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This is an activity about the way distance, albedo, 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. They will... (View More)

This is an activity about how much atmospheric pressure is needed on Mars to maintain surface water and why the planet does not have surface water today. Learners will use a computer interactive to learn about Mars past and present before exploring... (View More)

Keywords: Triple Point; Climate

In this introductory textbook chapter, energy is defined and its sources, forms, and flow are introduced. Students are introduced to the first law of thermodynamics, conservation of energy. The resource includes links to current news articles, and a... (View More)

This textbook chapter describes the processes through which El Niño and La Niña conditions emerge. The resource includes an animation of ocean currents, and links to current news articles, and a suite of pre- and post-unit assessments. A teacher's... (View More)

In this textbook chapter, students review concepts of matter and energy as a precursor to understand how carbon dioxide traps heat in the atmosphere. This is the second chapter in the unit, Climate Change, which addresses the question of how human... (View More)

In this textbook chapter, students are introduced to the study of tectonics through an exploration of the 1980 eruption of Mt. St. Helens, including an interview with geomorphologist Dr. Danny Vaughn, Indiana State University. The flow of energy,... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

This is a lesson that applys occultations to Saturn's Moon Enceladus. Learners will establish whether Saturn’s small moon, Enceladus, has an atmosphere, whether that atmosphere is over the entire planet, and what creates Saturn’s E-ring. The... (View More)

This is a math-science integrated unit about spectrographs. Learners will find and calculate the angle that light is transmitted through a holographic diffraction grating using trigonometry. After finding this angle, the students will build their... (View More)

Audience: High school

This is a lesson about determining planetary composition. Learners will use a reflectometer to determine which minerals are present (from a set of knowns) in a sample of Mars soil simulant. Requires the use of ALTA II spectrometers (which may be... (View More)

Learners will compare known elemental spectra with spectra of Titan and Saturn’s rings from a spectrometer aboard the NASA Cassini spacecraft. They identify the elements visible in the planetary and lunar spectra. The activity is part of Project... (View More)

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