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Covering some 70 percent of Earth's surface, clouds play a key role in our planet's well-being. But how do they form, why are there so many types, and what clues can they give us about the weather and climate to come? Try your hand at classifying clouds and investigating the role they play in severe...
Grade Level   6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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2
Published in 2015
We're heading out of this world to compare atmospheric compositions of the other planets in the solar system, as well as our own. Practically every other planet in our solar system can be considered to have an atmosphere, apart from perhaps the extremely thin, transient atmosphere of Mercury, with...
Grade Level   3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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3
Published in 2011
The strongest and most consistent winds are found in the jet stream as high as 30,000 feet above the earth. In this video from QUEST produced by KQED, learn about the benefits and challenges of wind energy and the similarities and differences between conventional and airborne wind turbines.
Grade Level   6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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4
Learn about the role of greenhouse gases in climate change with resources from the NLM's Environmental Health Student Portal. The greenhouse gases web page provides basic information for middle level students about greenhouse gases and the human activities that increase them, links to news articles...
Grade Level   6 7 8
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5
This site provides ranking tasks for teaching introductory astronomy. Pensil-and-paper versions as well as computer-based versions are available grouped by topic. New materials will be added as the computer-based versions are completed. It is anticipated that the pencil-and-paper versions will be...
Grade Level   9 10 11 12
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6
WeatherSTEM provides a highly customizable alert platform that responds to a wide variety of current and forecasted conditions. Keep your location safe with alerts for nearby lightning, dangerous heat conditions, freeze forecasts, or any other sensor-related events. Personalized notifications can be...
Grade Level   9 10 11 12
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7
A tropical storm is brewing in the Atlantic Ocean. It's causing rain and thunderstorms over the Caribbean, and it will soon be a tropical depression — the beginning of a hurricane. By the time Hurricane Mitch leaves the Central America, more than 11-000 people will be dead and as many as...
Grade Level   8 9 10 11 12
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8
In this activity, you will explore local rocks for signs of the Rock Cycle, the sequence of making and breaking down rocks.
Grade Level   5 6
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9
Earth's temperature is set, in part, by a balance between incoming radiation energy from the Sun and outgoing radiation energy into space. If more energy comes in than leaves, Earth's temperature will rise, and vice versa. The atmosphere plays a big role in this balance. In this activity, you will...
Grade Level   6 7 8
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10
The greenhouse effect is the name scientists use to describe how heat accumulates in Earth's atmosphere. A majority of the energy from the Sun arrives at Earth as visible radiation. This energy passes through our atmosphere and warms Earth's surface. The warmed surface re-emits invisible infrared...
Grade Level   6 7 8
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11
Sunlight is constantly falling on Earth. At the same time, Earth is losing energy to the cold emptiness of outer space. In this activity, you will use a computer model to explore what happens to the Sun's energy when it strikes Earth.
Grade Level   6 7 8
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12
Heat islands result when people alter their surroundings, substituting man-made asphalt roads, tar roofs, and other features for vegetation. Trees and other plants provide shade and cool the air through evapotranspiration. Hard, dark surfaces like pavement store heat during the day. That heat is...
Grade Level   6 7 8
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13
Windmills have been used for hundreds of years to collect energy from the wind. They have been used to pump water, to grind grain, and -, more recently -, to generate electricity. In some modern wind generators, the blades are very thin. But there are many possible designs, and engineers are always...
Grade Level   3 4
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14
Students are introduced to the concept of air quality by investigating the composition, properties, atmospheric layers, and everyday importance of air. They explore the sources and effects of visible and invisible air pollution. Looking at models and mas, they explore the consequences of pollutant...
Grade Level   4 5 6
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15
Check out this site to learn more about news and information about the Sun-Earth environment, from solar storms to sunspots to near earth asteroids.
Grade Level   9 10 11 12
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16
This FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) website attempts to address various questions regarding hurricanes, typhoons, and tropical cyclones that have been posed to us as hurricane researchers over the years. While it is not intended to be a technical guide, references are given throughout the FAQ for...
Grade Level   K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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17
To measure ozone in the Earth's atmosphere, NASA built the approximately 6-500-pound Aura satellite. The spacecraft carries four high-tech instruments that scan the globe from more than 700 kilometers above the planet. For students, there is an easy way to investigate ozone in their own...
Grade Level   6 7 8 9
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18
Why is CO2 increasing in the atmosphere? Who is doing it? Many people think that CO2 is “pollution-” so that clean burning should be a way to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions. In this demonstration, we review basic chemistry (see illustration) to realize that producing CO2 is an...
Grade Level   6 7 8
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19
The National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL) has resources, activities, games, and links to teach elementary and middle level students about staying safe in severe weather such as tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, lightning, and winter storms. In addition to Owlie Skywarn coloring sheets, teachers can...
Grade Level   K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
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20
This lesson focuses on devices that are used to detect air pollution. Teams of students construct outdoor air pollution detectors from everyday materials. They then test their devices to see how much particulate pollutants they can capture.
Grade Level   3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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