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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 activity is about rocket shape and performance. Learners will test a rocket model and predict its motion. They will launch their rocket multiple times, make observations and record the distance it traveled. They will have the opportunity to... (View More)

This is an activity about Earth's magnetic field. Learners will construct a soda bottle magnetometer, collect data, and analyze the results to detect magnetic storm events. Ideally, learners should collect data for at least a month. If several... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

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)

This is an activity about satellite design. Learners will create a satellite model to determine which shape will provide a steady minimum current output from solar panels, given a fixed position light source. After, as a group, they will assess... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

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

This online lab exercise focuses on the causes, characteristics and effects of the glacial-interglacial cycle. The sixth in a 10-part lab series on weather and climate, this lab exercise is designed for first and second year college geoscience... (View More)

Audience: Higher education
Materials Cost: Free

This online lab exercise focuses on the processes involved in the Carbon cycle and the influences of human activity on those processes- especially as they relate to Earth's weather and climate. The fourth in a 10-part lab series on weather and... (View More)

Audience: Higher education
Materials Cost: Free

In this lesson students investigate the effects of black carbon on arctic warming and are introduced to a mechanism of arctic warming that is not directly dependent on greenhouse gases in the atmosphere: black carbon deposition on Arctic snow 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)

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)

This is a lesson about the technology as it relates to heat transfer (conduction and convection)on the International Space Station. Learners will investigate how to build a space suit that keeps astronauts cool. This is technology activity 1 of 2... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

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)

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 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 seasons. Learners compare the seasons though identifying seasonal activities and drawing scenes in each season. Then, they compare the temperature on thermometers left under a lamp for different lengths of time to explore... (View More)

This is a lesson about determining planetary composition. Learners will use a reflectometer to determine which minerals are present (from a set of knowns) in a sample of Mars soil simulant. Requires the use of ALTA II spectrometers (which may be... (View More)

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 a book about seasons. Learners will read or listen to a story about two twins, Matt and Matilda, who are tasked with creating a model of the Earth-Sun system for a science fair project. Through some wild seasonal changes they experience... (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)

In this activity about the Sun's influence on plant growth, learners will create a plant box and observe that a plant will grow towards the Sun, its primary source of energy. By periodically collecting data on the growth of the plant, they can come... (View More)

This is an activity about the Doppler effect. Learners begin by simulating the noise made by a passing siren. After learning that the change in pitch results from movement, they investigate the definition of frequency, calculate change in frequency,... (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 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)

This is an activity about the concept of direct versus indirect sunlight. Learners construct and use a sun angle analyzer to investigate the effect of angle on area illuminated. The fraction of light on each square of the analyzer is then calculated... (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)

This is an activity about the measurement of time. Learners model the rotation of Earth over one day by holding a flashlight for the Sun and a blow up globe, and record their observations. Then, they use those observations to create devices that... (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

This is a lesson about the shape of objects in space. Learners will observe the surface of rotating potatoes to help them understand how astronomers use variations in reflective brightness to determine the shape of asteroids.

In this laboratory activity, students observe what happens when a fluid of one density is placed in a fluid of a different density. The fluids are salt water and fresh water, cold water and warm water. They generalize their results to describe what... (View More)

This quantitative experiment involves lab teams in comparing a sample of room air with one of the greenhouse gases - carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, or methane - and measuring their heat capacity. The activity requires an infrared heat source, such... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Over $20 per group of students

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 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)

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 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 is a hands-on lab activity about the properties and states of water. Learners will complete activities using different liquids to understand the three states of matter, explain how the high heat capacity and abundance of liquid water makes life... (View More)

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 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 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)

In this laboratory activity, students investigate chromophoric dissolved organic matter (CDOM) through gradual dilution of black, green and chamomile tea. Through this activity, students discover how CDOM can dominate the absorption of sunlight, how... (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)

In this lab activity, students examine phytoplankton and picophytoplankton under a microscope and learn how to use a stage micrometer to measure microscopic specimens. Resources needed include a microscope, slides, coverslips, a stage micrometer,... (View More)

Keywords: plankton; algae; eukaryote
Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Over $20 per group of students

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)

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 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

The purpose of this investigation is to understand the change that takes place when water condenses from a gas to a liquid, and how a change in pressure affects this transformation. Materials needed for the experiment include a large (2L) soda... (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)

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)

This activity builds the basic understanding that the heating (indicated by temperature differences) of an object is related to the object’s surface color. Materials required for this investigation include a pair of thermometers, light and dark... (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 experimental activity is designed to develop basic understanding of the relationship between the angle of light rays and the area over which the light rays are distributed, and the potential to affect changes in the temperature of materials.... (View More)

This is a lesson about states of matter and their relationship to temperature. Learners will explore the conditions required for water to be in a liquid state. They discover that temperature is the essential variable. They then explore how... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

This is an activity about magnetic induction. Learners will induce a flow of electricity in a wire using a moving bar magnet and measure this flow using a galvanometer, or Am meter. Through discussion, this activity can then be related to magnetic... (View More)

This is an activity about magnets and magnetism. Learners first make predictions about magnets, such as a list of the types of materials a magnet will pick up, how a magnet can be made, and how a compass can be made. Next, learners test their... (View More)

This is an activity about electromagnetism. Learners will set up a simple circuit using a battery, wire, and knife switch, and then use a compass to map the magnetic field lines surrounding the wire. Next, they will add a coil of wire to the simple... (View More)

In this hands-on activity, students conduct bottle experiments to learn about the conditions that best facilitate the decomposition of organic material in soil. In the lab, they observe changes in the decomposition of vegetable scraps by varying the... (View More)

This activity guides students through sampling, identification and counting of macroinvertebrates sampled in a GLOBE hydrology study site, and understand how the taxa composition found in the sample can be an indicator of water quality and ecosystem... (View More)

In this laboratory activity, students analyze soil samples from their homes to identify soil properties and learn about soil classification. Soils sampled by students from different environments are compared, and students ask questions about the... (View More)

This is an activity about electromagnetism. Learners will use a compass to map the magnetic field lines surrounding a coil of wire that is connected to a battery. This activity requires a large coil or spool of wire, a source of electricity such as... (View More)

In this 2-part inquiry-based lesson, students conduct a literature search to determine the characteristics of the atmospheres of different planets (Venus, Mercury, Mars and Earth). After collecting and analyzing data, student teams design and... (View More)

This is a design challenge about heat transfer and insulation. Learners will apply the scientific method to design and build a container that will keep items cool when placed in boiling water. They will practice collaboration in team-building and in... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Over $20 per group of students

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)

This is a lesson about passive cooling methods. Learners will construct a simple device to measure how effective different materials are for protecting against sunlight, explain how heat relates to the motion of atoms and molecules, describe how... (View More)

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

In this introductory classroom activity, students exercise their scientific skills of observation and deduction as they use their senses and simple laboratory assays, such as pH indicator paper, to identify mystery pollutants in water samples.... (View More)

In this scenario-based, problem-based learning (PBL) activity, students investigate cloud formation, cloud classification, and the role of clouds in heating and cooling the Earth; how to interpret TRMM (Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission) images... (View More)

In this lab-based activity, students learn how to use scientific instruments used to take hydrological data. Students will rotate among measurement stations for each of the hydrology protocols that will be done by the class. They will practice using... (View More)

In this laboratory activity, learners explore the difference between heat and temperature, and explore the rate of heat transfer from one substance to another as it depends on the density of the substances being investigated. The activity can be... (View More)

This is an activity about the detection of magnetic storms. Learners will plot the locations of magnetic observatories in Canada and analyze the magnetic intensity for each station, looking for the difference between stable magnetic activity and the... (View More)

Audience: High school

This is an activity about electromagnetism. Using a battery and a length of wire, learners will construct an electromagnet and investigate the number of paperclips the electromagnet can hold for an electromagnet with twenty loops of wire versus one... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school

This is an activity about the magnetic deflection. Learners will observe and measure the deflection that an iron mass causes in a soda bottle magnetometer and plot the data. The data should show the inverse-square cube law of change in the magnetic... (View More)

Audience: High school

This is an activity about oscillation. Learners will observe, time, and graph the data of the side to side motion of the mirror used in the soda bottle magnetometer activity to determine the mirror's oscillation amplitude. This activity requires... (View More)

Audience: High school

In this activity, teachers set up five stations to provide students an understanding of light refraction, using water, microscope slides, beakers, a coin, and eyedroppers. Students rotate through the stations and record their observations on a data... (View More)

This is an activity about the effect of solar storm events on Earth's magnetic field. Learners will construct a soda bottle magnetometer, take it home, collect data over the course of three days, and analyze the results from several of these data... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

In this laboratory activity, students create secondary colors by mixing primary colors. Food coloring, test tubes, and a test tube stand are used. The activity is composed of a student handout with directions and a data sheet. The resource is part... (View More)

This is an activity about magnetic fields. Using iron filings, learners will observe magnets in various arrangements to investigate the magnetic field lines of force. This information is then related to magnetic loops on the Sun's surface and the... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school

This is an activity about Earth's magnetosphere. Learners will use a magnet, simulating Earth's protective magnetosphere, and observe what occurs when iron filings, simulating the solar wind, blow past and encounter the magnet's field. This is the... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school

This is an activity about magnetism and magnetic forces. Learners will explore objects to which a magnet is attracted or repelled, and investigate the attractive and repulsive forces of two like and two unlike magnetic poles. This is the first... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school

This is an activity about oscillation. Learners will observe, time, and graph the data of the side to side motion of the mirror used in the soda bottle magnetometer activity to determine the mirror's oscillation period. This activity requires prior... (View More)

Audience: High school

This is an activity about magnetic induction. Learners will induce a flow of electricity in a wire using a moving bar magnet and measure this flow using a galvanometer, or Am meter. This is the fifth activity in the Exploring the Earth's Magnetic... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school

This activity will show students how to determine rate of evaporation and the atmospheric factors that can affect this rate. Laboratory equipment needed for this investigation includes: a digital balance or triple beam balance, metric ruler in... (View More)

This demonstration will show how increased temperatures will hasten the melting of ice in the environment, contributing to a rise in sea level and subsequent flooding of coastal areas. Materials required include 2 aquariums, plastic wrap, a clamp... (View More)

In this demonstration, students explore the concept of greenhouse warming. They determine whether an increase in the amount of heat-trappping gases in the atmosphere can cause the temperature on Earth to rise. Students compare the relative heat... (View More)

This is an activity involving scientific inquiry. Using a constructed Mystery Light Box, learners will observe what is in the box without removing the object from the box, shining a light into the box, or reaching hands into the box, and they will... (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 a series of three activities about light and spectra. First, learners will construct their own spectroscope, observe common light sources, record the observed spectra, and compare their findings. Next, learners will use their spectroscopes... (View More)

This activity is about the discovery of water ice on Mars. Learners will record and graph temperature data and use a model of an ice-rich and ice-free surface on Mars to examine how ice content in the martian soil would impact the temperature of a... (View More)

This is an activity about photosynthesis. Learners will use the basic principle of photosynthesis and investigate how light intensity diminishes as a function of distance from the light source. Questions help them connect these two ideas to... (View More)

This is an activity about understanding how the Earth’s axial tilt changes the angle at which sunlight hits the Earth, contributing to the variations in temperature throughout the seasons. Learners will create a sun angle analyzer in order to see... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: 1 cent - $1

This is an activity about measuring craters using shadows and geometry. Learners will make a model crater and use a light source to make a shadow. When they are familiar with the techniques for estimating depths from shadows, they will apply their... (View More)

Audience: High school

This is an experiment about shadow lengths, geometry, and motion. Learners will use a flashlight and toothpick to create a shadow and will measure changes the length of the shadow as they change the position of the light. This is activity B-1 of... (View More)

In this open inquiry activity introducing concepts of remote sensing, students will discuss and research different invisible phenomena. They will then test and verify the existence of selected invisible phenomena by using measurement or detection... (View More)

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