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PBS Learning Media
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Our star, the Sun, is an ordinary star. It is not particularly special compared to other stars in the universe; however, it is crucially important to us. As the massive energy source at the center of our solar system, the Sun is responsible for Earth's climate, weather, and life. In this lesson...

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

These model-building activities from NASA's Stardust mission educator's guide provide a "stellar" opportunity to teach middle level students about comets and how they form. In Cookin' Up a Comet, students and their teacher create a comet model from dry ice and other inexpensive materials (e.g.,...

Grade Level: 6, 7, 8
National Earth Science Teachers Association (NESTA), Carleton College
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

We feature stellar resources that you can use with your students and that can enhance your own content knowledge and pedagogy.

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Penguinscience
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Like animals everywhere, Antarctic penguins are adjusting, or not, to changes in their habitat brought by warming temperatures. With extensive field research on their existing colonies, and a 45,000 year-old record contained in deposits of their bones and egg shells, we know more about how...

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
American Geosciences Institute (AGI)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

The study of dinosaurs stretches children’s imaginations, provides new perspectives on time and space, and invites students to discover worlds very different from our modern Earth. The study of dinosaurs is important in understanding the causes of past major extinctions of land animals. In this...

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3
National Hurricane Center, Earth Science Week (ESW), American Geosciences Institute (AGI)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

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...

Grade Level: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
United States Geological Survey (USGS)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Rocks are generally deposited horizontally. After one rock layer has been deposited, another is laid down on top of it. Thus, the rocks on the bottom of the stack are the oldest, and the rocks on the top are the youngest. Once the rocks have been deposited they sometimes get moved around. They...

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
University of California, Museum of Paleontology (UCMP)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Scientists have good evidence that the earth is very old, approximately four and one-half billion years old. Scientific measurements such as radiometric dating use the natural radioactivity of certain elements found in rocks to help determine their age. Scientists also use direct evidence from...

Grade Level: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Mars Trek is an application that allows you to view imagery and perform analysis on data from the planet Mars. 

Grade Level: 9, 10, 11, 12
Tags: space, nasa, data
2014, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

EPA developed the Waste-Free Lunch activities to help students learn how to reduce, reuse, and recycle items in their school lunches. A Waste-Free Lunch Flyer discusses the importance of packing waste-free lunches. Other documents provide tips, a lunch-planning worksheet, and a lunch-evaluation...

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), United States Department of Commerce ..
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

You and your fellow players are the leaders -- citizens, policymakers, business leaders, nonprofit leaders, and researchers -- of a coastal city. Your job is to make smart decisions that will increase the city's resilience to climate change. This Beat the Uncertainty activity includes...

Grade Level: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Oregon State University (OSU)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Chapter 4 focuses on rocks and minerals, and looking at types of rocks. Lessons included in this chapter: rocks, minerals, igneous rocks, sedimentary rocks, metamorphic rocks.

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Innovative Technology in Science Inquiry (ITSI)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

You are familiar with how sweating cools your skin. You probably know that evaporating water causes the cooling effect. You probably have also observed that a moving air increases the cooling effect. In this activity, you will build an "air conditioner" that just uses water and a fan.

Grade Level: 6, 7, 8
2003, WGBH Educational Foundation, PBS LearningMedia
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Students examine the issue of global warming. They calculate how much carbon dioxide all the machines they use produce in one day.

Grade Level: 9, 10, 11, 12
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

This manipulative by the National Weather Service has diagrams thatconnect the lunar phases to the tides.

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
University of California, Museum of Paleontology (UCMP)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

The age of fossils intrigues almost everyone. Students not only want to know how old a fossil is, but they want to know how that age was determined. Some very straightforward principles are used to determine the age of fossils. Students should be able to understand the principles and have that...

Grade Level: 8, 9
Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Earthquakes create seismic waves that travel through the Earth. By analyzing these seismic waves, seismologists can explore the Earth's deep interior.

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

In this activity, students will use global temperature data to create models and compare short-term trends to long-term trends. They will then determine whether global temperature is rising based on the data. This activity is aligned to education standards for fifth grade and high school grade...

Grade Level: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Students will recreate the lunar phases using the frosting from Oreo cookies. Round cream cheese crackers can also be used if cookies are not an option. The students will accurately model the shape of the Moon's phases using Oreo cookies and place the phases in order.

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Weather Service (NWS)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

The updrafts in thunderstorms can be extremely strong. The stronger the updraft, the more weight of rain and hair that can be supported. This experiment will show thta cotton balls, like clouds, hold a tremendous amount of water. In nature, once the weight of water is more than can be supported...

Grade Level: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources (NMBGMR)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

This activity is intended to help students observe how stick-slip movement works. Instructions on how to build a motorized version of the following experiment as well as data produced from this model are available. At the end of the activity, students will be able to answer the questions, "how...

Grade Level: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (CIMSS)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Since the 1960 launch of Tiros I, weather satellites have been our "eyes in the sky". Today, the ubiquitous nature of satellite technology augments every aspect of modern life while promising ever-increasing capabilities for stewardship during the 21st century. In this module, students will...

Grade Level: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
SaveOnEnergy
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Help students understand the science of electricity with this animated guide. Produced by SaveOnEnergy.com, the guide explains how electricity works, from atoms to power plants.

Grade Level: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Exploratorium
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Ever wonder what you might weigh on Mars or the Moon? Here's your chance to find out. Enter your weight and see what it converts to on a selection of planets, moons, and stars. Then, read about weight and mass in space and why it changes in different environments.

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Students will shape their own asteroid models out of clay as a hands-on lesson in how asteroids form, what they are made of, and where they can be found in our solar system.

Grade Level: 3, 4, 5
1994, Earth Learning Idea (ELI)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Students often ask how scientists know that the continents have moved. This activity about the apparent wandering of the North Pole provides good evidence that the continents do indeed move.

Grade Level: 9, 10, 11, 12
Boeing
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Looking for classroom activities with a STEM focus? Boeing engineers and partners (e.g., PBS Learning Media, Teaching Channel, Curiosity Machine, and others) have developed plans, documentaries, and hands-on activities that break down complicated concepts into easy-to-understand content for K-12...

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Weather Service (NWS)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Demonstrate that AM radio signals can travel many 1000's of miles at night. The student will listen to as many radio stations as possible obtaining the call signs and places of origin during the evening (after sunset) hours.

Grade Level: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
2006, Geological Society of America (GSA), Earth Science Week (ESW), American Geosciences Institute (AGI)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

You may have seen or used Global Positioning System (GPS) devices in cars or on camping trips. These devices use data from satellites orbiting the Earth to locate places on our planet. GPS devices describe the locations to us in the form of latitude and longitude coordinates. Citizen scientists...

Grade Level: 6, 7, 8
Earth Learning Idea (ELI)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Which type of classroom eruption best hsows how volcanoes erupt? Students will be evaluating different types of classroom eruptions to gauge which best shows how eruptions are triggered.

Grade Level: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Charles Burrows
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

This PDF has three useful worksheets for students on characteristics of Igneous, Sedimentary, and Metamorphic rocks.

Grade Level: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Science Education Resource Center (SERC), Carleton College
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

In this activity, students use a light source, a polystyrene ball, and their bodies to model solar and lunar eclipses, the phases of the moon, and the revolution and rotation of the moon. By observing their models of these phenomena in three dimensions, reality-checking with their notes of their...

Grade Level: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
National Park Service (NPS)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Studets will observe the process by which speleothems are formed and learn about the most common types of formations.

Grade Level: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
UCAR/NCAR Web Weather for Kids
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

The purpose of this experiment is to observe how a vortex forms.

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
National Park Service (NPS), Earth Science Week (ESW), American Geosciences Institute (AGI)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

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
Department of Geology, University College Dublin
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Faults are one of the most impressive and beautiful structures arising from deformation of the earth's crust; we are not, of course, biased! Determining the slip-direction and the total displacement is often not an easy task. Slickensides are useful shear sense indicators, but generally cannot...

Grade Level: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
United States Geological Survey (USGS)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Looking for geologic information about a particular state? Science in Your Backyard is your one-stop shop! Click on any state to find interesting state facts, news releases of interest for the state, real-time information, and highlighted links to recreation and USGS scientific sources. See what...

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Lunar and Planetary Institute
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

The Pull of the Planets is part of a thematic series of lessons highlighting the Juno mission to Jupiter. It is a traditional hands-on activity that models how gravitational forces can keep planets and asteroids in orbit within the Solar System. Using stretchable fabric help in place with an...

Grade Level: 6, 7, 8
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

This lesson uses web-based resources that are found within the theme with which this lesson is associated. The purpose of the lesson is to help you integrate these web-based resources into your curriculum. If you need more science content information, refer to the text associated with the...

Grade Level: 9, 10, 11, 12
PBS LearningMedia
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Earth's polar regions may seem remote, but they are an integral part of the entire Earth system. For example, pollution from other areas affects Arctic and Antarctic ecosystems, and changes in the icy landscapes of the polar regions may influence global ocean circulation patterns and accelerate...

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
United States Geological Survey (USGS), Earth Science Week (ESW), American Geosciences Institute (AGI)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

This activity includes a poster illustrating a story of two children exploring a cave, as well as a guide for exploring caves. The guide features cave diagrams, cave creation, and where to look for caves.

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3
Event-Based Science Project
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Two remote sensing activities are listed. Activity 1 provides GOES images from NASA to help you learn to track a hurricane. Activity 2 allows you to investigate the relationship between wind speed in a hurricane and two other factors.

Grade Level: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Family Astro
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Toilet Paper Solar System is a high-interest, kinesthetic group activity in which students create a scalar model of distances in the solar system using a single roll of toilet paper. This activity can be conducted in either a long hallway or, as a special treat, outdoors. Data for two versions...

Grade Level: 5, 6, 7, 8
United States Antarctic Program (USAP)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

The Antarctic Sun is a publication posted on the website at McMurdo Station in Antarctica for the United States Antarctic Program. It provides information about the inhabitants (human and animal), the geographical location and scientific projects on and under the ice in Antarctica.

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
American Geosciences Institute (AGI)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Students will be able to identify minerals according to physical properties by using color, luster, Moh’s hardness scale, the streak test and an identification sheet. The purpose of this investigation is to understand how geoscientists identify minerals by color, luster, and tests for streak and...

Grade Level: 3, 4, 5, 6
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

NASA gives an explanation of what makes up most of our Universe -- Dark Matter. This easy-to-understand site is best for grades K-8. 

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Explore an ocean's-worth of information related to our efforts to protect and restore the nation's waters from pollution. You'll find experiments and activities for elementary school students and life-long learners alike. We hope the information here helps inspire you and others to further...

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Oregon State University (OSU)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Chapter 5 focuses on Prehistoric Earth, geologic time, and early lifeforms on this planet.

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Innovative Technology in Science Inquiry (ITSI)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

In this activity you will measure changing weather conditions prior to, during, and after a storm.

Grade Level: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
2006, WGBH Educational Foundation, PBS LearningMedia
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

In this lesson plan, students are introduced to a variety of natural hazards and explore how understanding these threats makes us better able to avoid or reduce their potential harmful impact.

Grade Level: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

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Iron precipitation in Montana wetland
Classroom Activities
United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

This website is designed to broadly educate students about acid rain, including: its definition; its cause; the various effects that is has on humans, the environment, and buildings and objects; what is being done to reduce its occurrence. In addition it offers students several ways that they...

Students stufying soil at an NRCS educational event in Missouri
Classroom Activities
United States Department of Energy (DOE)

The School Energy Survey is designed to give students the necessary background and framework to conduct an energy survey of their school building. The step-by-step approach guides students through the process of analyzing energy consuming appliances and systems. After gathering data, students...

Mojave Desert Fault Zones
Curriculum Materials
Annenberg Learner

What happens as boundaries diverge? Watch a continental rift, volcanoes and lakes form as two continental plates move apart.

Students observing a fault model
Curriculum Materials
Annenberg Learner

What are convergent boundaries? Examine how collisions of oceanic and continental plates can create volcanoes, island arcs, and earthquakes.

North American crustal plates and earthquake epicenters
Classroom Activities
Annenberg Learner

In this game, you will see a series of five images showing the positions of earth's continents during different geologic periods. You will have two minutes to arrange them in the correct order.

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