A 2-D map is a great guide here on Earth—and virtually worthless for finding your way around in outer space. Take a 3-D look at mapping our solar system and universe. This Moveable Museum article, available as a printable PDF file, looks at how astronomers use data to create 3-D models of the universe. Explore these concepts further using the recommended resources mentioned in this reading selection.
The AirData website provides access to air pollution data for the entire United States. Users have the ability to produce reports and maps of air pollution data based on criteria that they specify.
This reference list has more than 20 recommended astronomy books for older students and adults. For each title, the publisher and publication date is included, along with author name. The list is divided into three subcategories: General Astronomy and Astrophysics, Light and Telescopes, and Digital Imaging and the 3-D Universe.
This fun Web site is part of OLogy, where kids can collect virtual trading cards and create projects with them. Here, they learn about cladograms and the vast variety of dinosaurs that once roamed Earth. The activity opens by telling kids that there are more than 400 known species of extinct dinosaurs and by explaining how cladograms show their relationships to one another. Students then go to an interactive cladogram that has 19 dinosaur species. Each of the 19 dinosaurs includes a trading card with details about the species and its discovery, photographs, and interactive multiple-choice and "Fact or Fiction?" quizzes.
The purpose of this resource is to quantitatively evaluate the accuracy of a classification system. Students sort birds into three possible classes based on each bird's beak: carnivores, herbivores, and omnivores. Students compare their answers with a given set of validation data.
This is an activity about the moon. Learners will create their own models of lunar orbiters out of edible or non-edible materials. They determine what tools would be necessary to help us better understand the Moon and plan for a future lunar outpost. Then they incorporate these elements into their models. NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter is used as an example of a spacecraft armed with "eyes," "ears," and other tools for exploration. This activity is part of Explore! To the Moon and Beyond! - a resource developed specifically for use in libraries.
This booklet contains information on the Swift Gamma-ray Burst Explorer mission, its scientific objectives and its detectors and other hardware. The booklet includes multiple pages of printed parts and instructions for assembling them into a paper model.
In this scenario-based, problem-based learning (PBL) activity, students investigate cloud formation, cloud classification, and the role of clouds in heating and cooling the Earth; how to interpret TRMM (Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission) images and data; and the role clouds play in the Earth’s radiant budget and climate. Students assume the role of weather interns in a state climatology office and assist a frustrated student in a homework assignment. Learning is supported by a cloud in a bottle and an ice-albedo demonstration, a three-day cloud monitoring outdoor activity, and student journal assignments. The hands-on activities require two 2-liter soda bottles, an infrared heat lamp, and two thermometers. The resource includes a teacher's guide, questions and answer key, assessment rubric, glossary, and an appendix with information supporting PBL in the classroom.
This professional development article identifies resources that show young learners (K-grade 5) how scientists study Earth's climate and make predictions. The online lessons either allow students to collect and analyze data or learn about tools and technologies that make data collection possible. The lessons are aligned with national content standards for science education. The article appears in the free, online magazine Beyond Weather and the Water Cycle, which examines the recognized essential principles of climate literacy and the climate sciences for elementary teachers and their students.
This interactive, online activity allows students to examine the Hubble Deep Field image and simulate the process astronomers have gone through to classify the objects in it. Students classify select objects in the image based on observable properties such as color and shape. Students then compare their classifications to those made by astronomers. Upon completion of this activity, students will have classified objects in the Hubble Deep Field, described their characteristics, and used a table to display their data. Students can work through the activity independently or in groups. Teachers also may choose to have students prepare oral reports based on what they learned after performing the activity. Detailed teacher pages, identified as Teaching Tips on the title page of the activity, provide science background information, lesson plan ideas, related resources, and alignment with national education standards. This activity is part of the online exploration "The Hubble Deep Field Academy" that is available on the Amazing Space website.
This online article is from the Museum's Science Explorations, a collaboration between AMNH and Scholastic designed to promote science literacy. Written for students in grades 6-10, this article from Science World magazine has an interview with AMNH astrophysicist Mike Shara, in which he explains what space objects are and what happens when they collide. There are Web links that offer further opportunities for learning about space objects and their collisions.
This data sheet allows teachers a consistent and organized way to analyze student work by providing room for them to document noticings, wonderings, patterns, and next steps for instruction. There's also a space for teachers to record criteria for success to guide their lens for analysis.
This data sheet allows teachers a consistent and organized way to analyze student work by providing room for them to document noticings, wonderings, patterns, and next steps for instruction. There's also a space for teachers to record criteria for success to guide their lens for analysis. There is an example template provided to help guide you in your implementation of the document.
This lesson incorporates sea surface data collected by NASA satellites. Data for three surface characteristics- height, temperature and speed- are used for several activities. Students examine the differences in speed of currents relative to distance from the Equator. Sea surface data anomalies are charted and further analyzed. In addition, surface current data is presented to examine patterns related to El Niño. Note that this is lesson three of five on the Ocean Motion website. Each lesson investigates ocean surface circulation using satellite and model data and can be done independently. See Related URL's for links to the Ocean Motion Website that provide science background information, data resources, teacher material, student guides and a lesson matrix.
For most of human history, recording a star meant describing it with words or drawing a picture. The 19th-century invention of photography changed that—only to be revolutionized by digital imaging. This Moveable Museum article, available as a six-page printable PDF file, takes a look at the technology of digital imaging. It discusses how digital images are pictures stored as numbers and explains how computer manipulation can enhance images and reduce distortion. Some suggested resources are provided for further research.
In this interactive, online activity, students estimate the distances of objects in the Hubble Deep Field from Earth using the relationship between size, brightness, and distance. Students can complete this activity independently or in small groups. Detailed teacher pages, identified as Teaching Tips on the activity title page, provide science background information, lesson plan ideas, related resources, and alignment with national education standards. This activity is part of the online exploration "The Hubble Deep Field Academy" that is available on the Amazing Space website.
In this chapter, students will explore relationships between air quality and population density using the image visualization tool, Google Earth. You will learn how to download NO2 data and analyze them to develop a conceptual understanding of how population and topography can influence the air quality of a region. Once you have learned the techniques, you are encouraged to explore seasonal changes in nitrogen dioxide concentrations at other locations. This chapter is part of the Earth Exploration Toolbook (EET). Each EET chapter provides teachers and/or students with direct practice for using scientific tools to analyze Earth science data. Students should begin on the Case Study page.
This online article, from the museum's Musings newsletter for educators, provides an introduction to environmental stewardship. It discusses Earth's rarity as a planet that supports life and the mounting evidence that indicates human activity is, indeed, altering global climate.
In this activity, students examine the first line of evidence, galactic motion, for the notion of an expanding universe. By examining the spectrum of light from a galaxy, students can determine whether a galaxy is moving toward or away from us, and how fast. Students will look at optical images of four galaxies, compare the emission spectra from these same four galaxies, and measure the wavelength of the red hydrogen line for each galaxy. This activity is part of the "Cosmic Questions" educator's guide developed to support the Cosmic Questions exhibit. This activity can be used in conjunction with, or independently of, the exhibit.
Student teams explore atmospheric aerosols, dust, and fires and their impact on the Earth's albedo using NASA Earth Observations (NEO) website. This is an extension activity in the student learning activity guide accompanying the GLOBE Earth System Poster, Exploring Connections in Year 2007. A series of six learning activities and associated assessment activities are included.