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This is a lesson about the field of astrobiology, the study of life in the universe, and ice as a preservative for evidence of life. Learners will consider the relationship between ice and life as they investigate the conditions required for life to... (View More) exist and sustain itself. They will study the impact of freezing on microbes and life processes and will learn about extremophiles, organisms that live in extreme conditions. Activities include small group miming, speaking, drawing, and/or writing. This is lesson 8 of 12 in the unit, Exploring Ice in the Solar System. (View Less)
This lithograph traces the emergence and color change of an Earth-sized storm on Jupiter. The storm appears to be the same color as Jupiter's trademark Great Red Spot and has been dubbed Red Spot Jr. In the accompanying educational activity, In... (View More) Search of...Monster Storms, students compare Jupiter's storms with those of Earth through a level 1 inquiry activity using the images and text from the lithograph and other resources. A level 1 inquiry activity can help prepare students to become independent thinkers. (View Less)
This is a lesson about society and space exploration. Learners will survey the public about their different opinions about space exploration and the use of robotics in space exploration. Then they will represent and analyze the results. This is... (View More) lesson 5 of 16 in the MarsBots learning module. (View Less)
Learners will explore the concept of parallax (the apparent displacement of an object caused by a change in the viewer’s position) and then simulate the discovery of Pluto with a Blink Comparator via an online interactive.
This is a lesson about phase changes. Learners will observe ice melting and freezing under a variety of conditions and relate that to the Messenger mission. This is lesson 1 of 12 in Exploring Ice in the Solar System.
This is a detailed historical lesson about comets, distant icy worlds often visible to observers on Earth. Learners will consider the essential question, "What are comets?" They will practice observation and "noticing" skills as they enact a story... (View More) of comets travelling through the solar system and examine images of comets and the current space missions exploring them. This is lesson 10 of 12 in the unit, Exploring Ice in the Solar System. (View Less)
This is a lesson about displacement, buoyancy, and density. Learners will understand why ice floats. Includes background information, teacher notes, assessment criteria, and related resources; activities are differentiated for Pre-K-grade 2 and... (View More) grades 3-5. This is lesson 4 of the unit Exploring Ice in the Solar System. (View Less)
This is an activity about the Kp index, a quantification of fluctuations in the Earth's magnetic field due to the relative strength of a magnetic storm. Learners will take a reading from a magnetometer site and make a Kp index estimate to predict... (View More) whether or not an aurora display will occur near that site. This resource is designed to support student analysis of THEMIS (Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms) Magnetometer line-plot data. This activity requires the use of a computer with Internet access. This is activity 18 in Exploring Magnetism: Earth’s Magnetic Personality. (View Less)
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) distance to the light source will allow students to determine the energy reaching the object and its black body temperature. The activity builds on student outcomes from activity A, "Finding a Mathematical Description of a Physical Relationship." It also supports inquiry into a real-world problem, the effect of urban heat islands and deforestation on climate. Includes a teacher's guide, student worksheets, and an Excel tutorial. This is Activity B of module 3, titled "Using Mathematic Models to Investigate Planetary Habitability," of the resource, Earth Climate Course: What Determines a Planet's Climate? The course aims to help students to develop an understanding of our environment as a system of human and natural processes that result in changes that occur over various space and time scales. (View Less)
Students explore how mathematical descriptions of the physical environment can be fine-tuned through testing using data. In this activity, student teams obtain satellite data measuring the Earth's albedo, and then input this data into a... (View More) spreadsheet-based radiation balance model, GEEBITT. They validate their results against published the published albedo value of the Earth, and conduct similar comparisons Mercury, Venus and Mars. The resource includes an Excel spreadsheet tutorial, an investigation, student data sheets and a teacher's guide. Students apply their understanding to the real life problem of urban heat islands and deforestation. The activity links builds on student outcomes from activities A and B: "Finding a Mathematical Description of a Physical Relationship," and "Making a Simple Mathematical Model." This is Activity C in module 3, Using Mathematical Models to Investigate Planetary Habitability, of the resource, Earth Climate Course: What Determines a Planet's Climate? The course aims to help students to develop an understanding of our environment as a system of human and natural processes that result in changes that occur over various space and time scales. (View Less)