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**Earth and space science**

**Mathematics**

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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) 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)

# Modeling Hot and Cold Planets: Activity C Approximating the Average Surface Temperature of the Earth

In this activity, students explore the importance of adequate sampling strategies when conducting a scientific investigation. They are tasked with determining the average temperature of the Earth, using data sets easily found on the Internet, and... (View More) determine the kind and size of sample necessary to calculate a representative average. The resource includes a student data sheet and an authentic assessment for the module, where students discuss the establishment of a habitation site on Mars. This is Activity C in module 2, titled "Modeling Hot and Cold Planets," 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)

In this activity, student teams learn about research design and design a controlled experiment exploring the relationship between a hypothetical planet, an energy source, and distance. They analyze the data and derive an equation to describe the... (View More) observations. Includes student data sheets, a teacher's guide, and a tutorial on how to use the spreadsheet program Excel. This is Activity A in 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)

In this activity, students quantitatively evaluate the accuracy of a classification and understand a simple difference/error matrix. Students sort birds into three possible classes based on each bird’s beak: carnivores (meat eaters), herbivores... (View More) (plant eaters), and omnivores (meat and plant eaters). Students compare their answers with a given set of validation data and generate a difference/error matrix. Students discuss how to improve their accuracy based on identifying specific mistakes they made as indicated by the difference/error matrix. The resource includes color diagrams of common birds, a data table, and four student activity sheets. The activity is part of the Land Cover/Biology chapter of the GLOBE Teacher's Guide, and is supported by Land Cover/Biology protocols. GLOBE (Global Learning and Observation to Benefit the Environment) is a worldwide, hands-on, K-12 school-based science education program. (View Less)

Materials Cost: $5 - $10 per group of students

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) source, the distance of the planet from the source and the albedo of the planet can be manipulated so that the average surface temperature on Mars or Venus could support human life. Learners will then be asked to make some conclusions about these methods and suggest improvements for the spreadsheet model (see related resources for link to this model). The activity requires use of Microsoft Excel software. This is Activity D in the fourth module, titled "How do Atmospheres Affect Planetary Temperatures?," of "Earth Climate Course: What Determines a Planet's Climate?." (View Less)

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) Earth's climate by considering a set of clues based on Maunder's data. Three activities are included, starting with graphing over 387 years of sunspot data, investigating climate and possible sunspot connections to literature, history and the arts, and, finally, introducing what tree rings can tell us about climate history. (View Less)

In this interactive, online activity, bias is explored when the students decide which of several sampling methods are biased. They see how bias affects the percentage of irregular galaxies determined to be in the sample from the Deep Field. After... (View More) completing this activity students will be able to analyze and identify sampling methods that reduce bias. Student may work independently or in small groups to complete each activity. This activity is apart of the online exploration, Galaxy Hunter. Detailed teacher pages, identified as Teaching Tips on the title pages of the activity, provide science background information, lesson plan ideas, related resources, and alignment with national education standards. (View Less)

In this interactive, online activity students elect a simple random sample to draw conclusions from data as presented in the Hubble Deep Field-North and Hubble Deep Field-South images. The optimal sample size is determined by exploring sample... (View More) variability, which is introduced through a min/max plot. The mean and median are added in order to pinpoint the spot where variability settles down and the measures of central tendency approach a constant value. The point where that first occurs is the smallest reasonable sample size. Students may work independently or in small groups to complete each activity. This interactive online activity is apart of the online exploration "Galaxy Hunter." Detailed teacher pages, identified as Teaching Tips on the title pages of the activity, provide science background information, lesson plan ideas, related resources, and alignment with national education standards. Use sample variability to determine optimal sample size. (View Less)

In this assessment activity, students generate a data sample from either the Hubble Deep Field-North or Hubble Deep Field-South images, and compare the sample to data from the unselected field. This provides students with a real-life example of how... (View More) statistics can be used by scientists. After completing this activity students will be able to compare sample data with the population parameter to determine accuracy of sampling techniques and use statistical data to make conjectures about the universe. This interactive online activity is part of the online exploration “Galaxy Hunter”. Detailed teacher pages, identified as Teaching Tips on the title pages of the activity, provide science background information, lesson plan ideas, related resources, and alignment with national education standards. (View Less)

To determine if data values are reasonable, students need to understand the units of measurement and be able to estimate the expected range of values in data. This activity has groups of students collecting and recording data, changing some of the... (View More) numbers, and challenging each other to identify values that are unreasonable for the data set. Students practice the skills of estimation and recognition of numerical values that are outliers, comparing measurements of common classroom objects and soil moisture. This is a learning activity associated with the Soils Chapter of the GLOBE Teachers Guide. (View Less)