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The nature of science  
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This activity is designed to introduce students to planetary geologic features and processes. First, students will use NASA satellite images to identify geologic surface features on the "Blue Marble" (Earth), and will explore the connection between... (View More)

Sea floor spreading is demonstrated using a model consisting of two classroom desks and an 8-foot strip of paper. Changes in polarity are indicated using a felt marker. The investigation supports material presented in chapter 3, "What Heats the... (View More)

This resource complements a planetarium experience. However, the accompanying educator's guide and companion guides - with lessons on observing and investigating the Moon - are available to download for independent classroom use. The hands-on... (View More)

In this laboratory activity, students analyze soil samples from their homes to identify soil properties and learn about soil classification. Soils sampled by students from different environments are compared, and students ask questions about the... (View More)

Students will time the flow of water through soils with different properties and measure the amount of water held in these soils. They will also experiment with the filtering ability of soils by testing the pH of the water before and after it passes... (View More)

In this field activity, students learn about the five soil-forming factors and their influence on soil properties such as moisture, temperature, color and texture. They identify factors such as slope, shade, plants and compaction, and investigate... (View More)

In this hands-on activity, students create a model soil profile in a two-liter beverage bottle, time the movement of water through different soils and observe the amount of water held in these soils. They observe the filtering ability of soils by... (View More)

In this hands-on activity, students conduct bottle experiments to learn about the conditions that best facilitate the decomposition of organic material in soil. In the lab, they observe changes in the decomposition of vegetable scraps by varying the... (View More)

This chapter provides an overview of the science of studying the Earth system, with a focus on understanding the connections among phenomena that can be traced through the energy, hydrological and biogeochemical cycles, on a range of time and... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school, Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

This activity is about the use of spectral data to identify mineral composition on Mars. Working in teams, students will compare and contrast spectra to identify similarities between Earth minerals and those from Mars. A short list of suggested... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school, Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free