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
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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3
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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4
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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5
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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6
Published in 2018
How do you suppose people created geologic maps before the advent of photography, aviation, satellite imagery, and remote sensing? What data might have been gathered to determine the geology of an area? Imagine you’re a geoscientist in the early 1800s. You want to create a geologic map of your...
Grade Level   5 6 7 8
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7
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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8
"""""Thar's gold in them thar classrooms!"""" History meets Earth science in the fun, hands-on activity below. Students pan for gold and other minerals, experiencing what early settlers of the Western US went through. Some gold deposits, or lodes, are found in veins of fractured rock. After millions...
Grade Level   K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
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9
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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10
"The """"Blue Goose"""" has been the symbol of the National Wildlife Refuge System since it was first drawn by Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist J.N. """"Ding"""" Darling, one of the greatest supporters of wildlife conservation in the 20th century. Naturalist and author Rachel Carson had a reminder...
Grade Level   3 4 5 6 7 8
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11
There are many factors that combine to form soil, an important, slowly renewable resource. Some of these factors include climate, organisms, relief, parent material, and time. Soil provides the food, fiber, and building materials to nourish, clothe, and house Earth’s inhabitants. How does climate...
Grade Level   5 6 7 8
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12
"Mining is a complex process in which valuable or useful materials are removed from large masses of rock. In this activity, students use birdseed and colored beads to mine for """"precious metals"""" and """"gold."""" At th end of the activity, students can count up their winnings. The students gain...
Grade Level   4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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13
The JOIDES Resolution is an amazing ship that contains all the equipment necessary to drill into the ocean floor for samples of rock and sediment: a derrick, drill pipe, drilling tools, and drill bits. Once the cylindrical core sample arrives on the rig floor, the drill crew passes the 10 m core to...
Grade Level   5 6 7 8
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14
Earth scientists play a vital role in harvesting the energy resources on which we all rely. When preparing to drill for oil, for example, geoscientists must assess many aspects of a rock stratum (layer). For example, they must figure out the volume of the rock's pores, or empty spaces, as compared...
Grade Level   7 8 9 10
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15
This activity teaches the student to identify minerals by observing and testing the physical properties of each mineral. Have students compare their test results with the Mineral Identification Sheet.
Grade Level   4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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16
The students will set up three demonstrations to observe the properties of water. They will explore the boiling point of water, the freezing point of water, and the ability of water to store heat. These activities can be done individually or as a set. About 71% of the Earth's surface is covered with...
Grade Level   6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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17
Rocks break down into smaller pieces through weathering. Rocks and sediment grinding against each other wear away surfaces. This type of weathering is called abrasion, and it happens as wind and water rush over rocks. The rocks become smoother as rough and jagged edges break off. In this activity,...
Grade Level   3 4 5 6
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18
What is sea ice? It is simply frozen ocean water. Why is sea ice important? While it occurs mainly in polar regions, sea ice influences our global climate. Changing amounts of sea ice can affect ocean circulations, weather patterns, and temperatures around the world. Sea ice insulates the relatively...
Grade Level   6 7 8 9 10
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19
Are soils like M&Msâ„¢? Yes! Typical soil colors are red, brown, yellow, or black. These colors are often not the color of the minerals in the soil but coatings of iron oxides (Fe203, FeOOH, and so on) or organic matter on particles. The minerals beneath are often quartz or feldspar, which are...
Grade Level   9 10 11 12
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20
We usually think of caves forming as rocks are dissolved and the particles are washed away, leaving hollow spaces behind. This activity simulates the way that dissolution, a chemical weathering process, leads to the formation of caves. When precipitation such as rainwater or snowmelt mixes with...
Grade Level   7 8 9 10 11 12
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