Beginner's guide to aerodynamics
This resource is a guide to aerodynamics that defines aerodynamics and it principle applications. The resource provides an in-depth overview of equations of motion, free falling, air resistance, motions, gas properties, and atmosphere. Aerodynamics affects on airliners, model rockets, and a beach ball is discussed.
Observe a lunar eclipse
This Earth science animation enables middle and high school students to observe the events of a lunar eclipse. The introduction explains why the moon's appearance changes as is moves through the Earth's shadow. The animation shows the moon darken as it enters the penumbra, turn reddish-orange as it reaches the umbra, and lighten as it leaves the other side of the penumbra. Movie controls allow students to repeat, pause, or step through the animation, which can give students more time to analyze
Can students predict how many pretzels they can eat in a minute? This material is part of a series of hands-on science activities designed to arouse student interest. Here students learn that pretzels contain a saliva-absorbing compound and are asked to take that fact into consideration when predicting how many pretzels they can eat in a minute. The activity includes a description, a list of science process skills and complex reasoning strategies being used, and a compilation of applicable natio
Teacher's Toolkit : Reforming cookbook labs
The majority of ancillary materials provided with any textbook includes a large quantity of labs that have step-by-step instructions. Although it is important in science for students to learn how to follow directions, offering only cookbook labs limits students' access to exploration. Presented in this article are 11 different ways of altering cookbook labs so that students understand the intention of the procedure. The altered labs do not fully achieve the status of inquiry-lab, but they are a
Pi = 3.14159...
What is Pi? Who first used Pi? How do you find it? How many digits is it?
Warning Signs for Dangerous Times : Exploring the Use of Storm-Tracking Technologies
In this lesson, students explore the use of storm-tracking technologies, research how natural disasters are predicted, and assess the importance of these technologies. A case study of a New England snow storm and its impacts is presented for discussion, along with suggestions for retrieving information about forecasts as well as links to weather prediction and warning sites.
In this lesson students discover that measurements from space can tell us the temperature of the ocean, both on an annual average and as measured on any given date. For the annual average the highest ocean temperatures are near the equator, and drop as one moves either northward or southward from the equator. Students will graph each temperature value as a function of latitude and write a linear equation that best fits the points on their graph. They can choose as data points any point at that a
Drift Seeds And Drift Fruits : Seeds That Ride The Ocean Currents
This essay explores seed dispersal by water and describes some of the physical adaptations that evolution has produced in the seeds and fruits that travel this way. There is a background essay, discussion questions, state and national standards, and links to related Teacher's Domain resources.
Part of the larger Imagine the Universe educational site, the Electromagnetic Spectrum site is another great resource from NASA. The site gives clear and easy-to-understand explanations, while providing keywords throughout the page that are linked to a dictionary of terms for easy access to further information. Students will enjoy the colorful illustrations accompanying the text, which vertically follow the spectrum from radio to gamma rays, while teachers will appreciate the related lesson plan
Ozone in the atmosphere : ozone production
Why is ozone needed in the atmosphere? In this informational piece, part of an interactive laboratory series for grades 8-12, students read about the structure and function of ozone in our atmosphere. In one activity, students investigate how altitude affects ozone concentration. A discussion of the zones of the atmosphere provides information on the amount of ozone found in each layer. An animation explores the processes by which ozone is produced and destroyed by ultraviolet light. A second ac
Data Analysis and Measurement: Ahead, Above the Clouds
This is the Educator Guide of an archived NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) CONNECT program designed to help students discover that in predicting severe weather and tracking clouds, NASA engineers and scientists are developing technologies to collect data that will help them better understand Earth's climate. The guide includes an activity in which students play a game that will help them understand the complexity of hurricane forecasting. They will be given the coordinates fo
Cold Clouds and Water in Space
This article from Astrobiology Magazine reports on the discovery of water in cold regions of space. Using data from the European Space Agencys Infrared Space Observatory, astronomers have determined that water is abundant in these cold, or quiescent regions of space where there are no stars, and that the majority of it occurs as ice with a small amount of water vapor. It is thought that these cold regions of space might be the future birthplaces of low-mass stars like our own sun. Links to other
Science Sampler : Thriving in the co-taught classroom
Classrooms are becoming more diverse as students with specific learning needs are moved out of self-contained special education classrooms and into mainstreamed classrooms with their non-disabled peers. The use of the co-teaching model allows for extensive flexibility in structuring instructional activities and responding to the needs of diverse learners. This article provides a summary of co-teaching practices that have been effective and beneficial for many years.
Examine evidence of Earth turning about an axis
Using an animation of the classic pendulum experiment, this resource supplies middle and high school students with evidence of the Earth's rotation on its axis. The introduction explains that although pendulums are known to swing in a fixed path, on Earth their path appears to shift over time. As the animation reveals, it is not the pendulum's swing that changes--it is the Earth beneath the pendulum that moves. The animation contains three screens: two with different views of a pendulum swinging
What's That Stuff?
What's That Stuff? Well, the Web site provided by Chemical and Engineering News answers this question on many of those everyday items that are just a bit curious. For example, Silly Putty is a dilatant compound, which means it has an inverse thixotropy--that is, as a viscous suspension or gel, it becomes solid under the influence of pressure. The site explains the history and characteristics of this and over twenty other substances such as sunscreen, cheese whiz, baseballs, fluoride, new car sme
Observe some products of a Geographic Information System (GIS)
By combining a short paragraph and six enlargeable maps, this resource explains to students what a Geographic Information System (GIS) is. Introductory text explains that GIS technology enables users to plot multiple data sets onto maps of varying scales. Then six sample maps produced through GIS are provided. Among these maps is one that identifies where energy and mineral resources are located globally and another that highlights and labels the rivers that drain into the Mississippi River. Cop
Observe an animation of a thunderstorm
These animated satellite images allow Earth science students to follow the formation of a thunderstorm over central Florida. The introduction explains how thunderstorms are formed by the updrafts of warm, moist air. Students are instructed to observe the animation to see the formation of cumulonimbus clouds and to observe the effect of downdrafts on the storms. The animation is linked to a map of the United States that shows the storm's location. Movie controls allow students to repeat, pause, o
Observe an animation of the Coriolis effect over Earth's surface
This pair of Earth science animations uses airline flight patterns to demonstrate the Coriolis effect in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. The animations first show two planes' target destinations and intended flight paths on a stationary Earth. Then, the planet rotates, revealing that the plotted routes would take the plane in the Northern Hemisphere to the right of its intended destination and the plane in the Southern Hemisphere to the left of its intended destination. Accompanying text
Everest : Test Your Brain
This interactive feature from the NOVA Everest Web site lets you take the same brain quizzes that researchers used to test the brain function of climbers on Mount Everest.
The Electromagnetic Spectrum: FRONTLINE
This video segment adapted from FRONTLINE introduces the electromagnetic spectrum and explains how the various types of electromagnetic waves are distinguished by the amount of energy each wave carries.