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Earth Activities
The lessons below are teacher-favorite lessons focused on Earth. For more search options or to search by other science target, missions and other criteria, visit our Fast Lesson Finder. You can also search by curriculum standards on our popular Curriculum Standards Quilts.

Earth Lessons:

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Short Description: Learning about the Sun and the planets as a "treasure map" through the eyes of Scientist-Treasure Hunter, Dr. Phil Chamberlin.

Time Lineup
Body: Earth

Short Description: Students work in groups or as a class to determine the order of events that formed our solar system. This is an excellent activity to begin discussion of events that shaped the solar system and how Earth's geosphere and biosphere have changed -- in an interrelated manner -- through time. (Click here for links not accessible on the PDF version of this activity.)

Tracking a Solar Storm (Part 1)
Topic: Magnetism
Body: Earth
Mission: Earth Science (Earth)

Short Description: This is a short introduction and overview to space weather forecasting. It explains how scientists detect a storm on the sun's surface, and track it to Earth.

Tracking a Solar Storm (Part 2)
Topic: Magnetism
Body: Earth
Mission: Earth Science (Earth)

Short Description: This is a step-by-step guide to using web-based resources and scientific data archives to track a specific solar storm from cradle to grave.

Transit of Venus Math
Body: Sun, Venus, Earth
Mission: Heliophysics (Sun), SOHO (Comets)

Short Description: This problem book covers 17 specific mathematics problems that are common to studying the transit of Venus more critically.

Short Description: It is the most exciting question one can ask of the solar system: is life unique to Earth, or are there abodes of life on other planets -- even moons? A starting point is concluding that life as we know it requires liquid water. Given this constraint, in the first activity students explore a mathematical model for how temperature varies with distance from the sun. It allows them to find the "happy place" for possible life -- the range in distance from the sun within which a planet might contain liquid water. At first glance, it appears only Earth exists within this range. Students then plot the actual observed temperatures for planets and moons, which demonstrates that more than just distance from the sun accounts for planetary temperature, leading to potentially many abodes of life in the solar system. In the second activity students research the broader requirements for an abode of life, and whether these requirements are found on other worlds.

Water Quality at Earth Observatory
Body: Earth

Short Description: These citizen science activities could be used in a high school classroom to gather and submit data on local water quality, and to analyze satellite data.

Who Can Live Here: Life in Extreme Environments
Topic: Life