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This article explains the causes of the summer and winter solstice. It also includes notes about the historical importance of solstices. SciJinks is a joint NASA/NOAA educational website targeting middle school-aged children and their educators. It... (View More)

Keywords: Solstice
Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

This article explains the role of the tilt of Earth's axis on seasonal changes. An accompanying exploration dispels the commonly held misconception that distances between the sun and Earth are a factor. The article is targeted to children ages 10-12.

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

In this self-paced tutorial, learners examine data to determine the relative contribution of what we call natural climate cycles and that of human-caused greenhouse gases to contemporary climate change. Changes in the Earth-Sun geometry over time... (View More)

In this activity, students will examine line plots of NASA data and see that the sun heats up land, air, and water. Students will practice drawing conclusions based on graphed data of cloudy vs. clear sky observations. The lesson provides detailed... (View More)

In this data analysis activity, Students will plot and analyze a time series of data for high cloud coverage from a specified location (home or school) and determine whether or not a seasonal pattern exists. The lesson includes step-by-step... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free per student

In this data analysis activity, students connect the idea of the tilt and orbit of the earth (changing of seasons) with monthly snow/ice data. The lesson includes step-by-step instructions for use of the MY NASA DATA Live Access Server (LAS),... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school
Materials Cost: Free per student

In this data analysis activity, students compare near surface temperature at the time of the solstices in two different hemispheres, and see how the tilt of the Earth's axis in relationship to the Sun contributes to temperature differences across... (View More)

Keywords: Tilt; Earth axis; Solstice
Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free per student

In this activity, students use mathematics to understand tides and gravitation and how gravity works across astronomical distances, using an apparatus made from a slinky, meter stick, and a hook. A description of the mathematical relationships seen... (View More)

How effective would solar cells be in any particular area of the United States? In this activity, students answer that question by analyzing graphs of incoming solar radiation. Students will download two solar radiation graphs, one based on latitude... (View More)

Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

In this problem set, learners will compare actual versus computer track of a solar eclipse in Babylonian times to calculate the rate at which the day is lengthening over time. Answer key is provided. This is part of "Earth Math: A Brief Mathematical... (View More)

Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free
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