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Using water to represent the atmosphere and milk droplets to represent aerosols, students make predictions and conduct investigations to discover how different aerosol concentrations affect atmospheric color and visibility. This lesson is one of... (View More)

Keywords: Aerosols

Through the use of prisms and glue sticks, this activity introduces students to a fundamental property of light: white light is made up of colors representing different wavelengths. Students use the results of the activity to explain the variation... (View More)

Working in groups, students use contact paper to make samplers to collect local data on aerosols - the small particles found in the atmosphere. Students then analyze, interpret and make predictions based on their data. Both the instructions for... (View More)

Keywords: Aerosols

This unit consists of five activities, all of which focus on the response of plant life-cycle events to climate change. Students participate in discussions, field observations, data collection and analyses, plant identification, seed dispersal... (View More)

This unit consists of four activities. Students begin by examining temperature cycles (current, recent and historical) then add in factors such as carbon dioxide, precipitation and cloud cover to discover regional and global differences in the... (View More)

This unit focuses on the impacts of climate change on humans. Students participate in activities using "Character Cards" (included with the unit). The cards introduce fictitious citizens who describe the local economic, social and political factors... (View More)

This unit consists of two parts, each with several activities which require students to participate in investigations, discussions, computer data analysis, role-playing, and research. In Part 1, students examine the roles of Earth's energy balance... (View More)

This lesson plan teaches how to select the landing site for a planetary surface investigation, using the 5E learning cycle. Students will be able to determine a landing site for their Mars rover; work with their team to summarize information and... (View More)

This lesson plan uses the 5E learning cycle and is designed around an essential question: How do I know when I’ve found important information in my reading? Learning objectives include: identify important details in informational texts; learn and... (View More)

This lesson plan uses the 5E learning cycle and is designed around an essential question: Why is the method you chose for landing your Rover on Mars the best one for your mission? The lesson objectives include: examine different methods for landing... (View More)

This lesson plan uses the 5E learning cycle and is designed around an essential question: How do I know when I’ve found important information in my reading? Learning objectives include: identify important details in informational texts; learn and... (View More)

Keywords: Language arts

In this lesson, students participate in a skit presenting a mock-up of a planetary surface rover they designed. Students will be able to: demonstrate their knowledge of Mars and rovers by presenting their team skit; present their rover, its... (View More)

In this lesson, students participate in a skit presenting a mock-up of a planetary surface rover they designed. Students will be able to: demonstrate their knowledge of Mars and rovers by presenting their team skit; present their rover, its... (View More)

In this lesson, students will design a planetary surface rover to conduct a planetary surface investigation. It uses the 5E learning cycle and is designed around an essential question: How will creating a prototype of your rover help you prepare for... (View More)

Keywords: Careers

In this lesson, students will design a planetary surface rover to conduct a planetary surface investigation. It uses the 5E learning cycle and is designed around an essential question: How will creating a prototype of your rover help you prepare for... (View More)

Keywords: Careers

This lesson plan uses the 5E learning cycle and is designed around an essential question: Why is the method you chose for landing your Rover on Mars the best one for your mission? The lesson objectives include: examine different methods for landing... (View More)

This is an activity during Solar Week, a twice-yearly event in March and October during which classrooms are able to interact with scientists studying the Sun. Outside of Solar Week, information, activities, and resources are archived and available... (View More)

This is an activity during Solar Week, a twice-yearly event in March and October during which classrooms are able to interact with scientists studying the Sun. Outside of Solar Week, information, activities, and resources are archived and available... (View More)

This is an activity during Solar Week, a twice-yearly event in March and October during which classrooms are able to interact with scientists studying the Sun. Outside of Solar Week, information, activities, and resources are archived and available... (View More)

This is an activity during Solar Week, a twice-yearly event in March and October during which classrooms are able to interact with scientists studying the Sun. Outside of Solar Week, information, activities, and resources are archived and available... (View More)

Learners will create a flip book that shows solar flares erupting from the Sun. This activity is from the DIY Sun Science app and is for ages 7 and up.

Learners will use hot and cold water to see how fluids at different temperature move around in convection currents. This activity is from the DIY Sun Science app and is for ages 10 and up.

Learners will build a magnetometer, an instrument that can measure slight changes in Earth’s magnetic field that are caused by solar storms. This activity is from the DIY Sun Science app and is for ages 13 and up.

Learners will build a solar oven and use it to bake s’mores. This activity is from the DIY Sun Science app and is for ages 10 and up. It requires a bright sunny day.

If you’ve ever seen a picture of a solar eclipse, you may have noticed that the Moon comes very close to covering the entire Sun. Learners will use a coin and a plate to investigate why the Sun and Moon look like they’re the same size, though... (View More)

Learners will use candy pieces and a cookie to make an accurate model of the Sun that they can eat. This activity is from the DIY Sun Science app and is for ages 7 and up.

Learners will make a Sun tracker to explore how ancient civilizations around the world studied the Sun. This activity is from the DIY Sun Science app and is for ages 7 and up. It requires a bright sunny day.

Learners will make scale models of the Sun and Earth out of paper mache. This activity is from the DIY Sun Science app and is for ages 10 and up.

Learners will use thermometers and a lamp to investigate why some places on Earth’s surface are much hotter than others. This activity is from the DIY Sun Science app and is for ages 10 and up.

On a bright, sunny day, learners will use tonic water to detect ultraviolet (UV) light from the Sun. This activity is from the DIY Sun Science app and is for ages 7 and up

Learners will use binoculars or a telescope to identify and track sunspots. This activity is from the DIY Sun Science app and is for ages 10 and up. It requires a bright sunny day.

Learners will make a pinhole viewer, and use it to measure the Sun’s size. This activity is from the DIY Sun Science app and is for ages 10 and up. It requires a bright sunny day.

Learners will make a prism to separate sunlight into different colors. This activity is from the DIY Sun Science app and is for ages 10 and up. It requires a bright sunny day.

In this activity, students create a scale model depicting the vertical distance from Earth’s surface to various features and objects, including Earth’s atmospheric layers, the Van Allen Radiation Belts, and geocentric satellites. Students also... (View More)

Become a crime scene investigator! Learners model Dawn Mission scientists, engineers, and technologists and how they use instrumentation to detect distant worlds. After a briefing to build context, students explore interactions between different... (View More)

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 poster features NASA's Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission. The front features an image of the GPM Core Observatory satellite along with the constellation of satellites that will accompany it. Background information is provided on... (View More)

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)

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)

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.

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)

This is an activity about how much atmospheric pressure is needed on Mars to maintain surface water and why it does not have surface water today. Learners will use a computer interactive to learn about Mars past and present before exploring the... (View More)

Keywords: Triple Point; Climate

This is an activity about the way distance, albedo, and atmosphere affect the temperature of a planet. Learners will create a planet using a computer game and change features of the planet to increase or decrease the planet's temperature. They will... (View More)

This is an activity about the atmospheric conditions (greenhouse strength, atmospheric thickness) Mars needs to maintain surface water. Learners will use a computer interactive to learn about Mars past and present before exploring the pressure and... (View More)

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)

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)

These guides showcase education and public outreach resources from across more than 20 NASA astrophysics missions and programs. The twelve guides - one for each month - contain a science topic, an interpretive story, a sky object to view with... (View More)

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

This lesson was developed to give participants an understanding of Earth's water cycle. In this one-hour long activity, students participate in a webquest to learn about the water cycle, and then build a mini-model of the water cycle to observe how... (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 the... (View More)

This article explains the monthly variations in the Moon's appearance as seen from Earth. Directions for using Oreo cookies to illustrate the four major phases of the Moon are provided. The article is targeted to children ages 10-12.

This is a paper model of the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) satellite.

In this kinesthetic activity, students will demonstrate how two spacecraft are able to document a space weather event across the Van Allen radiation belts better than one spacecraft can. Students will graph the data collected by one spacecraft and... (View More)

This is an activity about the way distance, reflectivity, and atmosphere affect the temperature of a planet. Learners will create a planet using a computer game and change features of the planet to increase or decrease the planet's temperature. This... (View More)

Keywords: Water; Climate

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 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 is a mini comic book about cosmic rays. Learners will construct the comic book and then read about cosmic rays, their effect, and how the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter's Cosmic Ray Telescope for the Effects of Radiation (CRaTER) detects them.

In this lesson, students imagine Mars to be a future vacation destination, and will need to encourage people to come and visit. Students will create a scripted travel video or commercial, or construct a brochure or website to convince people to... (View More)

This lesson introduces students to Mars’ history through research and discussion. Students read about the history of Mars, Mars observing, and exploration with telescopes and robotic spacecraft. After learning about Mars, students consider how... (View More)

This lesson introduces students to Mars as we know it today. Using Google Earth/Mars and the recommended reading, students will compare and contrast Earth and Mars using graphic organizers. Includes background, separate student pages, and... (View More)

Unit three of the "Carbon Connections: The Carbon Cycle and the Science of Climate" curriculum examines the role of carbon and the carbon cycle in future climate. Students discover how scientists determine Earth's average temperature and the role of... (View More)

Unit two of the "Carbon Connections: The Carbon Cycle and the Science of Climate" curriculum examines the role of carbon and the carbon cycle in current climate. Students discover how carbon in Earth's system is monitored and also investigate the... (View More)

Unit one of the "Carbon Connections: The Carbon Cycle and the Science of Climate" curriculum introduces the role of carbon (as carbon dioxide) as an atmospheric indicator. Students examine the impact of geologic and climatic history on current... (View More)

This is a make-it-yourself planisphere designed to show where Kepler is pointing. Learners can use it to locate exoplanets around stars in the night sky. It comes with two wheels: one with coordinate grid for plotting additional exoplanet stars and... (View More)

This is an activity about the Moon's influence on Earth. Learners think like a scientist — with reasoning skills and a healthy amount of skepticism — to sort puzzle pieces containing statements about the Moon into two images. The "Far-out Far... (View More)

Learners read or listen to a cultural story describing a shape identified in the Moon's surface features. Then, they consider how the features formed over the Moon's 4.5-billion-year history and investigate Earth rocks that are similar. Children may... (View More)

Learners use a Styrofoam ball, sunlight, and the motions of their bodies to model the Moon's phases outdoors. An extension is to have children predict future Moon phases. This activity is part of Explore! Marvel Moon, a series of activities... (View More)

This is an activity about the way the moon interacts with sunlight. Learners consider a ball, wrapped in aluminum foil, and experiment with a flashlight to make it appear bright. The children compare the foil-wrapped ball to a Moon globe and... (View More)

Learners will review what they have learned about scientific and engineering investigation, 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... (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 brainstorm ideas to be developed into a team skit, work cooperatively to assign duties and write a team skit, and collaborate with team members to complete the Mars Rover Manual. The lesson uses the 5E instructional model and includes:... (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 simulation activity, students experiment with a population of M&M candies or paper dot "beetles" to test how well each color is adapted to survive on a field of colorful wrapping paper or fabric. Students act as predators and see that... (View More)

This textbook chapter introduces the buffalo as a keystone species, and describes the environmental impacts of its near extinction, including today’s predominance of non-native species in the Great Plains. Human activities that contribute to... (View More)

This model demonstrates convection currents and uses water, food coloring, a cup of very hot water and a votive candle as heat sources. Movie clips of demonstration setup and convection in action are provided. This activity is supported by a... (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

In this kinesthetic activity, students take on roles of either photons or gas molecules. Photons signal a change from visible light to infrared with a piece of folded construction paper, simulating absorption by the Earth's surface and reradiation... (View More)

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 question. The lesson uses the 5E instructional model and includes:... (View More)

This curriculum allows middle school and high school students to use authentic NASA data from five satellite missions (Aqua, Aura, ICESat, Landsat, and Terra) to engage in a systems approach to climate change. The curriculum features four modules:... (View More)

Students will use observation to make their own geologic map of the Moon’s Copernicus Crater. The students will identify crater features in a photogeologic image and use those observations to color their map with the appropriate geologic units.

Keywords: Cratering

In this engineering challenge, student teams are introduced to the engineering design process, and then construct and test an earthquake-resistant structure. The lesson plan includes teacher support, student worksheets, multimedia assets, and links... (View More)

This is an activity about constellations. Learners will make a "star finder" toy and play a game to find a constellation in the night sky.

In this activity, children make a mobile of galaxies; patterns and instructions are included. It introduces the different shapes of galaxies and their nomenclature. Note that young children will need assistance from an adult or older child to safely... (View More)

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

This is an activity about how giant dish antennas work. Learners create a "sound cone" and use it to understand how the Deep Space Network antennas pick up radio communications from space.

Through an analysis of data sets on four parameters - sea ice totals, sea surface temperatures, near surface temperatures and surface type - students must decide whether the Arctic is experiencing climate change and predict any potential effects on... (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)

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)

Learners will work in teams to apply their knowledge about the Moon, its environment, and the LRO mission to match responses to Moon questions. With the correct responses, they build a picture of the Moon. This activity is part of Explore! To the... (View More)

Learners will create their own models of lunar orbiters out of edible or non-edible materials. They determine what tools would be necessary to help us better understand the Moon and plan for a future lunar outpost. Then they incorporate these... (View More)

This is an activity about impact craters. Learners will experiment to create impact craters and examine the associated features. Then they observe images of lunar craters and explore how the mass, shape, velocity, and angle of impactors affects the... (View More)

In this activity, learners draw conclusions about where on a planetary body scientists might look for ice and why. They use a clay ball, ice cubes, and a heat lamp to model the permanently-shadowed polar regions of planets and moons that may harbor... (View More)

In this activity, learners work in teams to assess environmental conditions, resources, and scientific relevance of different locations on the Moon using data collected from previous lunar missions. Each team selects the site they believe has the... (View More)

This is a lesson about the electromagnetic spectrum. Learners will read two pages of information about the electromagnetic spectrum and answer questions in an accompanying worksheet. This activity is from the Stanford Solar Center's All About the... (View More)

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 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

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)

This is a lesson about the Discovery Program's exploration of the solar system. Learners will identify and communicate to others the varied space science explorations carried out by the Discovery Program and dig into one mission in depth. They can... (View More)

In this lesson, students read the original paper written by Henrietta Leavitt in which she compared the apparent brightness and period of Cepheid variable stars. The students prepare graphs from numerical data, just as she did, and compare their... (View More)

In this lesson, students create a fictional narrative on the beginning of time. They use their scientific knowledge of the Big Bang Theory and go back into time to when it occurred so they can make observations about it. Students can select from... (View More)

In this lesson, students create a timeline of world events from 1905 until 2006. Students locate key dates from the Cosmic Times poster series and determine world events that fit into the three story strands of Cosmic Times, as well as, the... (View More)

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