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Water is essential to Earth's living system, the biosphere. In this lesson, students determine the types of living things within an outdoor study site, use a taxonomic key to determine the predominant land cover type of their site, then predict the... (View More) amount of water present. Data collection is based on protocols from the GLOBE program. This activity uses the 5E instructional model and is part of the "Survivor Earth" series of one-hour lessons. (View Less)
This article explains the monthly variations in the Moon's appearance as seen from Earth. Directions for using Oreo cookies to illustrate the four major phases of the Moon are provided. The article is targeted to children ages 10-12.
This is an activity about the Moon's influence on Earth. Learners think like a scientist — with reasoning skills and a healthy amount of skepticism — to sort puzzle pieces containing statements about the Moon into two images. The "Far-out Far... (View More) Side" has incorrect statements about the Moon (urban myths), and "True-Blue Blue Moon" has true facts about the Moon’s influence on Earth and life. This activity is part of Explore! Marvel Moon. (View Less)
Learners use a Styrofoam ball, sunlight, and the motions of their bodies to model the Moon's phases outdoors. An extension is to have children predict future Moon phases. This activity is part of Explore! Marvel Moon.
This is an activity about the way the moon interacts with sunlight. Learners consider a ball, wrapped in aluminum foil, and experiment with a flashlight to make it appear bright. The children compare the foil-wrapped ball to a Moon globe and... (View More) discover that the Moon reflects very little of the light the falls on it, but still appears bright. The children construct their own globe of the Moon to take home with them by gluing a map template onto a tennis-ball. This activity is most effective when conducted in a dark area, such as outdoors at night or in a darkened room. This activity is part of Explore! Marvel Moon. (View Less)
Learners read or listen to a cultural story describing a shape identified in the Moon's surface features. Then, they consider how the features formed over the Moon's 4.5-billion-year history and investigate Earth rocks that are similar. Children may... (View More) examine the types of Earth rocks (named anorthosite, basalt, and breccia) that are also found on the Moon and that would have been shaped by the processes explored here. Finally, they draw their own object or character that they see when they look at the Moon. This activity is part of Explore! Marvel Moon. (View Less)
In this kinesthetic activity, students will demonstrate how two spacecraft are able to document a space weather event across the Van Allen radiation belts better than one spacecraft can. Students will graph the data collected by one spacecraft and... (View More) by two spacecraft during a space weather event; compare and contrast the graphical data from one spacecraft and from two spacecraft collected during a space weather event; and explain that space weather events can change from time-to-time and place-to-place across the Van Allen radiation belts, which is why it is helpful to observe them from two spacecraft simultaneously. Includes background science information, student handouts and data collection sheets, teacher answer key, and suggested extensions and adaptations for students with vision or hearing impairments. (View Less)
This is an activity about the way distance, reflectivity, and atmosphere affect the temperature of a planet. Learners will create a planet using a computer game and change features of the planet to increase or decrease the planet's temperature. This... (View More) lesson is part of Project Spectra, a science and engineering education program focusing on how light is used to explore the Solar System. (View Less)
Students begin by determining dew point using an aluminum can, stirring rod, ice and thermometer. Air temperature is also measured and recorded. Students then use those two data in conjunction with the Lifting Condensation Level approximation, to... (View More) estimate the base altitude of visible (low level) clouds. The Students' Cloud Observations On-Line (S'COOL) project engages students in making and reporting ground truth observations of clouds then comparing those observations with data from the CERES satellite instrument. (View Less)
Learners will review what they have learned about scientific and engineering investigation, construct a valid scientific question that can be answered by data and/or modeling, and choose an appropriate mission for their rover that will answer their... (View More) scientific question. The lesson uses the 5E instructional model and includes: TEKS Details (Texas Standards alignment), Essential Question, Science Notebook, Vocabulary Definitions for Students, Vocabulary Definitions for Teachers, four Vocabulary Cards, and supplements on Writing a Scientific Question and Mission Choices. This is lesson 5 of the Mars Rover Celebration Unit, a six week long curriculum. (View Less)