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The nature of science  
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2 to 4 hours  
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This interactive, online activity traces the history of the telescope from Galileo's first look at the stars to the work of modern observatories. Learners will read about the milestones in telescope development, witness the interplay between... (View More)

Keywords: History of science
Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

This is a lesson about water and water-ice. Learners will explore the molecular geometry and mechanics of ice. They will create a model of H2O, investigate its molecular structure and its consistent shape. Faraday's experiment is used as background.... (View More)

This is a lesson about condensation, snow and snowflakes. Learners will investigate how water and ice exist in the atmosphere as they study water vapor condensing, find that clouds are made of tiny droplets of water, and notice that snow forms in... (View More)

This is a set of lessons about the Moon. Learners will focus on answering the essential question: What are the challenges engineers and scientists are working to solve as NASA prepares to send humans to live and work on the Moon for extended periods... (View More)

In this activity, student teams design small-scale physical models of hot and cold planets, (Venus and Mars), and learn that small scale models allow researchers to determine how much larger systems function. There is both a team challenge and... (View More)

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)

This experiment is about contaminiation. Learners will go through a series of steps in which they will test and observe how detergent breaks up contamination in a guided inquiry. Following this they will complete an open inquiry in which they ask... (View More)

This is a lesson about the amount of atmosphere a planet is likely to have. Learners will look for the relationship between atmospheric mass and other characteristics of the planet. When the results are not completely conclusive, the students... (View More)

Keywords: habitable zone
Audience: Middle school

In this simulation exercise, students determine where to place a hosptial using a classified land cover map to make environmentally sound land use decisions. Results are presented in a mock town hall meeting. A student worksheet is included within... (View More)

In this laboratory activity, students analyze soil samples from their homes to identify soil properties and learn about soil classification. Soils sampled by students from different environments are compared, and students ask questions about the... (View More)