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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) build a light sensor and source, creating a simple spectrophotometer that can measure light absorption. In the second part of this activity, principles of ocean color remote sensing are applied to measure reflectance. Using components that are clearly visible allows students to configure them in different ways. Playing with the instrument design gives students a practical understanding of spectrophotometers, in-water optics, and remote sensing. As an extension of this concept, students are encouraged to think about how ocean color is used to estimate the concentration of chlorophyll to infer phytoplankton abundance, colored dissolved organic matter, and suspended sediments. (View Less)
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) between "good" ozone in the stratosphere vs "bad" ozone in the troposhere. ChemMatters is an educational magazine published by the American Chemical Society. (View Less)
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.
This is a lesson that applys occultations to Saturn's Moon Enceladus. Learners will establish whether Saturn’s small moon, Enceladus, has an atmosphere, whether that atmosphere is over the entire planet, and what creates Saturn’s E-ring. The... (View More) activity is part of Project Spectra, a science and engineering program for middle-high school students, focusing on how light is used to explore the Solar System. (View Less)
This is a journal article and activity/demonstration about navigation in space. Learners will learn about gyroscopes by playing with a spinning bicycle wheel to demonstrate momentum, centripal force and angular momentum. First the spinning wheel is... (View More) held perpendicular to the ground, then parallel to the ground, then it is hung from a string, and finally the wheel is held in the center by at its axle points while the person is on a swivel stool. The results are explained, specific vocabulary is introduced, and questions are presented. The article was originally published in The Technology Teacher, by the International Technology Education Association. (View Less)