1
The ocean is the key element in Earth's hydrologic cycle (water cycle). Students will construct a simple model of the hydrologic cycle to help them visualize and understand the movement of liquid water and heat. The hydrologic cycle is the continual movement of water from one place to another and...
Grade Level   K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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2
Students will map the patterns of the major ocean currents as well as the influence of wind, water temperature, land masses, and water density on those currents. Students observe what happens to pieces of an herb sprinkled into a pan of water. After the activity, the students can discuss why the...
Grade Level   5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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3
One of the issues surrounding wildland fires involves areas where uncontrolled urban growth meets uncontrolled vegetative growth. People who live in these areas should take extra precautions to limit the effects of any nearby wildland fire that might occur. Students will take on the role of Fire...
Grade Level   5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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4
We can read about, hear, or see weather reports every day on the radio, television, Internet, or newspapers. Some of this information includes current air temperatures and highs and lows for that day. As a citizen scientist, you can take your own air temperatures with an outdoor thermometer and...
Grade Level   4 5 6 7 8 9
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5
Even small thunderstorms are dangerous. Every thunderstorm produces lightning, which kills more people than tornadoes each year. Thunderstorms also cause heavy rain, flash flooding, hail, strong winds and tornadoes. When warm and cold air masses meet, a thunderstorm can grow. In this activity, you...
Grade Level   5 6 7 8
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6
Dendrochronologists use tree rings to go back in time to learn more about past climate. Using straws to recreate tree rings, you can learn how dendrochronologists work. Construct a 50-year climatic history on a three-meter time line. In this activity, students use the spacings between tree rings to...
Grade Level   5 6 7 8 9
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7
Static electricity can be used to demonstrate the electricity of lightning. This activity will demonstrate the attraction of positive and negative charges and what happens when those opposite charges meet each other.
Grade Level   5 6 7 8
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8
Different types of soil have different capabilities for retaining rainwater. When the soil in an area cannot hold enough rainwater, flooding occurs. Students in this activity measure the amount of water different soil types can handle. Following the activity, students discuss soil and flooding...
Grade Level   5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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9
Students will become familiar with fire terminology, realize how fire can be used as a management tool, and better understand the factors that need to be considered when planning a prescribed burn. In this activity the students will form opinions around fire management issues. They will then work in...
Grade Level   5 6 7 8
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10
Just as your GPS helps you make sure you’re getting from point “a” to point “b” correctly, maps help scientists draw important conclusions and visualize important concepts they study. The right map can help a petroleum engineer find the best drilling site, or help a meteorologist make the...
Grade Level   6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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11
If you have ever used Google Earth, what was the first place you tried to find? For many people the answer is “my home.” Where humans choose to live is one of the fundamental influences on the surface of our planet. People influence and change Earth’s systems (atmosphere, biosphere, geosphere,...
Grade Level   4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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12
Density is an intrinsic physical property of minerals that relates to the composition of the mineral and to the pattern in which the mineral’s atoms are arranged. “Intrinsic” means that the property is the same for the mineral, no matter what the size or shape of the sample. In this activity,...
Grade Level   6 7 8 9
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13
El Niño storms have taken thousands of lives and caused billions of dollars in damage in recent decades. Where do these storms come from? Every two to seven years, trade-winds in the Pacific Ocean slow down or reverse their direction — no one is sure why. Normally, the Pacific trade winds blow...
Grade Level   8 9 10
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14
"Each group will design a water filtration system and present to the class why they picked their design. Students are given a variety of materials (soil, gravel, charcoal, etc) and must try to filter """"polluted"""" (with food coloring, salt, dish soap) water."
Grade Level   K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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15
People interact with Earth’s water (hydrosphere) in a variety of ways. We depend upon water for survival, but we also need it to keep clean and help avoid spreading disease. On our ever-changing Earth, the supply of fresh water can be limited for some humans. We need good techniques to make the...
Grade Level   4 5 6 7 8 9
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16
"Nitrogen is an element that is found both in living things and the nonliving parts of the Earth system. In this classroom activity, students play the role of nitrogen atoms traveling through the nitrogen cycle to gain understanding of the varied pathways through the cycle and how nitrogen is...
Grade Level   5 6 7 8 9
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17
"""""Soil porosity"""" refers to the amount of pore, or open space between soil particles. Pore spaces may be formed due to the movement of roots, worms, and insects; expanding gases trapped within these spaces by groundwater; and/or the dissolution of the soil parent material. Soil texture can also...
Grade Level   5 6 7 8 9 10
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18
Is today sunny or overcast? Is there wind, rain, or snow? No matter where you live, weather shapes your life. What’s happening in the sky can determine how you dress, what you eat, where you spend your time, and when you work—or play. The science of the sky encompasses Earth and space science...
Grade Level   3 4 5 6 7 8
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19
A normal fault occurs when rocks break and move because they are being pulled apart. As the area is stretched, the rocks move along the fault. Each movement causes an earthquake. This model demonstrates how a block of rock is extended by a normal fault. 
Grade Level   4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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20
"Water that accumulates beneath the surface of the Earth is called groundwater. Contrary to popular belief, groundwater does not form underground """"rivers,"""" but is actually found in the small spaces and cracks between rocks and other material such as sand and gravel. Groundwater supplies about...
Grade Level   4 5 6 7 8 9
Classroom Activities Curricula and Instruction
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