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The nature of science  
Instructional Strategies:
Identifying similarities and differences  
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This activity's storyline is built around the real-life case study of Dr. Walt Meier, a Sea Ice Scientist from Boulder, Colorado. In the fictional story, the students of Churchill become concerned about wildlife in their region because polar bears... (View More)

Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

This is an activity about detecting elements by using light. Learners will develop and apply methods to identify and interpret patterns to the identification of fingerprints. They look at fingerprints of their classmates, snowflakes, and finally... (View More)

This is a lesson about emission spectra. Learners will look at various light sources (including glow sticks and christmas lights) and make conjectures about their composition. The activity is part of Project Spectra, a science and engineering... (View More)

In this lesson, students read the original paper written by Henrietta Leavitt in which she compared the apparent brightness and period of Cepheid variable stars. The students prepare graphs from numerical data, just as she did, and compare their... (View More)

This is a lesson about the value of exploring our solar system and others in the Universe. Learners will investigate, compare, and describe patterns in Solar System data. They will then hypothesize about the formation of the Solar System based on... (View More)

Audience: High school

In this multi-day activity, students use infrared and visible images of animals and sort them into broad categories based upon the learner's own reasoning and observations of the images. Further explorations reveal that warm and cold-blooded animals... (View More)

This activity is designed to introduce students to planetary geologic features and processes. First, students will use NASA satellite images to identify geologic surface features on the "Blue Marble" (Earth), and will explore the connection between... (View More)

In this activity, students will research weather proverbs, analyze the scientific validity of three weather proverbs and present their reasoning in an essay. As an extension, students may survey 15 senior citizens to determine most frequently heard... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

This is a lesson about the definition of planet. Learners will use direct vocabulary instruction to learn the new definitions of planet, dwarf planet, and asteroid. The publicity generated by the International Astronomical Union’s definition of... (View More)

This is a lesson about using analogues to look for life on other planets. Learners will use the results of previous lessons to write a scientific proposal to explore another planet or moon in our solar system for signs of life. This proposal should... (View More)

Audience: Middle school