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Earth and space science  
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This investigation introduces students to the phenomena of urban heat islands, areas of higher then normal temperatures associated with populated areas. Using Atlanta, Ga., as the study site, students begin by analyzing the population growth and... (View More)

Remote sensing, using Thermal Infrared Multispectral Scanner (TIMS) data, has lead to the discovery of previously unknown roads in the canyon area of New Mexico once occupied by the Anasazi culture. Students will use those images, along with maps... (View More)

Worldwide patterns and sources of aerosols are analyzed and evaluated for potential hazards to aircraft safety. Using aerosol index maps created from data gathered by the TOMS instrument, student groups will analyze and compare aerosol data from... (View More)

This is an activity about seasonal variations in day length. Learners will graph the number of daylight hours in each month in cities around the world and compare results. They will also gain an understanding of the meaning of the term equinox... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free per student

This is an activity about identifying and comparing the Earth’s seasons. Learners will write paragraphs depicting scenes or events that have recognizable season-related elements, without revealing the intended name. The group will then play a game... (View More)

This is an activity about the planet Mars. Learners will create cratered surface models illustrating different lengths of time. Then, they will compare their models with three different surface images of Mars, placing these images in order from... (View More)

This is an activity about sampling specifically in astronomy. Learners will make a sampling window in order to estimate the number of stars in the sky visible to the unaided eye. After, they will discuss how to estimate the effect of different... (View More)

This is an activity about understanding how the Earth’s axial tilt changes the angle at which sunlight hits the Earth, contributing to the variations in temperature throughout the seasons. Learners will create a sun angle analyzer in order to see... (View More)

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

This is an activity about the shape of the Earth’s orbit. Learners will first use elements of the orbit of Earth and Pluto and an apparatus using string, a pencil, and pushpins to accurately draw an ellipse, showing the nearly circular shape of... (View More)

This is an activity about the size and scale of the Sun-Earth system. Learners will take an imaginary trip to the Sun by comparing images of the Sun and Earth at different points in altitude above the Earth. This is to ultimately conceptualize the... (View More)