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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)

In this lesson, learners review the basic requirements for human survival. Learners will use an online, multimedia module, to which they make changes to Earth's layers and draw conclusions about the geologic conditions that are necessary for human... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school, Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

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

Students compare soils sampled from different environments and describe their color, texture, and composition. Samples of different soils are mixed with water in small vials, and water soil profiles are compared for difference in particle size and... (View More)

The impacts of natural disasters are described in imaginary pen pal letters from peers who reside in the pathways of four authentic natural disasters: a volcanic lava flow in Hawaii, a volcanic ash cloud in Russia, a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school
Materials Cost: 1 cent - $1

This activity is about the study of planetary samples. Learners will use samples of crustal material to sort, classify, and make observations about an unknown planet. From their observations, students will interpret the geologic history of their... (View More)

Working in teams of two, learners will observe the characteristics of and classify crustal material samples. They will then infer causes for the characteristics of the different samples and the history of the "mystery" planet they originate from.... (View More)

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