In this activity, students move chips representing sunlight, heat, and infrared radiation around a series of boards representing Earth and its atmosphere. Students learn how models are constructed and work, and learn about layers of Earth's atmosphere and the greenhouse effect.
This hands-on activity was created by the Little Shop of Physics at Colorado State University. The original version of this activity is on the Little Shop of Physics website with a Quick-Start Guide.
- Students can explain how a model works
- Students can describe the effect of an atmosphere on Earth's surface temperature
- Students can describe the variation of temperature with altitude in Earth's (lower) atmosphere
Worksheets & Print Materials
- Temperature Record Worksheet
- Energy Flow Arrows sheets (supplement to the Little Shop of Physics activity; place between Earth and atmosphere layers to clarify heat transfers)
- Earth's Radiation Budget