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Educational Level:
Upper elementary  
Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1  
Instructional Strategies:
Generating and testing hypotheses  
Hands-on learning  
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After reading the accompanying background information, students create an ice core using a tennis ball container and an assortment of dyes and craft supplies. Students measure the thickness and determine the age of each layer. As an extension... (View More)

Explore lunar phases as viewed from Earth using paper plates. While standing in the appropriate spot in the moon's orbit, students hold paper plates that depict the Moon's phase. This activity can be used to assess understanding of lunar phases or... (View More)

Acting as the ICESat-2 satellite, students investigate the reflection of light photons off Earth's surface by catching and recording a number of photons. Using bouncy balls to represent the photons, students drop, let bounce once and try to catch in... (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.

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)

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)

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)

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)

Learners will make a "star finder" toy and play a game to find a constellation in the night sky.

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