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Earth's energy budget  
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In this problem-based learning activity, students assume roles as members of the Department of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). Your major area of concern is locating areas best for collecting solar power. You will need to evaluate... (View More)

In this activity, students will read a color plot of Earth's absorption of the sun's radiation, and see that solar energy is unevenly distributed across the Earth's surface. The lesson provides detailed procedures, related links and sample graphs,... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school
Materials Cost: Free per student

This textbook chapter introduces Earth’s external energy source, and the nuclear fusion reactions that power the Sun, space weather and space storms. There is an interview with solar scientist, Dr. Janet Luhmann, UC-Berkeley. The resource includes... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

In this textbook chapter, students examine the data from Mauna Loa to see that the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is increasing. The seasonal signal observed in the data is explained by the growth cycle of plants in the Northern... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

This textbook chapter traces the historical development of the modern scientific understanding of light, and reviews the electromagnetic spectrum and the Earth's atmospheric shield. The resource includes links to current news articles, and a suite... (View More)

In this demonstration activity, students make structural models of gas molecules using pipe cleaners and polystyrene balls and test their molecules for their resonant frequency. Students shake the models, count vibrations, and compare the resonance... (View More)

In this activity, students will analyze plots of temperature and radiation data to determine change over time. Step-by-step instructions for use of the MY NASA DATA Live Access Server (LAS) guide students through selecting a data set, importing the... (View More)

In this introductory textbook chapter, energy is defined and its sources, forms, and flow are introduced. Students are introduced to the first law of thermodynamics, conservation of energy. The resource includes links to current news articles, and a... (View More)

This textbook chapter describes the processes through which El Niño and La Niña conditions emerge. The resource includes an animation of ocean currents, and links to current news articles, and a suite of pre- and post-unit assessments. A teacher's... (View More)

In this kinesthetic activity, students take on roles of either photons or gas molecules. Photons signal a change from visible light to infrared with a piece of folded construction paper, simulating absorption by the Earth's surface and reradiation... (View More)