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This is a website that serves as an online textbook to tell the story of William Gilbert, English physicist during the time of Queen Elizabeth I, and the history of the discovery of Earth's magnetism. Learners can read about historical studies of... (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 misconceptions relating to seasons. Learners will answer survey questions which specifically assess common misconceptions regarding the seasons, and learners are also encouraged to give the same survey questions to friends... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free per group of students

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 a lesson plan for an activity illustrating the reasons for the seasons. Learners predict sunrise, noon, and sunset positions on the dates of the equinoxes and solstices, observe these positions in a planetarium, plot their data on graphs,... (View More)

In this activity, learners will discuss possible reasons for the seasons, create a list of suggested factors, test these factors in research groups, and report their findings in a symposium format. This is Activity B-9 of Universe at Your Fingertips... (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)

This is an activity about how the Earth's axial tilt causes its seasons. Learners will make a model using polystyrene spheres and a light bulb to represent the Earth-Sun system, showing why the tilt of the Earth’s spin axis causes its seasons due... (View More)

Keywords: NSTA2013
Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: $1 - $5 per student

This is an activity about seasons. Learners will analyze monthly temperature data from various cities around the globe in order to dispel the misconception that the distance between Earth and Sun may be responsible for the seasons. This is Activity... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free per group of students

This is an activity about the rotation of the Sun. Learners examine images of the Sun taken by the Yohkoh satellite, use a grid overlay to mark the positions of the sunspots, and then calculate the rate at which the spots move to determine the... (View More)