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Educational Level:
Upper elementary  
Topics/Subjects:
Life sciences  
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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)

After reading aloud a text on life in extreme environments, students will discuss what life is and the requirements of life. Groups of students will conduct an experiment of their choosing on chia seeds to explore how extreme environments affect the... (View More)

Keywords: Mars; Literacy; Reading

By matching maps of snow and ice amounts with maps of net radiation flux for the same time frame, students will use the Live Access Server to explore how the net radiation flux has affected the snow and ice amounts in the Northern Hemisphere, as... (View More)

Keywords: Authentic data use
Audience: Elementary school, Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

In this lesson, learners will discover how certain snakes (pit-vipers) can find prey using a natural infrared sensor and will extend their understandings by exploring infrared technology applications. The lesson features background information for... (View More)

In this multi-day activity, students use infrared and visible images of animals and sort them into broad categories based upon the learner's own reasoning and observations of the images. Further explorations reveal that warm and cold-blooded animals... (View More)

In this activity, students are introduced to the importance of maintaining biodiversity and to citizen science. The resource includes three student worksheets, a data sheet, answer keys, and Web links. This is Lesson 2 in Biodiversity, part of... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school, Middle school
Materials Cost: Free per student

This is a lesson about the definition of life. Learners will compare real and fake or live and dead objects and brainstorm ideas about what life is; refine the definition by playing 20 Questions to identify an object or organism; and test the... (View More)

This is a lesson about organisms living under extreme conditions on Earth serving as analogs for extraterrestrial life. Learners will play a card game to create a set by matching an extremophile, an extreme habitat on Earth, and an extraterrestrial... (View More)

In this activity, learners will explore the question, What is the chance that we are the only life in the universe? They determine what we need to know to predict the chances of extraterrestrial life. They then make estimates of the number of worlds... (View More)

This is a lesson about the requirements for life on another planet. Learners will grow organisms in one of 12 classroom environments and identify common requirements (such as water, nutrients, and energy). They will also design a mission to identify... (View More)

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