Atmosphere Activities

Atmosphere Activities

Air takes up space. It's only when air in the bottle escapes that more air is easily added!

An experiment that demonstrates why there are clouds in the sky. Start with air, invisible water vapor, particles we call condensation nuclei, and air pressure...the cloud comes later!

Students learn how to crush a can with only air pressure.

Learn about Bernoulli's Principle with hair dryers and ping pong balls!

Find out how some wavelengths of light are scattered more than others producing blue skies and red sunsets.

Students use a simple model to explore how roof colors can impact the temperature of an urban area.

Students analyze the energy consumption of a hypothetical household to determine the amount of carbon dioxide they are adding to the atmosphere each year.

Students will experiment to understand variations in the amount of ground-level ozone between different places in their neighborhood, town, or city.

In this activity, students will learn about science and its characteristics by reviewing statements and deciding whether each reflects science, non-science, protoscience, or pseudoscience.  

This activity helps to both uncover common misconceptions as students determine if a statement about science is true or false.

Students observe that air under high pressure will move toward a low-pressure area and certain objects in the air’s path may move in the same direction.

Use plungers to create a vacuum and learn about how air exerts pressure.

Students create graphic organizers describing the four major air pollutants regulated by the U.S. Clean Air Act (ground-level ozone, particle pollution, carbon monoxide, and sulfur dioxide) and then identify the pollutants with a guessing 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.

In this activity students get a sense of the many ways in which daily activities use natural resources and contribute to air pollution.

In this activity, students create molecule models using marshmallows to understand and explain how smog forms.

In this computer-based virtual lab, students will learn about the layers of Earth's atmosphere by launching virtual balloons to collect temperature and pressure data at various altitudes. Given a limited number of balloon flights, students must plan carefully to gather data that generates a good "picture" of the atmosphere’s structure.

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.

Students follow steps to dilute a colored dye in water until the dye is one part per million. Then students consider atmospheric gases that are present in trace qualitites, like ozone and discuss how pollutants can be hazardous at very small concentrations.
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.

This teaching box is filled with educational resources that help students explore the science of, and solutions to, air pollution.

A collection of educational resources to bring cloud science to elementary students.

Students observe that a change in the temperature of air can impact the size of a bubble placed on a bottle that is cooled and/or heated.
In this activity, students brainstorm various ways that an uninflated balloon placed over a bottle's opening can be inflated without touching the balloon.
In this activity, students move chips representing sunlight, heat, and infrared radiation around a series of boards representing Earth and its atmosphere.