How Weather WorksEarth as a SystemHow Climate Works

Connections in the Earth System

Students demonstrate their knowledge of interconnections between natural systems such as weather and climate and the built environment in which they live.
Earth as a System

It's Just a Phase: Modeling the Phases of Water

In this activity, students will construct models of the arrangement of water molecules in the three physical states. Students will understand that matter can be found in three forms or phases (solid, liquid, and gas).
Earth as a System

Living During the Little Ice Age

Students brainstorm what the living conditions during the period known as the Little Ice Age (AD 1350–1850) might have been like. Then students study information about lifestyles, the economy, crop yields, and human and livestock mortality during the Little Ice Age. They compare and discuss what they have learned.
Earth as a System

Modeling Tree Transpiration

In this activity, students will observe and measure the water given off through transpiration by a plant in a small terrarium.
Earth as a System

Modeling Wind Dynamics and Forests

In this activity, students will develop a model of a forest using plastic bottles and then observe and analyze changes in winds related to differences in forest density. 
Earth as a System

Radiation and Albedo Experiment

Students will investigate how different surfaces of the Earth reflect and absorb heat and apply this knowledge to real-world situations.
Earth as a SystemSun and Space Weather

Raise the Roof on Urban Heat

Students use a simple model to explore how roof colors can impact the temperature of an urban area.
Earth as a SystemSun and Space Weather

Sunspots and Climate

Students identify sunspots on images of the Sun, discovering that the number, location, and size of spots are not always the same. During the first part of the activity, students make a graph that shows how the number of sunspots has changed over the past 30 years, discovering that there is a regular pattern to the number of sunspots (the 11-year sunspot cycle).
Earth as a System

The Nitrogen Cycle Game

Students play the role of nitrogen atoms traveling through the nitrogen cycle to gain understanding of the varied pathways through the cycle and the relevance of nitrogen to living things.
How Weather WorksEarth as a SystemHow Climate WorksSun and Space Weather

The Systems Game

Systems thinking is an important concept across the Earth sciences. In this game, students either are a part of a system or serve as scientists tasked with observing and making sense of the system moving in front of them.
Earth as a System

Urban Heat: A New York City Exploration

  In this activity, students use a graph to make a hypothesis about the difference between urban heat in New York City streets and in Central Park.
How Weather WorksEarth as a System

Water Cycle Activity

In this activity, students will build a model to simulate parts of the water cycle. They will be able to recognize and explain the essential elements of the water cycle.
Earth as a SystemSolving Climate Change

What Can a Tree Do For You?

Students consider the wide range of ways that trees and forests benefit the Earth. Then they focus on how trees help to combat climate change. They take measurements of a local tree to calculate the amount of carbon stored by their tree, and then analyze data to calculate the amount of carbon stored over time. Students learn about the factors that influence how much carbon can be stored by forests and evaluate reforestation as a climate solution.
Earth as a System

What do soda and the oceans have in common?

Students will use soda to explore how carbon dioxide is able to dissolve into liquid. They will learn about Henry's law, which describes how the solubility of gas into liquids is dependent on temperature, and develop hypotheses about how the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, a greenhouse gas, is affected by rising atmospheric and oceanic temperatures.