Students develop an understanding of the dynamic and variable nature of the Sun by comparing and contrasting images that vary with respect to time, scale, or technology, and share their findings with peers. The class discusses the implications of the Sun as a variable force of nature and brainstorms a list of questions that have been raised by the comparison of images. During the following class period, the instructor facilitates a slide show to further student understanding of the dynamic processes of our Sun and offer explanations to student questions.
Students learn about the urban heat island effect by investigating which areas of their schoolyard have higher temperatures. Then they analyze data about how the number of heat waves in an urban area has increased over time with population.
Students use iron filings to explore the magnetic field around a magnet and record their observations. Next, students apply their experience with the magnet to understand the magnetic field around Earth. Following their investigation, students summarize their findings.
This Teaching Box will help your students learn to identify features of the Sun using images with "light" from different regions of the electromagnetic spectrum. Many solar features play roles in the eruption of space weather storms, so knowledge of these features is a prerequisite for understanding and predicting space weather events.
Students explore how shadows work and why they change through the day as the Sun appears to move across the sky by comparing their shadows at different times of the day and modeling with shadow puppets to see how the location of a light source changes a shadow.
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).
Students build a simple version of a magnetometer, an instrument capable of detecting areas that have strong magnetic fields. Students use their magnetometer and models of the Sun to investigate areas that have strong magnetic fields. Students examine images of the Sun to describethe features associated with the Sun's strongest magnetic fields and learn more about the features they have identified either through student research or teacher presentation.
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.