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Oceans play a significant role in determining and moderating the effects of energy imbalances. Students will begin this lesson by working with temperature data to reinforce the importance of protocols, practice computing statistical measures of data... (View More)

In this learning activity, students compare changes in insolation with changes in surface temperature in the polar regions using scientific visualizations of global data sets. Links to readings related to the shrinking ice cap and albedo are... (View More)

In this learning activity, students compare polar data from the Arctic and Antarctic, explore Earth’s albedo and its effect on arctic sea ice, and examine graphed data and scientific visualizations of remotely-sensed satellite data. Readings... (View More)

Students will explore time series plots and raw data to understand the role of sea surface temperature increases on arctic ice melt. This is part three of a four-part activity on polar science. The activity builds on the knowledge gained in Using... (View More)

This is a lesson about the science supporting the design and operation of an ion propulsion engine. Learners will study the concepts of formation and discharge of charged particles, attractive and repulsive forces between charged particles, and the... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

This is an activity about measuring angular size and understanding the solar and lunar proportions that result in solar eclipses. Learners will use triangles and proportions to create a shoebox eclipse simulator. They will then apply what they learn... (View More)

Learners will study the essential components and variables of an ion propulsion system. Activities include an on-line ion propulsion engine simulation and design. Included are changes in energy and fuel consumption as a result of variable changes... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

In this activity, students build a simple computer model to determine the black body surface temperature of planets in our solar system: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. Experiments altering the luminosity and... (View More)

Students explore how mathematical descriptions of the physical environment can be fine-tuned through testing using data. In this activity, student teams obtain satellite data measuring the Earth's albedo, and then input this data into a... (View More)

This activity is about planetary climate. Once familiar with the factors that determine a planet's surface temperature, learners will use an interactive spreadsheet model of a planet's atmosphere to determine if greenhouse gases, luminosity of the... (View More)