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Topics/Subjects:
Earth processes  
Learning Time:
2 to 4 hours  
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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, 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)

In this lesson, learners explore the steps in the carbon cycle and draw conclusions about the importance of the carbon cycle in the planetary temperature system. The lesson models scientific inquiry using the 5E instructional model and includes... (View More)

Keywords: Carbon cycle
Audience: Elementary school, Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

In this activity, students explore the importance of adequate sampling strategies when conducting a scientific investigation. They are tasked with determining the average temperature of the Earth, using data sets easily found on the Internet, and... (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 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)

This is a lesson where learners trace the path that atoms take as they change form and move throughout the cycle of matter and compare this to the flow of energy. The lesson models scientific inquiry using the 5E instructional model and includes... (View More)

Keywords: Biology
Audience: Elementary school, Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

In this activity, students pose several hypotheses for what will happen if you continue heating or supplying energy to the hot and cold planet models (Mercury, Mars, Venus, and Earth) and then test their hypotheses using a spreadsheet based... (View More)

In this kinesthetic activity, the concept of energy budget is strengthened as students conduct three simulations using play money as units of energy, and students serve as parts of a planetary radiation balance model. Students will determine the... (View More)

In this problem-based learning activity, students learn about weather forecasting and the role of the TRMM (Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission) satellite in data collection. Assuming the role of climatologists, students assist a reporter in... (View More)