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The nature of science  
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Activating prior knowledge  
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This curriculum uses an inquiry-based Earth system science approach, and leverages Project BudBurst, a citizen science phenology project, to engage students in authentic research on plant and ecosystem responses to climate change. Students collect... (View More)

This lesson plan teaches how to select the landing site for a planetary surface investigation, using the 5E learning cycle. Students will be able to determine a landing site for their Mars rover; work with their team to summarize information and... (View More)

This is an activity designed to develop a working definition of life. Learners will conduct a simple experiment, looking for signs of life in three different "soil" samples. The experiment introduces children to the difficulty that scientists face... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

This is a set of two improv-style activites that encourage participants to participate in learning about living and nonliving things. Learners will get to know each other through an icebreaker activity and state their ideas and previous experience... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

This activity focuses on how the search for life on Mars is portrayed in fiction and videos. Learners will consider depictions of Mars from science fiction books and video clips. As a group, children discuss what they know about Mars and compare... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

This is an activity about the Moon's influence on Earth. Learners think like a scientist — with reasoning skills and a healthy amount of skepticism — to sort puzzle pieces containing statements about the Moon into two images. The "Far-out Far... (View More)

Learners create edible models of the interior composition of the Earth and Moon. Common food items are used to construct the cores, mantles, and crusts of both planetary objects. They then compare their structure as they are eating their models.... (View More)

Learners color images of the latest scientific data depicting the Moon's formation to create their own comic strips of our Moon's birth. The children use different-colored balls of Play-Doh® to model the impact between Earth and a small planet 4.5... (View More)

This is an activity about the history of the Solar System. Learners work in groups to determine the order of geologic events — such as the formation of the Moon and when the bright crater of Tycho formed — and arrange images depicting those... (View More)

In this activity, students analyze a 2011 article by physicist Dr. Richard Muller addressing the climate change skeptic's claim that the scientific data used to support global warming is poor or unreliable. He headed a two-year study where his... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free per student
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