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Published in 2018
What’s an awe-inspiring natural feature in your state? Maybe it’s a mountain, canyon, waterfall, glacier, cave, volcano, geyser, natural arch, grand vista, or something else. Identify an inspiring landscape near you, and learn about the geoscience behind it. Start with the geologic maps...
Grade Level   K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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2
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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3
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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4
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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5
Few schools are within walking distance of a federally designated wilderness. However, many schools are within walking distance of land with wild elements. Students can look for examples of places with wild elements on or near their school grounds. Then they can duplicate the activity in a wilder...
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
Published in 2005
Students have the opportunity to take a core sample of their local soil. Using PVC piping, a section of soil is pulled up, allowing students to observe the soil's different layers. Those layers are then separated and identified. The identification process helps students understand what elements make...
Grade Level   5 6 7 8
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9
Link to a PDF for an activity: Hands-on experiment to test for acid mine damage
Grade Level   5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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10
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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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
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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13
"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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14
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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15
"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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16
"""""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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17
Ocean currents — the continuous, directed movement of ocean water — affect regional climates and alter the biological and chemical characteristics of seawater. Currents can flow for long distances both at and below the ocean’s surface. Wind drives surface currents, whereas density often drives...
Grade Level   6 7 8
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18
We walk around on soil all the time, but how often do we think about what's in it? If you have ever looked closely at soil, you probably saw that it is made up of various types of particles and has various materials mixed in with those particles (rocks, twigs, water, air, worms, insects, and much...
Grade Level   5 6 7 8 9
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19
In Swords into Plowshares: At Home in a Missile Silo, Tony Crossley says of his underground home: “The winters are bitterly cold, the summers feature spectacular afternoon thunderstorms and occasional tornadoes, and throughout the year we get days when the wind is very strong. Underground it’s...
Grade Level   3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
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20
The JOIDES Resolution (JR) has physical dimensions unlike most oceangoing vessels. Why? So that scientists can sail nearly anywhere in the world to drill for samples of rocks and sediment from below the seafloor — in hopes of discovering clues about Earth’s history and structure, life in the...
Grade Level   5 6 7 8
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