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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)

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)

In this activity, student teams design and conduct a scientific investigation in which they explore the conditions necessary for life. They conduct observations of environmental conditions both indoor and outdoor, and determine the range of... (View More)

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 activity, student teams create a knowledge map of the essential characteristics or factors of a planet with a habitable climate, identifying range of inputs, outputs and variables of a planetary environmental system. Identified... (View More)

In this 2-part inquiry-based lesson, students conduct a literature search to determine the characteristics of the atmospheres of different planets (Venus, Mercury, Mars and Earth). After collecting and analyzing data, student teams design and... (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 activity, students simulate the interaction of variables, including carbon dioxide, in a radiation balance exercise using a spreadsheet-based radiation balance model. Through a series of experiments, students attempt to mimic the surface... (View More)

This is a lesson that uses the study of sunspots to show how a scientific theory develops and how current technology might be used to support it. Learners will use E.W. Maunder's theory regarding the correlation between the numbers of sunspots and... (View More)

This is an activity about the periodicity of the solar cycle. Learners will calculate the number of M-class solar flares as a percentage of the total number of X-ray solar flares and graph these results as a function of time. When compared to a... (View More)

Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free