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Upper elementary  
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This activity is designed to introduce students to planetary geologic features and processes. First, students will use NASA satellite images to identify geologic surface features on the "Blue Marble" (Earth), and will explore the connection between... (View More)

Learners will use direct vocabulary instruction to learn the new definitions of planet, dwarf planet, and asteroid. The publicity generated by the International Astronomical Union's definition of Pluto as a dwarf planet in 2006 created a teachable... (View More)

In this activity, students quantitatively evaluate the accuracy of a classification and understand a simple difference/error matrix. Students sort birds into three possible classes based on each bird’s beak: carnivores (meat eaters), herbivores... (View More)

Learners will design and conduct experiments to answer the question, "how does distance and inclination affect the amount of heat received from a heat source?" They will measure heat change as a function of distance or viewing angle. From that... (View More)

This is a lesson about radiation and the use of the scientific method to solve problems of too much radiation. Learners will build snow goggles similar to those used by the Inuit (designed to block unwanted light, while increasing the viewer's... (View More)

The effects of volcanoes on both the environment and people are the focus of this investigation. Students are introduced to the term "buffer" and are tasked with creating a possible buffer zone around Mount St. Helens. Students begin by assigning 32... (View More)

This investigation uses three sources of information - images from space, a relief map, and a road map - to analyze the spatial distribution of human settlements. Students will use a nighttime image of the northeastern U.S. to reinforce spatial... (View More)

In this investigation, students are introduced to types of water bodies. Seven types are defined and each is then located on NASA satellite images and maps. Students also use maps to identify and compare bodies of water in their state with those of... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school
Materials Cost: 1 cent - $1 per student

Satellite images of Mercury and Mars are used to illustrate craters and generate a discussion about their cause. After comparing those images with one of Earth, students explore the reason for the lack of visible craters on our planet. The abundance... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school
Materials Cost: 1 cent - $1 per student

The 1992 eruption of Alaska's Mt. Spurr was captured in satellite images along with photographs taken from the Space Shuttle. Students will analyze those images and photos to determine the correlation between different types of data, in this case... (View More)

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