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This video explains albedo - the concept that the brightness of the Earth system (atmosphere, ocean, and land surfaces) determines how much incoming solar energy is immediately reflected back to space. Reflected shortwave energy and land albedo... (View More)

Alaska Native (Inupiat) Elders and children living in northern Alaska share their experiences and stories about the northern lights (aurora borealis). The website features a 23 minute video and a series of shorter videos and interactive animations... (View More)

This slide set focuses on the first discovery of an Earth-like planet orbiting a Sun-like star. It is one of a series of short, topical presentations on new developments from NASA astrophysics missions, relevant to introductory astronomy topics.... (View More)

Audience: Higher education
Materials Cost: Free

This slide set focuses on the discovery of a massive dust cloud in a supernova remnant. It is one of a series of short, topical presentations on new developments from NASA astrophysics missions, relevant to introductory astronomy topics. These... (View More)

Keywords: Supernovas
Audience: Higher education
Materials Cost: Free

Students will test various materials to determine if any can shield their "magnetometer" (compass) from an external magnetic field using their own experimental design. If no suitable material is available, they will devise another method to protect... (View More)

Students simulate the process of remote sensing by using common materials to represent Earth’s different ground coverings and a light meter to represent satellite instruments. The concept of albedo and its importance in Earth’s radiation budget... (View More)

This series of posters illustrates the universality of physical laws by connecting the concepts of rotation, speed, distance, pressure, time, mass, density and acceleration to both Olympic competitions and cosmic phenomena. Each poster includes both... (View More)

The pedosphere (soil) is the focus of this GLOBE eTraining program module. Protocols for investigating soil temperature, moisture, characterization, density and infiltration are explained. In addition, each module includes interactive digital field... (View More)

The hydrosphere (water, ice, and vapor) is the focus of this GLOBE eTraining module. Protocols for investigating many characteristics of water such as temperature, transparency, electrical conductivity, pH, dissolved oxygen, salinity, nitrates, and... (View More)

Using new and recycled materials, learners construct a rocket car that moves by the use of a balloon and a straw system. Following trial runs, learners engineer revisions to the car design to improve the distance that it travels. Templates,... (View More)

Each of us is made from star stuff. But how are stars formed? Take a closer look at the life cycles of stars and learn where stars come from, how they've changed, and what happens to stars when their lives come to an end. Find out about your... (View More)

Using an online interactive platform, learners will explore our solar system from the perspective of the Sun. They will observe the motion of different worlds to determine their location in the solar system. Then they will launch probes to search... (View More)

The basic chemistry of water, along with a brief glimpse into water's origin on Earth, are discussed in this two page article. The article can be used as a "reading to be informed" activity in a stand-alone fashion or can be incorporated into a... (View More)

Keywords: Water chemistry
Audience: Middle school, High school, Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

This online repository includes captioned images designed to tell a story about the science of light. Developed for the United Nation's International Year of Light 2015 (IYL2015), the images showcase the incredible variety of light-based science... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

Twice each day, once during daytime and once at sunset, students observe sky color, visibility, and sky conditions over a one week period. Each observation is recorded on a sky report form (included) for follow-up discussions and comparisons. This... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school
Materials Cost: Free

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)

This lithograph features a Hubble image of the galaxy cluster Abell 2744, which exhibits a special feature known as gravitational lensing. The backside includes a description of the image and its features. Students use the image and the information... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

Students read and analyze two different articles about medical imaging using X-rays. This activity is from the NuSTAR Educators Guide: X-Rays on Earth and from Space, which focuses on the science and engineering design of NASA's NuSTAR mission. The... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

This afterschool curriculum includes six lessons plus supplementary materials (e.g., videos, PowerPoint presentations, and images) that explore how light from the electromagnetic spectrum is used as a tool for learning about the Sun. The curriculum... (View More)

This slide set focuses on new information learned about galaxy evolution thanks to multiwavelength observations of M101. It is one of a series of short, topical presentations on new developments from NASA astrophysics missions, relevant to... (View More)

Audience: Higher education
Materials Cost: Free

This slide set presents the atypical slow down in spin rate of one particular neutron star. It is one of a series of short, topical presentations on new developments from NASA astrophysics missions, relevant to introductory astronomy topics. These... (View More)

Audience: Higher education
Materials Cost: Free

This multimedia ibook introduces the physical concepts related to plasma globes commonly seen in science museums. The characters Camilla Corona and Colours O'IRIS discuss the concepts of plasma, electric fields, and atom electron loss and recapture... (View More)

Keywords: Reading; Graphic novel
Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

Students are tasked with virtually designing a spacecraft to withstand the harsh environment of the Van Allen Radiation belts- the location of many communication, GPS and weather satellites. The details of the challenge, along with videos on... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

This short (11:29 minutes) video features NASA scientists answering a set of student-designed questions related to NASA’s Global Precipitation Measurement satellite mission. The set of twelve questions were generated after students viewed... (View More)

Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

This Science On a Sphere video and docent show (script and playlist), explores factors that render Earth habitable and influence Earth's energy budget. The video gives an overview of NASA's Search for "Goldilocks Planets" - planets that are not too... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

This is the first module in the Solar Dynamic Observatory (SDO) Project Suite curriculum. Activities are self-directed by students or student teams using online videos and data from the SDO satellite to explore, research and build knowledge about... (View More)

Keywords: Sunspots
Audience: Middle school, Informal education
Materials Cost: $1 - $5

This is the second module in the Solar Dynamic Observatory (SDO) Project Suite curriculum. Each activity is self-directed by students or student teams and uses online videos, data from the SDO satellite and hands-on activities to explore, research... (View More)

This is the third module in the Solar Dynamic Observatory (SDO) Project Suite curriculum. Each activity is self-directed by students or student teams and utilizes online videos, data from the SDO satellite and hands-on activities to explore,... (View More)

This is the fourth and culminating module in the Solar Dynamic Observatory (SDO) Project Suite curriculum. Student teams use information and resources from the other three modules in the project suite to create a 3D interactive solar exhibit to... (View More)

This video is narrated by NASA scientist Peter Griffith who explains fast and slow carbon cycling on Earth. A banana is an example of fast, young carbon. A chunk of coal is an example of old, slow carbon. Carbon dioxide and vegetation on land seen... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

Students will use the law of reflection to reflect a laser beam off multiple mirrors to hit a sticker in a shoebox. Since X-ray telescopes must use grazing angles to collect X-rays, students will design layouts with the largest possible angles of... (View More)

This is an annotated, topical list of science fiction novels and stories based on more or less accurate astronomy and physics ideas. Learners can read fictional works that involve asteroids, astronomers, black holes, comets, space travel where... (View More)

This series of infographics was created to supplement the Here, There, Everywhere (HTE) exhibit and connects cross-cutting science content (Earth and planetary sciences and astrophysics) with everyday phenomena, helping to demonstrate the... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

Students participate in a series of activities to discover how astronomers use computers to create images and understand data. No programming experience is required; students will use pencilcode.net to complete such activities as creating a color,... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school, Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

This brief (1:46) video explains the stratospheric ozone layer and its role in absorbing harmful UV radiation from the sun. The visualization shows how the thickness of the ozone layer varies with air flow aloft and seasons, and where the biggest... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

The effects of gravity on near-surface objects and those in Earth orbit are explored in this activity. A brief explanation, links to three related videos, a teacher's guide and short assessment are included.

Keywords: Gravity
Audience: Elementary school, Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

This brief (2:04) video explains the ozone hole over Antarctica - the annual thinning of stratospheric ozone caused by manufactured chemicals. Twenty-five years after the Montreal Protocol limited the use of ozone depleting chemicals, scientists are... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

This video features NASA scientist Claire Parkinson explaining atmospheric carbon dioxide levels seen in measurements collected at the Mauna Loa observatory since 1958 and recent global model output. The seasonal cycle of plants on land and in the... (View More)

This brief (1:37) video explains the essential Earth science concept of solar radiation - the source of most energy on Earth. ClimateBits videos are designed for Science On a Sphere (SOS) and also available on YouTube. Links are provided to more... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

This brief (1:53) video describes the UV (Ultraviolet) index and presents a visual range of its monthly strength at Earth's surface. The factors that influence that range- the sun's angle, ozone thickness, clouds, air pollution, surface reflection,... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

Students use a dipole magnet and compass to model and map Earth's magnetic field. They then induce a magnetic field to represent a Ring Current in order to observe the response to a fluctuating electric current caused by a solar storm. The lesson... (View More)

This activity demonstrates optical properties of water: that different constituents in water affect the transmission, absorption, and scattering of different colors in the visible light spectrum. Inexpensive, off-the-shelf components are used to... (View More)

In this activity, children use common craft materials and ultraviolet (UV)-sensitive beads to construct a person (or dog or imaginary creature). They use sunscreen, foil, paper, and more to test materials that might protect UV Kid from being exposed... (View More)

In this science-based storybook, students Anita, Simon, and Dennis want to know why the sky isn't always blue. They learn that there's a lot more than air in the atmosphere, which can affect the colors we see in the sky. Four activities accompany... (View More)

This is an online lesson associated with activities during Solar Week, a twice-yearly event in March and October during which classrooms are able to interact with scientists studying the Sun. This activity is scheduled to occur during Monday of... (View More)

This iOS app for iPhone, iPad and iTouch, allows families and educators to investigate and learn about the Sun at home, at school, or anywhere. It provides 13 free, easy to use, hands-on activities, plus live images of the Sun from NASA's SDO... (View More)

This game helps students understand how multiple remote sensing wave bands can be combined to reveal new information about the weather. SciJinks is a joint NASA/NOAA educational website targeting middle school-aged children and their educators. It... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

The bending and scattering of sunlight to create blue skies and red sunsets is explained and illustrated in this article. SciJinks is a joint NASA/NOAA educational website targeting middle school-aged children and their educators. It explores... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

This comic addresses the question "What is color?" Using the Sun as an example, the comic discusses how visible light (white light) contains all the colors of the rainbow. It goes on to describe why our Sun is white, our sky is blue, and why sunsets... (View More)

Two comic characters, Camilla Corona, a rubber chicken, and Colours O'IRIS, a peacock, explore spectrographs. This comic is part of the series Tales from Stanford Solar.

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)

This slide set focuses on the discovery of an intermediate mass black hole in M83. It is one of a series of short, topical presentations on new developments from NASA astrophysics missions, relevant to introductory astronomy topics. These resources... (View More)

This series of laboratory lessons and activities uses authentic solar imagery and data to introduce students to solar science. Students are asked to explore details in imagery, including how to deal with the issues of noise and resolution, and... (View More)

Keywords: Solar activity; Spectra
Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

Emphasizing the synergies between science and engineering, these video clips highlight the research of professional ocean scientists and engineers in various disciplines. The clips are accompanied by additional relevant content including images,... (View More)

Each lesson or activity in this toolkit is related to NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). The toolkit is designed so that each lesson can be done independently, or combined and taught in a sequence. The Teacher Implementation Guide provides... (View More)

In this hands-on activity, learners will build a solar water heater by lining a box with reflective material, adding a translucent cover, and adding water-filled cans that are painted black. The temperature of the water is taken and recorded every... (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. A sunny outdoor location for an extended period of time is required for this activity.

This is a reading associated with activities 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... (View More)

This is an online game associated with activities 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... (View More)

This is an online game associated with activities 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... (View More)

This is a short online reading associated with activities 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... (View More)

This book briefly outlines our current knowledge of how the Sun works and its effects on Earth and the solar system. Learners will read about space weather, solar variability, the heliosphere, Earth’s magnetosphere and upper atmosphere, as well as... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

This is an activity about electromagnetism and the Sun. First, learners will do a KWL activity using six vocabulary words. Next, they will build an electromagnet and investigate how it works. Finally, learners will relate the workings of their... (View More)

This ChemMatters article provides a history of the study of ozone, a description of an experimental simulation called "The World Avoided," a brief introduction to the chemistry of ozone, an explanation of how ozone is measured, and the difference... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

Air traffic (and therefore airplane contrails) was halted nationwide for nearly three days following September 11, 2001. Students will investigate whether that stoppage resulted in any changes to cloud cover, temperature and/or radiation. Using the... (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

Using the MY NASA DATA Live Access Server (LAS), students gather data on both solar radiation and surface temperature for two same-latitude locations. Students then create online graphs of that data to allow for analysis and comparison. This lesson... (View More)

This ChemMatters article provides a brief background on smog, then examines the causes of it, efforts to reduce it, and methods used to measure it. ChemMatters is an educational magazine for high school students.

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

This is an activity about magnetism. Learners will experiment using horseshoe and bar magnets along with various materials in order to identify the effects of magnets on each other and on other materials. This is the third activity as part of the... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

This article explains how Earth's atmosphere scatters the light from the sun, thereby creating the blue color we typically associate with our sky. Supplementing this article is an explanation of the importance of scattering sunlight. The article is... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

This short video (~2 minutes) explains how a raindrop falls through the atmosphere and why a more accurate look at raindrops can improve estimates of global precipitation. This information is important to scientists working on the Global... (View More)

This is a collection of mathematics problems relating to the moons of the solar system. Learners will use simple proportional relationships and work with fractions to study the relative sizes of the larger moons in our solar system, and explore how... (View More)

This series of 11 captioned images depict the harnessing of three types of alternative energy sources: tidal, wind and solar. In contrast, several images of fossil fuel usage are included. The Climate Kids website is a NASA education resource... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

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)

Following a brief introduction to tidal energy, this article discusses the use of tidal generators to convert that energy into electricity. The article also features a description and images of the Invergordon, Scotland tidal energy generator. This... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

The site features an online game in which participants keep recyclable items out of the trash by guiding them into proper bins. Accompanying the game is a list of three categories of items that can be recycled, along with the benefits of doing so.... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

The movement of Arctic air, known as the Arctic oscillation, can and will cause periodic extreme winter weather outside the Arctic region - the harsh winter experienced in many parts of the U.S. in 2010 is a recent example. This article explains the... (View More)

Keywords: Climate change
Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

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.

Intended for use after viewing the Science on a Sphere film "Water Falls," this lesson deepens student's understanding of global precipitation measurement. Students will explore NASA satellite data gathered during Hurricane Sandy to learn how that... (View More)

This toolkit was designed to help presenters - particularly scientists and engineers - easily present to elementary and middle school audiences and feel confident that the information they are presenting is developmentally-appropriate. The site... (View More)

Keywords: Water cycle
Audience: Elementary school, Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

Learners will read or listen to a story about two sisters, Marisol and Sofia, as they explore the Sun's role in the water cycle. Additionally, numerous extension resources are included in the accompanying educator guide, such as suggestions for... (View More)

This collection of activities is based on a weekly series of space science mathematics problems distributed during the 2012-2013 school year. They were intended for students looking for additional challenges in the math and physical science... (View More)

This is an activity about magnetic fields. Learners will use various magnets, magnetic film, and a compass to see and illustrate what magnetic fields look like. This is the fourth activity as part of the iMAGiNETICspace: Where Imagination,... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

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 is an activity about like and unlike charges. Learners will use plastic tape strips to investigate how charges interact. This is the second activity as part of the iMAGiNETICspace: Where Imagination, Magnetism, and Space Collide educator's... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

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)

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)

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)

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

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)

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)

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

This science news story highlights Hubble's infrared image of the Horsehead Nebula. Students will discover why astronomers are interested in this nebula and how they study the nebula using infrared light. Star Witness News is a series of articles,... (View More)

Keywords: Reading

This is a lesson about the solar wind, Earth's magnetosphere, and the Moon. Participants will work in groups of two or three to build a model of the Sun-Earth-Moon system. They will use the model to demonstrate that the Earth is protected from... (View More)

Two comic characters, Camilla Corona, a rubber chicken, and Colours O'IRIS, a peacock, explore questions relating to colors of light from the Sun. This comic is part of the series Tales from Stanford Solar.

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.

Use this interactive model to test how energy used in your home connects to carbon. This is part of Unit 3 of Interactives and Models: Carbon in the Future & You.

Keywords: Carbon use
Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free
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