then try to identify and recognize the surface features... (View More)

This introductory lesson introduces the tool of scientific inquiry, beginning with observations inside and outside of the classroom, looking for changes, perspectives, and patterns. Measuring tools as simple as feet and fists are employed initially,... (View More)

In this inquiry investigation, students will learn about how light travels by using mirrors, prisms, and shadow makers. Supplies for this investigation include mirrors, prisms, objects of differing transparency, garden hose or spray bottle,... (View More)

Keywords: Waves; Spectrum; Ray

In this inquiry investigation, students will learn about how light travels by using mirrors, prisms, and shadow makers. Supplies for this investigation include mirrors, prisms, objects of differing transparency, garden hose or spray bottle,... (View More)

This introductory lesson introduces the tool of scientific inquiry, beginning with observations inside and outside of the classroom, looking for changes, perspectives, and patterns. Measuring tools as simple as feet and fists are employed initially,... (View More)

This is a lesson about planet formation. Learners will observe and describe differentiated samples in the Meteorite Sample Disk (or photographs), conduct experiments to model the separation of light and heavy materials within a planetary body,... (View More)

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