1
The Ozone Hole poster used in this activity brings together colorful images of over 30 years of satellite observations of the ozone hole. Once you understand the meaning of the color scale, you can interpret the colors on the globes and see how the ozone hole has changed over time.
Grade Level   5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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2
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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3
Geologic time can be difficult for people to understand. Our own lives are so short when we compare them to the age of the Earth, that the hundreds of millions of years of geologic time are almost too much to grasp. But for us to understand Earth activities today, we must have at least some basic...
Grade Level   5 6 7 8
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4
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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5
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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6
"There are many glaciers all over Alaska. Flying into Lake Clark National Park and Preserve through Lake Clark Pass, you will see many glaciers. These glaciers were growing during the last Ice Age. Now many are retreating because Alaska is getting warmer. As the glaciers melt they leave behind...
Grade Level   5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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7
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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8
A fossil is any evidence of past life preserved in a geologic context, such as within rock or sediment. This activity allows you to explore the process used by paleontologists — scientists who study fossils to understand ancient landscapes, climate, and life on Earth — to find and identify...
Grade Level   K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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9
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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10
As far back as ancient Greek and Roman times, people built structures that created an indoor environment suited to growing plants throughout the year. This enabled the gardener to establish a measure of control over growing conditions and extend the growth period into the colder seasons of the year....
Grade Level   3 4 5
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11
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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12
On our ever-changing Earth, conditions may change quickly or slowly. Some changes come from natural processes; some from human activity. Satellites allow us to see conditions and track changes over time — in land use, forest health, land/water interface, and so on. Since 1972, Landsat...
Grade Level   6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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13
Earth's climate is a product of and is affected by many things—and it's changing. Long-term and short-term processes, such as plate tectonics and volcanism, contribute to climate. Likewise, human influences, such as rising CO2 levels from fossil fuel burning and deforestation, play active...
Grade Level   6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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14
This tracking activity allows students to plot data points onto a tracking chart and map out the possible path of an oncoming hurricane. Meteorologists study the development and movement of hurricanes. This information is made available to the public through the National Hurricane Center which is...
Grade Level   7 8 9 10 11 12
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15
Atmospheric scientists study weather processes, the global dynamics of climate, solar radiation and its effects, and the role of atmospheric chemistry in ozone depletion, climate change, and pollution. They observe what's going on in our atmosphere today and compare it to records from years past. To...
Grade Level   6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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16
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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