101
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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102
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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103
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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104
The diamondback terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin)is the only North American turtle fully adapted to life in brackish water (mix of saltwater and freshwater). Its home is in coastal salt marshes of estuaries along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the United States. Although they can live 40 years or...
Grade Level   6 7 8 9 10
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105
This activity allows you to investigate how often earthquakes of various magnitudes happen within a geographic region of your choice. You will use the online resources of the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS) to do the investigation. Students use online maps to attempt finding...
Grade Level   9 10 11 12
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106
Sinkholes are natural depressions in the land caused when limestone and soils dissolve. They form when groundwater removes rock underground. They can form by slow gradual sinking or by sudden collapse of an underlying hole. Sinkholes are common in about one quarter of the U.S. You can usually...
Grade Level   6 7 8 9 10
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107
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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108
Soil is often overlooked as a natural resource. Like fossil fuels, we depend on it for energy in the form of foods. And, like fossil fuels, it is nonrenewable. Soil is a delicate balance of inorganic minerals, organic matter, living organisms, soil water, and soil atmosphere. The natural development...
Grade Level   6 7 8 9 10
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109
"Crucial to our existence, water sustains all life on Earth. Following the old adage, """"""""What goes around comes around-"""""""" water moves continuously through the stages of the hydrologic cycle (evaporation, condensation, and precipitation). How does our drinking water fit into this...
Grade Level   K 1 2 3 4
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110
Elastic waves that move through the Earth are called seismic waves. Want to study them more closely? SeisMac is a free application that displays the output from the Sudden Motion Sensor in recent Mac laptops as a real-time, three-axis, acceleration graph, or, more commonly, a seismogram. Once your...
Grade Level   6 7 8 9
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111
Water is often called a renewable resource, but what does that really mean? Is water an unlimited resource? What happens to water after we use it? This investigation will help you understand exactly how much water you use in your home and how you can keep from wasting water. If many people are...
Grade Level   6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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112
It takes energy to run the appliances and machines we use everyday. The national average commercial cost to use this energy is ¤0.10/kilowatt hour. In addition to the financial cost, there is also an environmental cost in the form of carbon emissions. The general rule of thumb is that every...
Grade Level   6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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113
To learn to read, write, and appreciate language and communication, it's helpful to find subject matter that's appealing, inspiring, and personal. The sky is a never-ending source of material that is available everyday to everyone. Get ready to set a course for sky exploration! The following...
Grade Level   K 1 2 3 4
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114
Over time, Earth's magnetic poles change strength and location. They also completely reverse directions episodically. The north magnetic pole is currently moving northwest at 40 kilometers per year. It moved from 81.3° N, 110.8° W in 2001 to 82.7° N, 114.4° W in 2005. (Learn more at...
Grade Level   7 8 9 10 11 12
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115
In ancient times, sailors found their way by observing stars and other celestial bodies — when they were visible through the clouds, that is. Thus, one of the most important improvements to ocean navigation was the invention of the compass. There is some disagreement about who should get...
Grade Level   6 7 8
Classroom Activities Curricula and Instruction
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116
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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117
In this investigation, you'll have the opportunity to learn about the many geological features in our country's national parks. You might not realize this, but a large number of the national parks were created because of their amazing geology. Just think of the geological features of Yellowstone...
Grade Level   6 7 8
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118
"Maps are two-dimensional ways of representing information about the natural and built world from a """"""""top-down"""""""" perspective. You are probably familiar with road maps that show where roads go and which roads intersect with others and where. You also may have seen weather maps, which show...
Grade Level   6 7 8
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119
The National Wildlife Refuge System, managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is the world's premier system of public lands and waters set aside to conserve America's fish, wildlife, and plants. Why not visit a national wildlife refuge in or near your community? A refuge is a place where you...
Grade Level   6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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120
Geoscientists use special boats to conduct research at sea. One of these boats is named the JOIDES Resolution (JR). Unlike most oceangoing vessels, the JR has a flat bottom, a 6.4-meter hole in the middle, 12 laboratories, and a derrick towering 67 meters above the waterline! Why? So scientists can...
Grade Level   6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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