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This activity demonstrates optical properties of water: that different constituents in water affect the transmission, absorption, and scattering of different colors in the visible light spectrum. Inexpensive, off-the-shelf components are used to... (View More) build a light sensor and source, creating a simple spectrophotometer that can measure light absorption. In the second part of this activity, principles of ocean color remote sensing are applied to measure reflectance. Using components that are clearly visible allows students to configure them in different ways. Playing with the instrument design gives students a practical understanding of spectrophotometers, in-water optics, and remote sensing. As an extension of this concept, students are encouraged to think about how ocean color is used to estimate the concentration of chlorophyll to infer phytoplankton abundance, colored dissolved organic matter, and suspended sediments. (View Less)
The effects of gravity on near-surface objects and those in Earth orbit are explored in this activity. A brief explanation, links to three related videos, a teacher's guide and short assessment are included.
Air traffic (and therefore airplane contrails) was halted nationwide for nearly three days following September 11, 2001. Students will investigate whether that stoppage resulted in any changes to cloud cover, temperature and/or radiation. Using the... (View More) MY NASA DATA Live Access Server (LAS), students gather satellite data on each of the three atmospheric parameters around that time frame. Working in teams, they read, compare and discuss two accompanying articles, then use the data from the LAS to create a PowerPoint presentation contending whether it was the lack of contrails or simply natural weather patterns at the time that was responsible for the increase in the range of temperatures. This lesson uses student- and citizen science-friendly microsets of authentic NASA Earth system science data from the MY NASA DATA project. It includes detailed procedures, analysis questions, teacher notes, related links, background information, lesson extensions, and a list of related AP Environmental Science topics. (View Less)
Using the MY NASA DATA Live Access Server (LAS), students gather data on both solar radiation and surface temperature for two same-latitude locations. Students then create online graphs of that data to allow for analysis and comparison. This lesson... (View More) uses student- and citizen science-friendly microsets of authentic NASA Earth system science data from the MY NASA DATA project. It includes detailed procedures, analysis questions, teacher notes, related links, background information, lesson extensions, and a list of related AP Environmental Science topics. (View Less)
Intended for use prior to viewing the Science on a Sphere film "Water Falls," this lesson introduces students to Earth's water cycle and the importance of freshwater resources.
Intended for use after viewing the Science on a Sphere film "Water Falls," this lesson deepens student's understanding of global precipitation measurement. Students will explore NASA satellite data gathered during Hurricane Sandy to learn how that... (View More) data was essential in helping scientists forecast its path and precipitation amounts. All background information, student worksheets and images/photographs/data are included in these downloadable sections: Teacher’s Guide, Student Capture Sheet, Assessment and PowerPoint Presentation. (View Less)
In this lesson students investigate the effects of black carbon on arctic warming and are introduced to a mechanism of arctic warming that is not directly dependent on greenhouse gases in the atmosphere: black carbon deposition on Arctic snow and... (View More) ice. It can also be used to introduce the concept of albedo. Prerequisite knowledge: students understand the concepts of absorption and reflection of light energy. This lesson is designed to be used with either an Earth/environmental science or chemistry curriculum. It may also be used as an enrichment activity in physics or physical science during a unit on energy. Includes suggested modifications for students with special needs and low technology option. Requires advance preparation, including freezing ice samples overnight. (View Less)
This lesson was developed to give participants an understanding of Earth's water cycle. In this one-hour long activity, students participate in a webquest to learn about the water cycle, and then build a mini-model of the water cycle to observe how... (View More) water moves through Earth's four systems. The activity uses the 5E instructional model and is part of the "Survivor Earth" series of one-hour lessons. (View Less)
In this activity, participants learn about the hydrosphere by making observations and taking measurements. They will go outside and use scientific equipment to investigate temperature, pH and transparency of a body of water. They will use this... (View More) qualitative and quantitative data to understand why it is important to know about the condition of freshwater sources in many places in the natural environment and how these places are connected in the water cycle. 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)
In this problem-based learning activity, students assume roles as members of the Department of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). Your major area of concern is locating areas best for collecting solar power. You will need to evaluate... (View More) locations in the Northern Hemisphere and Southern Hemisphere, and decide which is the best location for solar energy development. Step-by-step instructions for use of the MY NASA DATA Live Access Server (LAS) guide students through selecting a data set, importing the data into a spreadsheet, creating graphs, and analyzing data plots. The lesson provides detailed procedures, related links and sample graphs, follow-up questions, extensions, and teacher notes. Designed for student use, MY NASA DATA LAS samples micro datasets from large scientific data archives, and provides structured investigations engaging students in exploration of real data to answer real world questions. (View Less)