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Upper elementary  
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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)

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)

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)

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

Common materials such as sand, gravel, pebbles, shells, etc. are used to represent crustal materials from an unknown planet. Students begin by sorting, classifying, and making observations about the sample. Using that information, they must then... (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. Outside of Solar Week, information, activities, and... (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 is a lesson about research tools and skills. Learners will explore the features of Mars through a demonstration of Google Earth Mars, gather, and analyze data from multiple sources on the internet as well as print sources, develop and use... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school
Materials Cost: Free
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