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Earth Science

Classroom Activities


Atmosphere

Dimming the Sun
In "Investigating Evaporation," students investigate atmospheric variables that affect evaporation. Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Everest -- The Death Zone
In "The O2 Factor," students determine the concentration of oxygen in the air. Grades 6-8.

Lightning!
In "Indoor Lightning," students observe the spark effect of static electricity. Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Venus Unveiled
In "How Warm Is Too Warm?," students debate two models of the greenhouse effect. Grades 6-8, 9-12.


Earthquakes

Day the Earth Shook, The
In "Shake, Rattle, and Roll," students explore structural engineering through three design challenges. Grades 6-8.

Deadly Shadow of Vesuvius
In "Where on Earth," students collect data and create maps to observe the relationship among volcanoes, earthquakes, and lithospheric plates. Grades 3-5, 6-8.

Killer Quake!
In "House of Cards," students gain experience with the concepts involved in constructing an earthquake-proof building. Grades 6-8.

Volcano's Deadly Warning
In "Sine Wave Science," students explore constructive and destructive interference of sine waves and plot a complex wave. Grades 9-12.

Wave That Shook the World
In "Tracking Tsunamis," students calculate approximate speeds and travel times for three sample tsunamis. Grades 6-8, 9-12.


Geology

Avalanche!
In "Slip Sliding Away," students layer materials to mimic the strong and weak layers within a snowpack and then cause an avalanche to occur. Grades 6-8.

Deadly Shadow of Vesuvius
In "Where on Earth," students collect data and create maps to observe the relationship among volcanoes, earthquakes, and lithospheric plates. Grades 3-5, 6-8.

Fall of the Leaning Tower
In "Hold It Up," students experiment with different soil structures and measure the ability of each to carry a specific load. Grades 6-8.

Hawaii Born of Fire
In "Evolution in Isolation," students explore environmental factors involved in evolution of plant and animal life on Hawaiian volcanic islands. Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Journey to Kilimanjaro
In "How Is a Mountain Like an Island?," students learn how to use analogies to make comparisons. Grades 3-5, 6-8.

Mystery of the Megavolcano
In "CSI: Ashfall Fossil Beds," students use volcanic ash data to determine the source of a possible supervolcanic eruption that occurred in the western United States. Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Origins: Earth is Born
In "The Hunt for Micrometeorites," students collect and identify micrometeorites from space. Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Volcano's Deadly Warning
In "Sine Wave Science," students explore constructive and destructive interference of sine waves and plot a complex wave. Grades 9-12.

Wave That Shook the World
In "Tracking Tsunamis," students calculate approximate speeds and travel times for three sample tsunamis. Grades 6-8, 9-12.


Meteorology

Arctic Passage
In "Icy Survival," students plan a survival pack for severe Antarctic weather. Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Avalanche!
In "Slip Sliding Away," students layer materials to mimic the strong and weak layers within a snowpack and then cause an avalanche to occur. Grades 6-8.

Chasing El Niño
In "Forecasting Folklore," students formulate a question and design an experiment to evaluate the accuracy of weather folklore. Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Dimming the Sun
In "Investigating Evaporation," students investigate atmospheric variables that affect evaporation. Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Flood!
In "Overflowing the Banks," students construct a model of a river system with levees to investigate how floodwalls can cause flooding in smaller tributaries. Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Hunt for the Supertwister
In "Spotting Tornadoes," identify the best time of year and place to position spotters to see possible tornado outbreaks. Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Lightning!
In "Indoor Lightning," students observe the spark effect of static electricity. Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Mountain of Ice
In "Secrets in the Ice," students graph and analyze sodium, chloride, and sulfate ion concentrations collected from an ice core to learn about past atmospheric conditions. Grades 6-8, 9-12.

NOVA scienceNOW: Hurricanes
In "Wetlands and Hurricanes," students learn from a teacher demonstration how wetlands reduce the intensity of a hurricane. Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Storm That Drowned a City
In "Wetlands and Hurricanes," students watch a teacher demonstration modeling how wetlands can help reduce a hurricane's impact and describe what the model represents. Grades 6-8.

Warnings from the Ice
In "Icy Survival," students consider what they would need in a survival pack to protect their body temperature, ensure a source of fluids, and ensure a source of calories if stranded in severe weather. Grades 6-8.

What's Up With the Weather?
In "Temperature Trends," students use a statistical analysis technique, the moving average, to search for meaningful trends in regional raw temperature data. Grades 6-8, 9-12.


Natural Disasters

Avalanche!
In "Slip Sliding Away," students layer materials to mimic the strong and weak layers within a snowpack and then cause an avalanche to occur. Grades 6-8.

Day the Earth Shook, The
In "Shake, Rattle, and Roll," students explore structural engineering through three design challenges. Grades 6-8.

Deadly Shadow of Vesuvius
In "Where on Earth," students collect data and create maps to observe the relationship among volcanoes, earthquakes, and lithospheric plates. Grades 3-5, 6-8.

Fire Wars
In "Where Growth Meets Growth," students identify risk factors for a property located near a wildland area. Grades 3-5, 6-8.

Fire Wars
In "Fire Season Statistics," students extrapolate information and further questions for investigation from year 2000 fire season statistics. Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Flood!
In "Overflowing the Banks," students construct a model of a river system with levees to investigate how floodwalls can cause flooding in smaller tributaries. Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Hunt for the Supertwister
In "Spotting Tornadoes," identify the best time of year and place to position spotters to see possible tornado outbreaks. Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Killer Quake!
In "House of Cards," students gain experience with the concepts involved in constructing an earthquake-proof building. Grades 6-8.

Mystery of the Megavolcano
In "CSI: Ashfall Fossil Beds," students use volcanic ash data to determine the source of a possible supervolcanic eruption that occurred in the western United States. Grades 6-8, 9-12.

NOVA scienceNOW: Hurricanes
In "Wetlands and Hurricanes," students learn from a teacher demonstration how wetlands reduce the intensity of a hurricane. Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Storm That Drowned a City
In "Wetlands and Hurricanes," students watch a teacher demonstration modeling how wetlands can help reduce a hurricane's impact and describe what the model represents. Grades 6-8.

Wave That Shook the World
In "Tracking Tsunamis," students calculate approximate speeds and travel times for three sample tsunamis. Grades 6-8, 9-12.


Navigation

Lost at Sea -- The Search for Longitude
In "Voyage Around the World," students research and chart the shortest course to circumnavigate the globe. Grades 6-8.


Volcanoes

Deadly Shadow of Vesuvius
In "Where on Earth," students collect data and create maps to observe the relationship among volcanoes, earthquakes, and lithospheric plates. Grades 3-5, 6-8.

Hawaii Born of Fire
In "Evolution in Isolation," students explore environmental factors involved in evolution of plant and animal life on Hawaiian volcanic islands. Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Mystery of the Megavolcano
In "CSI: Ashfall Fossil Beds," students use volcanic ash data to determine the source of a possible supervolcanic eruption that occurred in the western United States. Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Volcano Above the Clouds
In "Climbing Kilimanjaro," students develop a travelogue to describe the distinct ecological regions of Mount Kilimanjaro. Grades 3-5, 6-8.

Volcano's Deadly Warning
In "Sine Wave Science," students explore constructive and destructive interference of sine waves and plot a complex wave. Grades 9-12.


Teacher's Guides by Subject Earth Science
Earth Science
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