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Earth processes  
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Using the 5-E model, these lessons introduce planets, planetary systems, star types, exoplanets, transits, light curves, and the Planet Hunters citizen science project. Supplemental materials include data/image sheets. Next Generation Science... (View More)

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)

Designed as a five-lesson curriculum to introduce students to limnology, this program explores the structure, history and biology of lakes. Students analyze models, images, and a core sample from a lake case study before engineering a device for... (View More)

This is a lesson about how to answer a scientific or engineering question. Learners will refine the scientific question they generated in Lesson 5 so that it can be answered by data and/or modeling, brainstorm possible solutions for the scientific... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: $1 - $5 per group of students

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)

In this activity, students survey other people to find out their thoughts about life beyond Earth and compare their ideas with visitors to the Cosmic Questions exhibit. Students can also analyze their survey data to see whether there is any... (View More)

Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

Students will be introduced to different species of macroinvertebrates. They will hypothesize why each insect looks the way it does. Then students will make observations of macroinvertebrates in an aquarium in their classroom. For an optional... (View More)

In this activity, student teams design small-scale physical models of hot and cold planets, (Venus and Mars), and learn that small scale models allow researchers to determine how much larger systems function. There is both a team challenge and... (View More)

In this activity, student teams learn about research design and design a controlled experiment exploring the relationship between a hypothetical planet, an energy source, and distance. They analyze the data and derive an equation to describe the... (View More)

This is a lesson where learners explore magnetic forces, fields, and the relationship between electricity. Learners will use this information to infer how the Earth generates a protective magnetic field. The lesson models scientific inquiry using... (View More)

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