Showing 121 activities

A 3d View from a Drone: Make a 3d model from your photos

This lesson, a companion to the Drip Drop! music video, explores how climate change impacts the water cycle in the context of media literacy.

With the Project Resilience curriculum, high school students examine the environmental challenges facing communities along the Gulf of Mexico and learn about resilience planning using a resilience planning toolkit. Project Resilience leads students through the development of a School Resilience Plan which contains student-designed projects to address one or more environmental challenges affecting their school campus. An extension of the curriculum is to implement one of the student projects from the School Resilience Plan.

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.

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

Align tree ring cores of different ages to build up a long timeline of past climate data in this hands-on activity.

Students analyze cloud data from a storm that crossed the United States in late November 2019. They identify cloud types from photos of the sky in various locations to identify the zonation of clouds across a cold and warm front.

In this activity, students move chips representing sunlight, heat, and infrared radiation around a series of boards representing Earth and its atmosphere.

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

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

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.

The amount of CO2  is increasing, which has an impact on global climate. In this lesson, students will investigate some of the ways CO2 gets into and out of the atmosphere, and how this process might affect the overall balance in our world.

Are you in a place where snow falls in winter? If so, try catching snowflakes. Then take a close look. Can you find two snowflakes that look alike?

Investigate water in a warmer world. This teaching box is filled with explorations and readings that help secondary students learn how climate change is affecting the water cycle.

Students match graphs showing aspects of observed climate change with statements that describe the observations.

Elementary students learn about the climate zones of the world by interpreting graphs and identifying climate zones described in postcards.

Students use a deck of cards to model climate variability and longer-term trends in climate.

Download the Cloud Trivia Game for foldable fun! Print copies for yourself or your entire class.

Use the Cloud Viewer to explore the clouds and sky outside. What type of clouds do you see? What color is the sky?

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!

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

This Teaching Box combines hands-on activities, data analysis, and discussion that help high school students consider how weather can affect cloud types and how cloud types can affect climate.

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 compare satellite images with photos they take with a UAV (drone).

Use jelly beans to compare the compositons (amounts of different gases) of the atmospheres of Earth, Mars and Venus.

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

Students analyze and interpret data on a map of floodplains to assess risk of flooding inform decision making that will mitigate the effects of flooding.

In this hands-on activity, students experiment to discover how moisture, pressure, temperature, and condensation nuclei play a role in cloud formation.

Students consider weather conditions before, during, and after a tornado and build a model to visualize what is happening when a tornado occurs.

In this lesson, students are introduced to the effects a major volcanic eruption has on the atmosphere through recent and historical images and videos and by exploring a simple model. They will learn about atmospheric change that causes a reduction in light to Earth’s surface and how this contributes to climate change.

Students will observe two scale models of Earth's atmosphere and the layers of the atmosphere to gain an appreciation for the size of the atmosphere compared to the planet Earth.

Students use a model to test actions for staying safe from the Sun's ultraviolet radiation. 

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

In this classroom activity, students investigate how clouds change over time by making repeat observations of a section of sky and then representing their data graphically.

Fly a drone to monitor a volcano in this board game that teaches engineering practices.

This Teaching Box combines readings and activities to build student understanding of the changes that happen during an El Niño event.

This teaching box will help your students understand how conservation of energy determines the average temperature of a planet, including Earth. These activities also illustrate how the greenhouse effect prevents our home planet from becoming a frozen ball of ice!

Ice is slippery, causing cars and trucks to skid out of control. You can safely explore how cars slip on ice by making a model of an icy road and testing out how well the wheels of toy cars grip onto the ice.

In this graphing activity, students investigate Oxygen-18 data from ice cores used to investigate past climate.

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.

IntroductionIn this activity, students gather information about atmospheric scientific field projects in order to understand how a research question about the Earth system can be answered by collecting data using many different research platforms and instruments.

This teaching box is filled with explorations and readings that help secondary students learn the science of flash flooding. Get your feet wet by bringing the science of flash floods to your classroom.

Students test the hypothesis that a 100-year flood happens once every hundred years, learning how the probability of a flood does not mean that floods happen at regular intervals.

Students review illustrations, maps, cross sections, and graphs that tell a piece of the story about the effects of clouds on climate. They answer "True and False" questions about each visual and discuss what they take away from the information.

Students review graphs and charts of severe weather data then answer "True and False" questions about the content conveyed.

Students compare photographs of glaciers to observe how Alaskan glaciers have changed over the last century.

Graph the extent of sea ice, over months and years, in the Arctic and Antarctic. Learn about the seasons and long-term trends.

This teaching box provides resources related to the greenhouse effect. It will help you teach how the greenhouse effect warms our planet.

This Greenhouse Gas Game enables students to interact with each other as they learn about the heat trapping properties of greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. They learn that human actions are altering the levels of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere. Teams explore how long it takes to reach the top of the Temperature Tracker based on human activity, with the winner taking the longest to reach the top of the Temperature Tracker.

Measure the speed of a flying UAV (drone).

Measure and calculate the height (altitude) of a flying UAV (drone).

In this activity, students identify the location of an atmospheric river over the Pacific (also called the Pineapple Express) by analyzing water vapor data collected by COSMIC satellites.

Students investigate maps and data to learn where and when hurricanes form and how climate change may be affecting them.

On May 20, 2013, a devastating tornado occurred in Moore, Oklahoma. How did the people of Moore work to rebuild their community?

Students investigate three decades of tornado data through an interactive Story Map from Esri.

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.  

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).

Students research the 2013 Colorado floods, present the information they find, and summarize all information presented.

Students learn basic maneuvers with a UAV, flying forward and back, left and right.

Students begin to learn basics of flying UAVs/drones. This simple initial flight includes a take-off, hovering at different heights, and landing.

Students learn basic aviation terminology and practice flying with a mock flight simulator in preparation for flying a UAV or "drone".

This hands-on inquiry activity alows students to explore how the color of materials that cover the Earth affects the amounts of sunlight it absorbs using a simple model.

Students explore factors that influence why certain areas in the United States have more tornadoes than others and observe a model to visualize what is happening during a tornado.

Students observe how different materials bend light, and how we can infer the nature of the material based on the amount it bends light rays.

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.

Students make a model of glacier motion and then design an experiment to figure out what affects the speed of a glacier.

Students create and investigate a physical model to explore how the resolution of a mathematical model impacts model results.

In this demonstration, students observe how temperature changes can create a weather front, in particular how the mixing of warm and cold air can produce thunderstorms.

In this activity, students use models to observe that air is a fluid that flows due to temperature-driven density differences.

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

IntroductionAfter reading about hurricanes and their impacts on the coast, students model conditions during a hurricane that produce storm surge and witness its impact on model coastlines.  

In this hands-on activity, students explore how temperature affects the behavior of air molecules.

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

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. 

Students test a glider's launch design, payload, and atmospheric wind conditions that could favorably or negataively impact the pilot's intention to provide rescue supplies to a mountain community in need.  

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.

IntroductionStudents participate in a quiz show on the nature of science to assess their knowledge and understanding as a fun review of content.

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

In this activity, students observe how rubber bands deteriorate, developing cracks or pits, in locations with different ozone levels.

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

Students examine "pollen" in simulated lake bottom sediment core samples to infer past climate in the vicinity of the lake.

Students learn that when light shines on an object, it is reflected, absorbed, or transmitted through the object, depending on the object’s material and frequency (color) of the light.

IntroductionStudents 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.

Students plan a disaster relief mission employing a UAV (drone) by filling in a comic book-like storyboard of engineering design steps.

Students analyze the energy consumption of a household appliance and estimate the amount of carbon dioxide it is adding to the atmosphere each year.

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

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

Using language arts, math, and measurement skills, elementary students explore rainfall data and learn how to measure precipitation through an interactive story. 

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

IntroductionStudents investigate a physical model to explore how satellite data impacts weather monitoring and forecasting.

Help your middle school student learn how satellites help make weather forecasts more accurate and how the COSMIC satellites collect data about the atmosphere by measuring bending radio waves.

Melting sea ice doesn’t cause sea level to rise because the ice is already in the ocean, but it does cause other changes to the planet. When sea ice melts, more sunlight is absorbed by the Earth, which causes more warming. It’s a vicious cycle. And here’s how it works.

This activity uses stacks of blocks to demonstrate how a parallel-processing computer can complete calculations more quickly than a single, serial processor.

In this activity, students will analyze data sets that show how carbon dioxide varies through the atmosphere at different latitudes, altitudes, and different times of year.

This teaching box contains lessons about features of the Sun relevant to space weather prediction.

Students use a cloud identification guide to identify clouds in landscape paintings, then make their own art to identify cloud types.

This teaching box engages middle and high school students in the Nature of Science – what it is and what it isn't – along with activities to ensure engagement and enhance science understanding explicitly. 

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.

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.

Through a simple online model, students learn about the relationship between average global temperature and carbon dioxide emissions while predicting temperature change over the 21st Century.

Students investigate how thermal expansion of seawater impacts sea level.

In this teaching box are resources to help students learn why and where tornadoes happen and how these weather events impact people’s lives.

Students review what scientists know and what they’re working to understand about the relationship between extreme weather events and climate change.

Students read news articles about Hurricane Irene, present information with classmates, and construct a timeline to describe the hurricane’s story over time and across geographic area, exploring what happened, how people were affected, and how they reacted.

Students will fly their UAVs over a scale-model town that has been struck with a disaster, surveying the damage via a camera on the UAV.

Students deliver a payload (representing disaster relief aid) using a UAV (drone) after designing a skyhook to carry and release the payload.

Students use a UAV to pick up and carry a small payload, retrieving it from the far side of the room. Students design a "skyhook" to grab the payload.

Students test the battery life for UAVs ("drones") in preparation for more advanced "missions" and challenges.

Students test the ability of a UAV ("drone") to lift and carry a weight. The weight simulates a payload, such as sensors or supplies, transported by the UAV.

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

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.

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.

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.

Students create and observe wavelengths at both high and low energy levels using safety glasses, rope, and a power drill.

Students explore the relationship between weather and climate by graphing weather temperature data and comparing with climate averages.

In this activity, students will observe that a change in the temperature of air will determine its place in the atmosphere. Water, which behaves very similarly to air, is used in this demonstration. It flows in fluid currents in a visual manner in a see-through density tank.

In this activity, students will compare stories about a weather event from different media sources and different perspectives.

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.

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

IntroductionIn this activity, students will play the roles of various atoms and molecules to help them better understand the formation and destruction of ozone in the stratosphere.

A collection of educational resources about the science of winter weather for primary grade students.