ASTRONOMY

H.E.2A.1   

Hubblesite  
Multiple resources 
Discover, see and explore the universe through images, videos, articles, interactive ebooks and resources. 

H.E.2A.2   

ASPIRE Star Life Cycle  
Interactive  
Stars are very dynamic objects—they grow old and die, while new stars are being formed all throughout the universe. Learn where stars come from, how they form, what keeps them going and what happens to them after they die. The lesson is divided up into five sections: Studying Stars; Protostars; Main Sequence; Old Stars; Stellar Remnants; and additional information. 

Galaxy Zoo   
Interactive
The Zooniverse is the world’s largest platform for people-powered research — more than a million people around the world who come together to assist professional researchers. People don’t need any specialized background, training, or expertise to participate in any Zooniverse projects just their own computer. 

Jewels of the Night   
Lesson plan 
The Jewels of the Night is a hands-on activity. Students measure the color and brightness of stars in the Jewelbox Cluster from a color image. They determine the age of the cluster by plotting their measurements in a color-brightness diagram. The activity develops classification and graphing skills and fosters observation, communication, and cooperative learning skills. Students are exposed to ideas about the nature of stars, temperature and color, stellar evolution, the time scales of astronomical phenomena, and how astronomers can determine the ages of objects in the universe. 

H.E.2A.3  

The Elements: Forged in Stars 
Video, background reading and discussion questions 
Fusion, which occurs when atomic nuclei combine to form new elements, is extremely powerful. All the stars in the universe, including the Sun, are nuclear furnaces fueled by fusion. Through fusion, stars are responsible for forming all the naturally occurring elements heavier than hydrogen and helium -- before stellar nucleosynthesis, only the lightest elements existed in the universe. This video segment adapted from NOVA illustrates the critical role that stars play in creating the elements. 

We are Star Stuff 
Video and teaching tips 
Stars are our stellar alchemists. They spend their entire lifespan creating and molding elements. In their final moments, a supernova spreads these elements out into the universe, providing the building blocks for new stars, planets, and even us! 

High Mass Stars 
Video 
Massive stars fuse heavier elements in their cores than lower mass stars. This leads to the creation of heavier elements up to iron. Iron robs critical energy from the core, causing it to collapse. The resulting supernova creates even more heavy elements, scattering them through space. 

How to Make an Element 
Reading material 
Forging heavier elements from lighter ones used to be the sole domain of stars and supernova. But not anymore. Find out more in this article from NOVA Online. 

An Elemental Question 
Video 
You and all of the things around you are made up of atoms.  Elements are specific kinds of atoms defined by their number of protons.  All of the elements that make up our stuff, our bodies, and our environment came from outer space.  But how are elements made in outer space, and how did they get here?  What is going on? 

Life cycle of Stars 
Images and reading material 
When a massive star has no more elements left to fuse it explodes as a supernova, from which the chemical elements heavier than lithium form. 

H.E.2A.4  

Making Waves with the Electromagnetic Spectrum 
Lesson plan 
Explore various types of electromagnetic waves using videos and interactive online tools to understand the electromagnetic spectrum. 

H.E.2A.5 

Tour of the Universe 
Video, background reading, teaching tips and discussion questions 
Take a journey through the observable universe and back in time in this video by the California Academy of Sciences. Use this resource to stimulate thinking about the immense scale of the universe and Earth’s place in it and to visualize how the light from distant objects represents objects and events from the past, allowing us to peer into the ancient universe. 

Ned Wright: ‘WISE Space Telescope Will Make an Atlas of the Universe’- Full 
Video 
This Utah Education Network podcast features astronomer Dr. Edward Wright, who discussed how the WISE space telescope (launched in 2010) would scan the sky with infrared light in order to create an atlas of the universe. 

Ned Wright: ‘WISE Space Telescope Will Make an Atlas of the Universe’ 
Video 
This Utah Education Network podcast features astronomer Dr. Edward Wright, who discussed how the WISE space telescope (launched in 2010) would scan the sky with infrared light in order to create an atlas of the universe. 

Above the Clouds: Telescopes on Mauna Kea 
Video, background reading and discussion questions 
Astronomical research is dependent on technology that allows astronomers to see the universe. Telescopes act as giant eyes, capturing the light from celestial objects and processing it for astronomers to study. Generally, a space-based telescope will offer the clearest views of the universe. However, astronomers have found an ideal site for ground-based telescopes. In this video segment adapted from First Light, learn about recent telescope technologies and one of the best ground locations—Mauna Kea. 

Astronomical Images in Different Wavelengths 
Interactive, background reading and discussion questions 
Telescopes are engineered to detect a specific range of wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation. In this resource, images from a variety of these telescopes show different aspects of the same astronomical objects. To trained eyes, each of the images contributes details that provide a more comprehensive understanding of the observed object than is possible from a single image. Radio images highlight the presence of cooler gas clouds (especially hydrogen), infrared images show areas of low-energy heat, visible light images depict primarily gases and dust, and X-ray images reveal high-energy heat emissions. 

How Does the Kepler Telescope Work? 
Video, background reading, teaching tips, and discussion questions 
Learn about NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope, which uses the transit method to search for exoplanets, in this video from NOVA: Alien Planets Revealed. Use this resource to visualize how measuring the dimming of light coming from a star provides evidence for orbiting planets and to exemplify the role technology plays in advancing science. 

Solar Space Telescopes 
Video 
In this video from NOVA’s Sun Lab, explore how scientific understanding of the Sun and space weather has improved with data from three solar space telescopes: SOHO, STEREO, and SDO. Solar telescopes capture detailed images and information that scientists use to study both the interior and atmosphere of the Sun. For the first time, scientists can view the entire sun. Solar space telescopes are allowing scientists to develop a better understanding of space weather and how to forecast it. 

H.E.2B.1

What’s Your Favorite Planet?  
Audio and transcript 
Introduction activity. Eleven astronomers and planetary scientists make a "30-second pitch" for their favorite planet. 

Solar System Scope  
Interactive  
Solar System Scope is a model of the solar system, night sky and outer space in real time, with accurate positions of objects and lots of interesting facts. 

H.E.2B.2   

Exploring the Moon Educator Guide  
Lesson plans 
The activities in this guide promote problem solving, communication skills and teamwork. Earth and space science subjects include lunar geology and regolith, distance to the moon, Apollo landing sites and life support systems. 

Solar System Scope
Interactive  
Solar System Scope is a model of solar system, night sky and outer space in real time, with accurate positions of objects and lots of interesting facts. 

H.E.2B.3   

Solar System Scope  
Interactive  
Solar System Scope is a model of solar system, night sky and outer space in real time, with accurate positions of objects and lots of interesting facts. 

H.E.2B.4  

Origins of the Solar System 
Video and transcript 
Combining chemical evidence from meteorites with the latest computer simulations, scientists show how a supernova shock wave could have swept through a cloud of dust and gas and caused it to collapse, eventually forming our sun and the planets. 

Solar System Scope  
Interactive  
Solar System Scope is a model of the solar system, night sky and outer space in real time, with accurate positions of objects and lots of interesting facts.


EARTH’S GEOSPHERE 

 H.E.3A.1  

The Magma Factory 
Interactive, videos, images and lesson plans 
Analyze and interpret data to construct explanations for processes that form volcanoes at convergent tectonic plate boundaries. Analyze and interpret data to construct explanations for the role of water in processes that form volcanoes at convergent tectonic plate boundaries.  

Determining and Measuring Earth’s Layered Interior  
Interactive  
In this instructional sequence, students examine seismic evidence to determine that the Earth must have a layered internal structure and to estimate the size of Earth's core. 

H.E.3A.2  

Discovering Plate Boundaries: Teacher's Guide
Media, teacher's guide: Tour of the Maps, plate boundary map, student instructions handout, volcanology data map, geography data map, seismology data map, geochronolgy data map, and a set of 16 overhead transparencies
Use this data-rich exercise built around four global maps to teach your students about the processes that occur at plate tectonic boundaries.

H.E.3A.3  

Plate Tectonics: An Introduction
Video, background reading and discussion questions
In the early 1900s, most geologists thought that Earth's appearance, including the arrangement of the continents, had changed little since its formation. This video segment describes the impact the theory of plate tectonics has had on our understanding of Earth's geological history, as we have become aware of our planet's ever-changing nature.

Plate Tectonics: Lake Mead, Nevada
Video, background reading and discussion questions
Contrary to what most geologists thought less than 100 years ago, we live on a dynamic planet. Earth's surface has changed in countless ways during the 4.6 billion years since it formed, and it continues to change today. This video segment looks at some of the geologic processes that have shaped the landscape near Lake Mead, Nevada, and suggests that these processes may be causing North America to slowly break apart.

Tectonic Plate Movement in Alaska
Video, background reading and discussion questions
Learn how mountains, volcanoes, and earthquakes result from plate tectonics. Animations illustrate how the subduction of the Pacific plate under the North American plate and the collision of the Yakutat block builds mountains, such as the Wrangell and St. Elias Mountains. In addition, observe how technology (such as seismometers, satellites, and the Internet) helps scientists study the movement of Earth's crust, and learn about the surprising finding that there are still aftershocks being measured decades after the 1964 earthquake.

Exploring Earthquakes
Media materials and Teacher's Guide
What are earthquakes? Get a new perspective on these powerful phenomena with this collection of videos and infographics co-presented by the California Academy of Sciences and KQED. You'll learn why earthquakes happen, how they've shaped the Bay Area, and what you can do to prepare for the next one.

Earthquake! When Plates Collide
Video, discussion questions and teacher notes
This video shows how Earth’s crust is made up of rocky slabs, called plates, and how those plates are constantly moving. As molten rock rises from Earth's interior and cools to form new crust, it forces older crust to grind against other plates or sink beneath them. Using ground movement data, scientists are able to calculate stress levels at these plate boundaries. This stress is released in a matter of seconds during an earthquake, sometimes generating as much energy as thousands of nuclear bombs.

Volcanism at Yellowstone
Video, background reading, discussion questions and teaching tips
In this video learn why the Yellowstone supervolcano is located in the middle of the North American Plate instead of along a plate boundary, where most volcanoes form. Scientist Bob Smith uses a network of seismometers to record seismic waves from earthquakes and construct a three-dimensional model of the magma located beneath Yellowstone. He uses the model to investigate the geologic process responsible for the active volcanism. Data reveal a mantle plume—a column of magma that is rising from deep within Earth’s interior through the North American Plate to create the active volcanism at Yellowstone.

NOVA: The Volcano Under Yellowstone
Video and teaching tips
Learn about the volcano under Yellowstone National Park in this video from NOVA Digital. Old Faithful—the powerful geyser in Yellowstone that erupts predictably—results from magma superheating water below the ground's surface. In the magma chambers beneath Yellowstone, there is enough partially molten rock to categorize it as a supervolcano. Because of tectonic plate motion, the hot spot that is now under Yellowstone was once under a different part of the North American Plate. About 12 million years ago, the hot spot produced a massive volcanic explosion in what is now Nebraska; the fossilized remains of hundreds of animals have been preserved in ash from that explosion.

Plate Tectonics: The Hawaiian Archipelago
Video, background reading and discussion questions
Given that all of the Hawaiian Islands were created by volcanic activity, it is somewhat surprising that only one of the islands possesses any active volcanoes. Why did the volcanoes that built the other islands stop erupting and why are those on the big island still active? This video segment adapted from NOVA describes the role of a relatively rare phenomenon, known as a hot spot, in the formation of these majestic islands. 

Earthquakes: The Seismograph
Video, background reading and discussion questions
In 1755, a deadly earthquake struck the city of Lisbon. At the time, scientists had little understanding of what could cause the ground to shake as it did. Observations of residents indicated that the quake had delivered two distinct types of vibrations. Since that time, scientists have developed and used a device called a seismometer to better understand seismic waves. Today, seismometers help scientists predict earthquakes. This video segment adapted from NOVA describes the history of seismology.

Earthquakes: San Francisco
Video, background reading and discussion questions
The prediction of earthquakes may be inexact, but it is vital, especially when large cities such as San Francisco or Los Angeles are threatened. The San Andreas Fault and two other lesser-known faults all have the potential to deliver a massive earthquake to the San Francisco Bay area. In this video a seismologist interprets earthquake data and explains how these data are used to predict the location and timing of San Francisco's next big earthquake.

Earthquakes: Los Angeles
Video, background reading and discussion questions
Even if you have never been to California, you have probably heard of the San Andreas Fault. Although it is the longest and one of the most active fault zones in California, the San Andreas is not responsible for every earthquake in the state. This video segment adapted from NOVA describes another type of fault and explains why it may present a greater danger to the city of Los Angeles than the San Andreas Fault.

Earthquake Prediction
Video, background reading and discussion questions
Earthquake prediction has never been an exact science or an easy job. In 1923, the debate between two Japanese seismologists over whether or not a large earthquake was imminent and the citizens of Tokyo should be warned ended in tragedy. In this video segment adapted from NOVA, a contemporary seismologist tells the story of these two pioneers and describes the events of the infamous Kanto Earthquake.

H.E.3A.4 

Forecasting Earthquakes
Video, discussion questions and student handouts
Find out how researchers are improving earthquake forecasts in this video from NOVA scienceNOW: "What's the Next Big Thing?" Correspondent Kirk Wolfinger meets with geophysicist Ernest Majer, who demonstrates how his team measures seismic signals that could serve as a possible warning sign for earthquakes. Thomas Jordan, of the Southern California Earthquake Center, describes how hundreds of scientists have joined forces to produce a comprehensive earthquake forecast for California that estimates earthquake sizes, locations, and frequency. A computer simulation illustrates how tremors would propagate from the San Andreas fault across Southern California, showing which communities are most at risk. 

Predicting Earthquakes
Video, background reading and discussion questions
The Bay Area’s San Andreas Fault Observatory at Depth (SAFOD) project a is critical component in research surrounding earthquake prediction. Scientists have used data from SAFOD to develop a system that may save lives during the next earthquake.

Earthquakes: The Seismograph
Video, background reading and discussion questions
In 1755, a deadly earthquake struck the city of Lisbon. At the time, scientists had little understanding of what could cause the ground to shake as it did. Observations of residents indicated that the quake had delivered two distinct types of vibrations. Since that time, scientists have developed and used a device called a seismometer to better understand seismic waves. Today, seismometers help scientists predict earthquakes. This video segment adapted from NOVA describes the history of seismology.

How Seismic Waves Cause Damage During an Earthquake
Video
What is a seismic wave? Which of the four types is most destructive? Discover the science behind earthquakes with this animated video from KQED Quest.

H.E.3A.5  

Radioactive Dating Game  
Interactive simulation 
Learn about different types of radiometric dating, such as carbon dating. Understand how decay and half-life work to enable radiometric dating. Play a game that tests your ability to match the percentage of the dating element that remains to the age of the object. 

H.E.3A.6  

Breaking it Down—Weathering and Erosion 
Interactive, video and lesson plan 
This lesson discusses the processes of weathering and erosion and how they work together to shape the earth’s landscape. An online game introduces students to the basic modes of erosion. The processes of chemical and physical weathering that enable erosion are then explored in detail using online media and hands-on laboratory experiments. Next, video segments from the Nature episode “Violent Hawaii” are used to revisit in greater detail the causes and effects of erosion in the real world, and human attempts to limit it. The lesson culminates with an online game that reinforces students’ understanding of the lesson’s vocabulary and concepts. 

Nature: Water Erosion
Video, transcript, background reading and discussion questions
Learn about the erosive action of water on the Hawaiian landscape and human efforts to limit it, in this video from Nature.

Karst Topography and Mammoth Cave
Video, background reading and discussion questions
In this video from KET, take a trip into the depths of Mammoth Cave and ride an airplane to view sinkholes in the land above the Mammoth Cave system in Kentucky. Watch as an animation shows how both caverns and sinkholes are created by water seeping through and dissolving limestone. Discover that much of Earth's land surface is karst, similar to that in the Mammoth Cave region, and thus shares the water quality issues prevalent there.

Making North America: Uncovering Layers of the Grand Canyon
Video, activity, background reading, teaching tips and discussion questions
Follow along with host Kirk Johnson as he explores the layers of rock that make up the Grand Canyon, in this video from NOVA: Making North America: Origins. Many geologists think that the Grand Canyon is the best place in the world. Its exposed rock layers allow them to see hundreds of millions of years back in time, revealing a story about what the surface was like as each rock layer formed. By analyzing the rock, mineral, and fossil contents of the layers, scientists know that what is today the North American continent was covered by desert sands, shallow seas, and more in its distant past.

What is Bedrock? | Iowa Land and Sky
Video, background reading and discussion questions
Bedrock is the hard compacted material that underlies everywhere, and you can think of it as the uppermost crust of the earth. There are places in Iowa where the bedrock is right at the surface. There are other places in Iowa where glaciers have left behind soft sediments like soil, sand and gravel. Some places have over 600 feet of that glacial sediment.

H.E.3A.7  

Breaking it Down
Lesson Plan, online media, video, online game and hands-on laboratory
This lesson discusses the processes of weathering and erosion and how they work together to shape the earth’s landscape. An online game introduces students to the basic modes of erosion. The processes of chemical and physical weathering that enable erosion are then explored in detail using online media and hands-on laboratory experiments. Next, video segments from the Nature episode “Violent Hawaii” are used to revisit in greater detail the causes and effects of erosion in the real world, and human attempts to limit it. The lesson culminates with an online game that reinforces students’ understanding of the lesson’s vocabulary and concepts.

Hurricane Matthew Causes Weathering and Erosion
Media Gallery, background reading, teaching tips, student handouts, discussion questions and vocabulary handout
Observe the visible effects of rapid weathering and erosion caused by Hurricane Matthew in this series of before and after images. This resource can be used to stimulate curiosity, thinking, and questions about the effects of rapid weathering and erosion on land caused by powerful waves, wind, and heavy rainfall due to a strong hurricane. 

H.E.3A.8 

Making North America: The Ingredients for Soil
Video, background reading, teaching tips and activity
Examine the ingredients of soil, Earth’s thinnest and most fragile layer and the frontier between the worlds of geology and biology, in this video from NOVA: Making North America: Human. Kirk Johnson meets with fellow geologist Dave Montgomery, who reveals the recipe that makes life on land and all agriculture possible. Soil is made of sand, silt, clay, and organic matter. It’s primarily a product of minerals and dead organisms that, over time and with the help of living things including worms, are broken down.

On the Table - Episode 3: Heart and Soil
Video, activity, pre-discussion questions, post-discussion questions, facilitator guides for teachers and students 
In this episode of NET’s On the Table, NPR’s Dan Charles introduces us to a group of farmers with their noses in the dirt and explains why food companies could soon start labelling their products as "soil friendly."

Soil: Garden Activity Guide 
Media, student handouts: Soil Texture Triangle; Soil Colors; and Soil Analysis Field Report
How does soil texture and fertility contribute to the overall health and productivity of a garden? In this activity and lesson plan, help students explore the details of garden soil and learn about the different ingredients that help fertilize growing plants.

How Dirt Works: Video 
Video
Soil sustains plant and animal life, regulates water, filters pollutants, cycles nutrients and supports structures. This video explores the value of soil and its role as a natural resource. See how humans and many other organisms rely on soil, and how agriculture, home building, and road construction change the land in ways different from how nature changes the land on its own. 

 H.E.3B.1  

What Are Our Energy Choices? 
Interactive 
Explore advantages and disadvantages of generating electricity from different energy sources. Run experiments with computational models to investigate how gas is extracted from shale formations through hydraulic fracturing. Evaluate energy resources and compare the costs and benefits of different sources used for generating electricity. There is a total of five online activities in the module. 

H.E.3B.2  

Three Levels of Biodiversity
Interactive, background reading and discussion questions
What's the difference between diversity in genes and species? Why are some species better than others at adapting to environmental changes? Learn more about specific levels of biodiversity, and see examples of plant and animal species and why they are important to each level.

H.E.3B.3  

Biomes
Interactive, background reading and discussion questions
The distribution of plants and animals around the world is anything but random. Instead, it is a result of the interplay of individual environmental tolerances of species and the environmental conditions, especially variations in temperature and precipitation. These interactions result in biomes, the categories into which ecologists organize similar communities of plants, animals, and the environmental conditions in which they live. This interactive resource adapted from NASA features some of the physical and biological characteristics of seven of the world's biomes.

NOVA Polar Lab
Interactive and facilitator guide
The interactive NOVA Polar Lab uses 360° videos, interviews with scientists, and mini-games to send students on an immersive quest to understand how the poles are key to understanding Earth’s climate—past, present, and future.

H.E.3B.4

Natural Hazards
Media, lesson plan, videos, United States blank map PDF, note cards, and multimedia resources list
This lesson introduces students to a variety of natural hazards, emphasizing that when people understand these threats they are better able to avoid or reduce their potential impacts. First, the class discusses what they know about natural hazards and natural disasters. Then, working in pairs, they research particular hazards—the threats they pose and where and when those threats are most pronounced. Following this research period, the class assembles what they have learned into a general overview of natural hazards nationwide. Following the second class discussion, students work in pairs again to explore the hazards that affect particular towns, cities, or regions of the country. In doing so, they learn more about how and why certain natural hazards impact specific areas, as well as what people are doing to minimize the threats these hazards pose. Students again share their findings with the class.

Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation
Video, background reading, discussion questions and teaching tips 
In this video learn about actions humans can take to mitigate climate change and adapt to its impacts. Use the resource to stimulate thinking and questions about climate change and to provide opportunities for students to design solutions and communicate information.

H.E.3B.5

Natural Hazards
Media, lesson plan, videos, United States blank map PDF, note cards, and multimedia resources list
This lesson introduces students to a variety of natural hazards, emphasizing that when people understand these threats they are better able to avoid or reduce their potential impacts. First, the class discusses what they know about natural hazards and natural disasters. Then, working in pairs, they research particular hazards—the threats they pose and where and when those threats are most pronounced. Following this research period, the class assembles what they have learned into a general overview of natural hazards nationwide. Following the second class discussion, students work in pairs again to explore the hazards that affect particular towns, cities, or regions of the country. In doing so, they learn more about how and why certain natural hazards impact specific areas, as well as what people are doing to minimize the threats these hazards pose. Students again share their findings with the class.

Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation
Video, background reading, discussion questions and teaching tips 
In this video learn about actions humans can take to mitigate climate change and adapt to its impacts. Use the resource to stimulate thinking and questions about climate change and to provide opportunities for students to design solutions and communicate information.


EARTH’S PALEOBIOSPHERE 

H.E.4A.1   

AIR: The Search for One Clean Breath  
Video 
How has air evolved and what does it mean for our human experience? With state-of-the-art animation, an inspired soundtrack, and stunning visuals filmed in high definition, the film gives new insight into this precious natural resource.   

H.E.4A.2   

H.E.4A.3 

Good Thinking! — Time: It’s Like, So Deep
Video
Time: It’s Like, So Deep — explores common difficulties with understanding the immensity of the geologic time scale (often referred to as “deep time”) and suggests approaches to help students grapple with this transformative concept.

That Time It Rained for Two Million Years - Eons
Video
At the beginning of the Triassic Period, with the continents locked together from pole-to-pole in the supercontinent of Pangea, the world is hot, flat, and very, very dry. But then 234 million years ago, the climate suddenly changed for the wetter.

The Other Explosion You Should Know about - Eons
Video
Fossils found around the world suggest that multi-cellular life was not only present before the Cambrian Explosion, it was much more elaborate and diverse than anyone thought. This is the story of the sudden burst of diversity that marked the dawn of truly complex life on our planet.

H.E.4A.4  

Record of Time
Media
Enter the exciting world of dating ... fossil dating, that is.

The Most Useful Fossils in the World - Eons
Video
For decades, one of the most abundant kinds of fossils on Earth, numbering in the millions of specimens, was a mystery to paleontologists. But geologists discovered that these mysterious fossils could basically be used to tell time in the deep past.

The Falls of the Ohio
Video, background reading and discussion questions
In this video from KET, stroll along the Falls of the Ohio River, one of the largest exposed fossil beds in the world. Imagine what this part of the Midwest looked like during the Devonian Period, 387 million years ago. Fossil evidence of corals and other marine organisms indicate the region was located in the tropics and was covered by a warm, shallow sea.

H.E.4A.5   

Becoming a Fossil
Video, background reading and discussion questions
The remains of the vast majority of organisms that die are eaten by scavengers or decompose beyond recognition before they can be preserved. The conditions under which fossils can successfully form are unusual, and the odds that a fossil will then be exposed at the surface again, and discovered, are smaller still.

The Fossil Evidence for Evolution
Videos, documents, handouts, discussion questions, and lesson plans
Students learn about the fossil record, one form of evidence for evolution. The next three lessons help students understand how scientists find evidence of evolution and piece together the history of life. In this lesson, students learn about the fossil record, the primary form of evidence. The lesson begins with an overview of the fossil formation process, then covers the evolution of land-dwelling animals from fish, and finally looks at how some mammals (whales) ended up back in the water.

H.E.4A.6  

Radiometric Dating
Video, background reading and discussion questions
Geologist Ralph Harvey and science historian Mott Greene explain the principles of radiometric dating and its application in determining the age of Earth, in this video segment from A Science Odyssey. As the uranium in rocks decays, it emits subatomic particles and turns into lead at a constant rate. Measuring the uranium-to-lead ratios in the oldest rocks on Earth gave scientists an estimated age of the planet of at least 4.5 billion years.

Radioactive Decay of Carbon-14
Video, discussion questions and Radioactive Decay of Carbon-14 for Teachers
In this video excerpt from NOVA: "Hunting the Elements," New York Times technology columnist David Pogue explores how isotopes of carbon can be used to determine the age of once-living matter. Learn how variations in atomic structure form isotopes of an element and how the three natural isotopes of carbon differ from each other. Meet paleoclimatologist Scott Stine, who uses radiocarbon dating to study changes in climate. Find out what it means for an isotope to be radioactive and how the half-life of carbon-14 allows scientists to date organic materials.

The Dating Game: Radioactive Carbon
Media document, background reading and discussion questions
Discover how scientists can measure the presence of a radioactive form of carbon—carbon-14—in decaying remains to calculate the ages of bones, cloth, wood, and other organic matter in this media-rich essay from NOVA. The technique they use, which is effective for dating objects no more than 40,000 to 60,000 years old with a high degree of accuracy, is called radiocarbon dating.

Half Life - Uranium: Twisting the Dragon's Tail
Video
Learn about half life, in this clip from Uranium: Twisting the Dragon's Tail. Half Life is the rate at which radioactive atoms decay and change themselves. The rate of decay varies which is why some radioactive substances can remain dangerous for a very long time. In 1986 after the Chernobyl nuclear accident the damaged reactor was encased in a concrete sarcophagus but now it's cracking and needs to be replaced. Watch Derek show a new confiement structure being built to last one hundred years. In 5 billion years, only half of that left over uranium will be decayed. Hear how scientists developed a way to use the half life of the radioactive atoms for medinical purposes in cancer patients with medicine Technetium 99m.

H.E.4A.7 

The Fate of Carbon
Interactive lesson and teaching tips
Introductory lesson. Students examine the importance of carbon and learn about two Earth systems, the solubility pump and the biological pump, which cycle carbon from the atmosphere into the oceans and back again. In this interactive lesson, students watch short descriptive videos about this topic. They read and highlight video transcripts and complete short writing assignments that reflect what they've learned. As a final assignment, students recreate the steps involved in both pumps and then write a clear, descriptive paragraph or two describing one of the pumps. 


EARTH’S ATMOSPHERE – WEATHER AND CLIMATE 

H.E.5A.1   

H.E.5A.2  

Why Do We Have Seasons?
Interactive, background reading, teaching tips and discussion questions
Explore what causes seasons on Earth in this interactive adapted from NASA materials that features four cities at different latitudes. Use this resource to view how Earth’s axial tilt causes seasons from different perspectives and to develop and use models of sunlight received at Earth’s surface.

Seasons
Video, background reading and discussion questions
This video animation illustrates how the combination of the tilt of earth's spin axis and the orbit of the earth about the sun creates the geometry responsible for earth’s seasons. There is no sound.

Seasons on Earth
Lesson plan, videos, misconceptions stated, Modeling Sunlight on Earth worksheet PDF, "Why Do We Have Seasons?" interactive, activities materials lists, and a list of additional resources
Earth's seasons—the annual climate changes that different locations experience—result from a combination of Earth's orbit around the Sun and the tilt of Earth's axis. Understanding why the Earth has seasons is one of the most difficult concepts for students to understand, and it is often a battle to get them to abandon their preconceived ideas. In this lesson, students use class discussion, interactive activities, hands-on activities, and videos to learn about the seasons, Earth's motion, and the role of its tilted axis. Students also study satellite data showing seasonal changes of plant life and explore an example of long-term natural climate change.

Why Do We Have Different Seasons?
Video, "Why Do We Have Different Season?" activity, student handout
Did you know that the Sun’s light shines differently on Earth at different times of the year? Watch as the Earth orbits the Sun, rotating, like a slightly tilted, spinning top. This rotation changes the angle at which sunlight hits the surface of our planet, creating the different seasons.

Good Thinking! — 'Tis the Season for a Reason
Video
‘Tis the Season for a Reason — investigates common student difficulties in understanding the cause of the seasons as well as common pitfalls and helpful approaches.

Understanding Natural Climate Cycles - Decoding the Weather Machine
Video and teaching tips
Learn how variations in Earth’s tilt and orbit create a predictable cycle of natural climate changes and consider how human emissions of carbon dioxide affect global climate in this video from NOVA. Use this resource to model Milanković cycles and to provide opportunities for students to make a claim about the influence of humans on Earth’s natural climate cycles.

H.E.5A.3   

Global Weather Machine
Document, images, background reading and discussion questions
In this media-enhanced essay from NOVA, you can learn about the atmospheric conditions that drive weather on Earth. A complex interplay of heat, air, and water generates wind and related manifestations that ensure that no two days will ever have the same weather.

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What Is the Future of Earth’s Climate? 
Interactive 
Examine graphs of greenhouse gas concentration and temperature change; run experiments with computational models to compare the effect of different levels of anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions and explain how scientists can be certain the Earth’s climate is changing. There are five online activities in the module. 

Ocean Temperatures and Climate Patterns
Video, background reading and discussion questions
Interactions between Earth's atmosphere and oceans drive weather and climate patterns. Although these interactions and patterns are complex, they are also predictable. This animation from The New Media Studio explains precipitation patterns by illustrating how differences in ocean surface temperatures create wind, and how wind patterns can in turn affect ocean surface temperatures.

Earth System: El Nino's Influence on Hurricane Formation
Video, background reading and discussion questions
Warm water fuels the tropical storms that ultimately form hurricanes. In this video segment adapted from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, learn how El Niño events—climatic anomalies that occur periodically in the Pacific Ocean—alter the course of atmospheric circulation and lessen hurricane formation in the Atlantic Ocean.

20-Year Map of Global Rainfall
Video, background reading and discussion questions
The distribution of rainfall on Earth follows clear patterns that can be traced to factors that influence cloud formation, such as the amount of solar heating, surface temperatures, topography, and proximity to moisture. In this visualization from NASA, observe the monthly distribution of global rainfall from January 1979 to January 2001, as illustrated by data gathered with a combination of remote-sensing and ground-based methods.

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Chasing Tornadoes
Video, background reading and discussion questions
From an outsider's perspective, storm chasing might appear to involve hours and hours of boredom, accentuated by a few moments of unimaginable excitement—or terror—depending on one's love or fear of tornadoes. But to tornado researchers, the effort and expense they expend in search of a single tornado-producing storm reflect the importance of these events in terms of their impact on lives and property. This video segment adapted from NOVA follows some of the scientists who study these violent storms and highlights what they've learned about the storms and what they still want to know about the conditions that cause them.

How Do Tornadoes Form?
Video, background reading and discussion questions
On average, about 800 tornadoes occur in the United States each year. They can appear and disappear in moments, and key details about their formation are unknown. These factors make the research to understand and predict tornado occurrence extremely difficult. This video segment adapted from NOVA describes the challenges of studying tornadoes and shows how computer simulations are helping researchers observe what they can't possibly see in a real storm.

La Niña and Tornado Outbreaks
Video, background reading, discussion questions, teacher information and teaching tips
In this video excerpt examine how the climate phenomenon of La Niña may help set up conditions conducive to large tornado outbreaks. Thermal images show a region of unusually cold sea-surface temperatures in the eastern Pacific Ocean, off the coast of Peru. This deviation from normal sea-surface temperatures, called La Niña, impacts ocean processes and global weather. Scientist Roger Pielke, Sr. explains how during a La Niña event, the combination of a strong jet stream and moist air in the southeastern United States may provide prime conditions for a particularly dangerous tornado season in 2011. (Pielke was correct, as an unusually high number of tornadoes were reported across the United States in 2011.)

Educators Guide: Tornado Model
Media
This resource helps guide an experiment finding which is more important in forming a tornado, a sidewind or an updraft.

Seasonal Science: Hurricane
Video, teacher resources and student resources
Why do hurricanes get their own season? The reason for the season is because of the three requirements for a hurricane to form. Precursor storms off the coast of Africa that travel on currents, warm ocean temperatures, and low wind shear due to the location of the jet stream are only available between June and November. Therefore, this is the season for hurricanes. This video and lesson integrate essential vocabulary for the NC science curriculum. The explanation of this extreme storm includes an engaging way to introduce students to the factors that affect our weather like temperature, air pressure, moisture and wind.

Clouds and Weather
Video and discussion questions
Learn about the relationships among the Sun, clouds, and weather in this video excerpt from NOVA's Cloud Lab. The Sun heats Earth's surface unevenly, driving global weather patterns that carry heat and humidity around the world. Differences in air pressure result in wind, causing air masses with different temperature and humidity to move. Clouds and powerful storms can form at a frontal boundary, where two air masses meet. For example, the uplift of warm, humid air over cold, dense air can create strong thunderstorms. Studying atmospheric conditions on a large scale can help forecast local and regional weather as well as the global climate.

Severe Storms
Video, discussion questions and teacher information
Learn about the development of storms, such as thunderstorms, blizzards, and hurricanes, in this video excerpt from NOVA's Cloud Lab. The formation of powerful storms is a more extreme version of the process that creates clouds. Severe storms require three conditions to develop: an energy source, moisture, and unstable air. The warmer the ground or ocean is below a storm, the more energy that can be transferred to the storm. Large amounts of water vapor produce precipitation and transport energy, fueling the storm. Differences in temperature fuel storms as well. The greater the temperature difference between a storm cloud and its surroundings, the more intense the storm will grow.

Reconstructing a Storm Interactive
Interactive
Investigate the role that clouds play in severe tropical storms, in this interactive from the NOVA Cloud Lab. Fueled by warm tropical waters, Earth's most powerful storms threaten thousands of coastal communities worldwide each year with torrential rains, powerful winds, and deadly surges of ocean water. Scientists use sophisticated instruments to investigate the development of tropical storm systems and better predict their impacts. This interactive from NOVA Labs gives you direct access to the types of data, imagery, and tools scientists use to make predictions so that you can begin to investigate storms developing right now!

Sandy and Climate Change
Video, background reading, discussion questions, teacher notes and teaching tips
In this video excerpt learn how Earth's warming climate may have contributed to Hurricane Sandy's devastating impact. Hurricane Sandy was an extremely large storm that followed an unusual path, and its impacts were enhanced by climate change. Climate scientists Radley Horton and Adam Sobel explain how warming temperatures in the Arctic may have shaped a blocking pattern in the jet stream (causing the hurricane to turn toward the United States) and how rising sea levels undeniably contributed to the storm's destructiveness.

Water Vapor Fuels Hurricanes
Video, background reading, discussion questions, further information and teaching tips 
In this video excerpt data visualizations show what water vapor evaporating from the ocean's surface might look like if you could see it. Aqua, a NASA satellite, uses infrared wavelengths to monitor the oceans and the production of water vapor. The Sun's heat warms ocean water and creates water vapor through the process of evaporation. When water vapor condenses in the atmosphere, it releases heat that helps to fuel storms. Simulations show large cloud formations developing into a powerful hurricane that can impact life on Earth.

The Effect of Sea Surface Temperature on Hurricanes
Video, background reading, discussion questions, student handouts and teaching tips
This video segment highlights research that supports the idea that warmer oceans generate and sustain more intense hurricanes. Ongoing monitoring of sea surface temperature (SST) has supplied evidence that the world's oceans warmed 0.5°C between 1970 and 2005. Because hurricanes rely on warm water to release heat into the upper atmosphere and create spiraling winds, any additional energy can result in increased intensity. The video examines factors scientists use to predict hurricane behavior, and states that the complex nature of hurricane formation makes predicting with a high degree of accuracy very difficult.

Global Weather Machine
Media document, images, background reading and discussion questions
In this media-enhanced essay from NOVA, you can learn about the atmospheric conditions that drive weather on Earth. A complex interplay of heat, air, and water generates wind and related manifestations that ensure that no two days will ever have the same weather.

Global Sea Surface Currents and Temperature
Media, student handouts, background reading and teaching tips
Observe Earth’s ocean surface currents in relation to sea surface temperature data in these visualizations from NASA. These animations were produced with model data from Estimating the Circulation and Climate of the Ocean, Phase II (ECCO2). Blue represents cooler surface temperatures while red represents warmer temperatures. See how surface flows and eddies distribute energy in the North Atlantic Ocean with a close-up view of the Gulf Stream. A global view of ocean surface currents shows larger patterns of energy distribution.

Earth System: El Nino
Video, background reading and discussion questions
The climatic phenomenon known as El Niño is a disruption of the ocean-atmosphere system in the tropical Pacific that impacts weather and climate around the globe. An El Niño occurs every four to twelve years, causes die-offs of plankton and fish, and affects Pacific jet-stream winds, altering storm tracks and creating unusual weather patterns around the world. This video segment details some of El Niño's far-reaching effects on both marine life and humans.

Earth System: El Nino's Influence on Hurricane Formation
Video, background reading and discussion questions
Warm water fuels the tropical storms that ultimately form hurricanes. In this video segment learn how El Niño events—climatic anomalies that occur periodically in the Pacific Ocean—alter the course of atmospheric circulation and lessen hurricane formation in the Atlantic Ocean.

Ocean Temperatures and Climate Patterns
Video, background reading and discussion questions
Interactions between Earth's atmosphere and oceans drive weather and climate patterns. Although these interactions and patterns are complex, they are also predictable. This animation explains precipitation patterns by illustrating how differences in ocean surface temperatures create wind, and how wind patterns can in turn affect ocean surface temperatures.

Great Ocean Conveyor Belt: Part I
Image, background reading and discussion questions
The oceans are in constant flux. The movement of ocean water is readily observable in the rise and fall of the tides and the continual lapping of waves along the coastlines of continents and islands. Less obvious is the network of currents that constantly circulates ocean water from one side of the globe to another. This image from GRID-Arendal illustrates the path of the great ocean conveyor belt, also known as the thermohaline conveyor.

What Causes the Gulf Stream?
Video, background reading and discussion questions
Even with the waves lapping at their feet, few people consider ocean currents and their importance to global climate. Although the Gulf Stream cannot be seen flowing by off North America's East Coast, in Western Europe, the current's warming effect is undeniable. This video segment uses satellite imagery to illustrate the Gulf Stream's path and animations to explain how atmospheric phenomena cause it to move.

The Effects of Atmospheric Particles on Climate
Video, background reading and teaching tips
This segment demonstrates how atmospheric particles, or aerosols, can affect regional warming and cooling. Dramatic images adapted from NOAA reveal the regions where atmospheric particles are concentrated, and their patterns of movement around the globe.

The Effect of Jet Streams on Climate
Video, background reading and teaching tips
This segment demonstrates how global jet stream patterns effect weather systems and regional climates. Scientists carefully track jet streams as climate change threatens to permanently change their spatial patterns.

The Role of Ocean Currents in Climate
Video, background reading and teaching tips
This segment demonstrates that ocean surface currents have a major impact on regional climate around the world, and explores the role of these currents in the creation of climate zones.

The Effect of Land Masses on Climate
Video, background reading and teaching tips
This segment demonstrates the complex relationships between the land and Earth's climate system. It emphasizes five land factors that influence climate: latitude, elevation, topography, surface reflectivity, and land use.

Global Ocean Circulation
Video, teacher notes, background reading, discussion questions, further information and teaching tips
In this video learn about patterns of global ocean circulation, which distribute heat around the planet. Differences in the density of water masses drive large-scale ocean currents. Dense water forming over the continental shelf of Antarctica is exported to the adjacent deep ocean, creating streams of very cold water that spread northward along the sea floor into the global oceans. Visualizations show the constant motion and flow of ocean currents. The ocean and the atmosphere are closely connected and are responsible for maintaining Earth's relatively stable climate, providing a hospitable environment for life.

Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation
Video, background reading, discussion questions and teaching tips 
In this video learn about actions humans can take to mitigate climate change and adapt to its impacts. Use the resource to stimulate thinking and questions about climate change and to provide opportunities for students to design solutions and communicate information.

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Great Ocean Conveyor Belt: Part I
Image, background reading and discussion questions
The oceans are in constant flux. The movement of ocean water is readily observable in the rise and fall of the tides and the continual lapping of waves along the coastlines of continents and islands. Less obvious is the network of currents that constantly circulates ocean water from one side of the globe to another. This image from GRID-Arendal illustrates the path of the great ocean conveyor belt, also known as the thermohaline conveyor.

Global Ocean Circulation
Video, teacher notes, background reading, discussion questions, further information and teaching tips
In this video learn about patterns of global ocean circulation, which distribute heat around the planet. Differences in the density of water masses drive large-scale ocean currents. Dense water forming over the continental shelf of Antarctica is exported to the adjacent deep ocean, creating streams of very cold water that spread northward along the sea floor into the global oceans. Visualizations show the constant motion and flow of ocean currents. The ocean and the atmosphere are closely connected and are responsible for maintaining Earth's relatively stable climate, providing a hospitable environment for life.

The Effect of Jet Streams on Climate
Video, background reading and teaching tips
This segment demonstrates how global jet stream patterns effect weather systems and regional climates. Scientists carefully track jet streams as climate change threatens to permanently change their spatial patterns.

What Causes the Gulf Stream?
Video, background reading and discussion questions
Even with the waves lapping at their feet, few people consider ocean currents and their importance to global climate. Although the Gulf Stream cannot be seen flowing by off North America's East Coast, in Western Europe, the current's warming effect is undeniable. This video segment uses satellite imagery to illustrate the Gulf Stream's path and animations to explain how atmospheric phenomena cause it to move.

Global Sea Surface Currents and Temperature
Media, student handouts, background reading and teaching tips
Observe Earth’s ocean surface currents in relation to sea surface temperature data in these visualizations from NASA. These animations were produced with model data from Estimating the Circulation and Climate of the Ocean, Phase II (ECCO2). Blue represents cooler surface temperatures while red represents warmer temperatures. See how surface flows and eddies distribute energy in the North Atlantic Ocean with a close-up view of the Gulf Stream. A global view of ocean surface currents shows larger patterns of energy distribution.

Great Ocean Conveyor Belt: Part I
Image, background reading and discussion questions
The oceans are in constant flux. The movement of ocean water is readily observable in the rise and fall of the tides and the continual lapping of waves along the coastlines of continents and islands. Less obvious is the network of currents that constantly circulates ocean water from one side of the globe to another. This image from GRID-Arendal illustrates the path of the great ocean conveyor belt, also known as the thermohaline conveyor.

The Role of Ocean Currents in Climate
Video, background reading and teaching tips
This segment demonstrates that ocean surface currents have a major impact on regional climate around the world, and explores the role of these currents in the creation of climate zones.

Water Vapor Circulation on Earth
Video, background reading and discussion questions
Water vapor plays an important role in the water cycle and in the distribution of heat around the planet. By observing the movement of water vapor, scientists can study global wind patterns and the development of cyclonic storms. In this simulation from the National Center for Atmospheric Research, water vapor circulates around Earth over the course of a year.

Ocean Circulation in the North Atlantic
Interactive Lesson, teaching tips and student handouts
Students explore the ocean’s role in redistributing the Sun’s energy on Earth in this interactive lesson from WGBH. Students are introduced to factors influencing global ocean circulation, with a focus on the significant North Atlantic region. Through data visualizations from NASA, students investigate how factors such as sea surface temperature, density, winds, and various types of ocean flows interact in the transport of heat from equatorial regions northwards in the North Atlantic.

Global Ocean Currents
Media, background reading, teaching tips and student handouts
Observe simulated ocean flows at the surface and at 2,000 meters below the surface with these visualizations from NASA. Global ocean circulation is a complex system of ocean surface currents, deep currents, gyres, and eddies. In these visualizations, white lines indicate the flow of ocean currents over several years. Circulation patterns and eddies are clearly visible in the ocean surface currents because surface currents are relatively fast compared to deeper currents. Below the surface, the chaotic and complex motions are harder to discern. A close-up view of the North Atlantic highlights the differences between the surface currents and the currents at depth. A global view shows larger patterns in ocean currents.

Global Winds
Media, background reading, teaching tips and student handouts
Observe atmospheric circulation on Earth with these visualizations from NASA. See global patterns in surface and upper-level winds. Fast-moving belts of upper-level winds, called jet streams, travel around the planet in wavy paths from west to east; in this data visualization, faster winds are colored red while slower winds are colored blue. Surface winds, shown in white, are generally slower and have patterns such as the easterly trade winds near the equator, the westerlies in the middle latitudes, and the polar easterlies.

The Ocean and Climate: Heat Redistribution
Lesson plan, student handouts and media resources 
Students explore how unequal heating of Earth’s surface by the Sun drives global ocean circulation patterns in this media-rich lesson plan from WGBH. Through an interactive lesson and data visualizations from NASA, students investigate how phenomena such as surface winds and ocean water density are involved in large-scale ocean circulation patterns and heat transport, with a focus on the Atlantic Ocean. They are also introduced to other elements of ocean heat transport, such as gyres and eddies. By the end of the lesson, students will have a basic understanding of how the ocean redistributes heat around the planet.

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Rotations in Space 
Interactive 
Interactive activity with supplemental readings demonstrates how different objects rotate in space and addresses what causes rotation and why objects in space rotate. 

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What Is the Future of Earth’s Climate? 
Interactive 
Examine graphs of greenhouse gas concentration and temperature change; run experiments with computational models to compare the effect of different levels of anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions and explain how scientists can be certain the Earth’s climate is changing. There are five online activities in the module. 

Climate Science Investigations: Temperature Over Time 
Interactive  
Find out how temperature has fluctuated spatially over Earth’s various geographic regions. The temperature data is derived from NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Sciences (GISS).

Sea Level Viewer: NASA Planetary Sciences
Interactive, teaching tips, background reading and discussion questions
Learn how climate scientists use space-based observations of sea level in this interactive activity from NASA. Observations of sea level can be used to predict weather events, improve tsunami computer models and early warning systems, and study climate change. An interactive visualization tool shows a global map of sea levels, and videos explain more about specific events, including a large El Nino (November 1997), Hurricane Katrina (August 2005), the Indian Ocean tsunami (December 2004), and a La Nina (February 1999). In addition, there are descriptions of three missions: TOPEX/Poseidon, Jason 1, and Jason 2. This resource is part of the NASA Planetary Sciences Collection.

Sandy and Climate Change
Video, teacher information, teaching tips, background reading and discussion questions
In this video excerpt from NOVA: “Inside the Megastorm,” learn how Earth's warming climate may have contributed to Hurricane Sandy's devastating impact. Hurricane Sandy was an extremely large storm that followed an unusual path, and its impacts were enhanced by climate change. Climate scientists Radley Horton and Adam Sobel explain how warming temperatures in the Arctic may have shaped a blocking pattern in the jet stream (causing the hurricane to turn toward the United States) and how rising sea levels undeniably contributed to the storm's destructiveness.

Carbon Dioxide and the Carbon Cycle
Interactive, background reading and discussion questions
Explore how human activities alter the carbon cycle and cause atmospheric carbon dioxide to increase. Learn about the reservoirs and flows of the carbon cycle and how human activities increase the amount of carbon dioxide in the air and ocean. This increased atmospheric carbon dioxide causes global warming.

Earth's Energy Flows and Climate
Interactive, teaching tips, background reading and discussion questions
Learn how Earth's climate results from the ways that energy enters, circulates within, and flows out of the Earth system. Explore the flows of energy in regional locations and then at the global level to understand how the increased greenhouse effect causes global warming. 

Impacts of Climate Change in the Pacific Region
Interactive, teaching tips, background reading and discussion questions
Explore four impacts of climate change—sea level rise, higher air and ocean temperatures, changing rain patterns, and ocean acidification— that can cause major damage. Learn how ecosystems and human system services are affected by these four impacts, and explore how climate adaptation strategies can reduce the damage caused by climate change.

Ancient Ice and Future Climate
Interactive and teaching tips
In this interactive produced by WGBH, graphs derived from evidence in ice core samples help to accurately define the relationship between carbon dioxide and temperature over the past 400,000 years. With this understanding, scientists can create better models to predict future climate change. In the interactive, discover how ice cores are collected and analyzed, learn about orbital variation and its effects on climate, and explore other key concepts such as the carbon cycle, the Earth system, and feedback loops, all of which factor into the explanation.

Using Ice Cores to Model Climate Changes
Video, background reading and discussion questions
Learn how scientists extract core samples of ancient ice and use these ice cores to create mathematical models that can help them predict Earth's future climate. By measuring the greenhouse gas contents of tiny air bubbles that were trapped in the ice thousands of years ago, scientists can compare these readings with temperature data and look for connections. A scientist demonstrates the process by which gases are extracted from ancient air and analyzed using a chromatograph. Another scientist describes the different "thermometers" used to determine past temperature.


EARTH’S HYDROSPHERE 

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Will There Be Enough Fresh Water? 
Interactive module and teacher materials 
Explore the distribution and uses of fresh water on Earth. Run experiments to explore water movement and predict water availability.

Water Model 
Interactive 
Use model templates to explore differing permeabilities of different sediment types, drill wells into model landscapes, explore the difference between confined and unconfined aquifers, discover how water moves around gaining and losing streams, and explore the difference between rural and urban area aquifers. Create landscapes to test ideas about water movement and sustainability of wells and use graphs to measure the amount of water from each well and monitor the level of water in streams. There are five online activities within the module. 

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Watersheds and Drainage Basins
Images and reading material
Good introduction to drainage basins.When looking at the location of rivers and the amount of streamflow in rivers, the key concept is the river's "watershed". What is a watershed? Easy, if you are standing on ground right now, just look down. You're standing, and everyone is standing, in a watershed.

What Is a Watershed?
Video, background reading and discussion questions
Runoff from fields, lawns, and pavement could carry potentially harmful materials from our watersheds to our rivers. Even if you live, work, or play far from a river, your actions could have an impact on the quality of the water in the area. These effects could be felt far from the point of origin. This video from KET's Raindrops to Rivers shows how smaller watersheds flow into larger ones.

Human Impact on Water Quality
Hands-on lab activity, videos and multimedia lesson plan
Water is a vital natural resource that all living things depend on to survive, but water quality is being affected by human activity. In this lesson, students explore how humans have impacted the quality of our water resources, and consider ways to avoid further pollution. Students first examine the causes of water pollution, then investigate the quality of their community's water supply. They conclude with an exploration of ways to make water safe for human consumption.

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Farm Solutions to Water Pollution
Video, background reading and discussion questions
Farming has always meant more than cultivating crops and raising animals. In this KET video from Common Ground and Cleaner Water, learn from a third generation farmer what it means to protect the land for future generations by caring about water quality on his farm and on his neighbors' farms down stream. See how building a containment pond helps prevent animal waste from polluting streams and helps fertilize crops.

Big River: A King Corn Companion | Agricultural Runoff and the Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone
Video, background reading and discussion questions
Learn how agricultural runoff from the Midwest has contributed to a massive "dead zone" in the Gulf of Mexico, in this video segment adapted from the independent film Big River: A King Corn Companion. A cornfield treated with conventional chemical fertilizer promises a bumper crop, but chemical runoff from the farm enters the Iowa River, eventually draining into the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico. In the Gulf, these dissolved nutrients allow algae to flourish. The algae's decay depletes the water of oxygen, creating a dead zone where shrimp and fish are starved of oxygen and die.

Big River: A King Corn Companion: Atrazine Affects the Water Supply
Video, background reading and discussion questions
Learn how waterways are polluted by agricultural pesticides such as atrazine, a herbicide commonly used on corn farms, in this video segment featuring live-action animation adapted from the independent film Big River: A King Corn Companion. Also, hear about health concerns related to atrazine exposure from contaminated drinking water.

Urban Solutions to Water Pollution
Video, background reading and discussion questions
In this KET video segment from Louisville Life, learn how a rain garden in an urban community helps prevent storm water runoff from contaminating an urban watershed. Students describe how building a rain garden helps improve their community, prevents storm water runoff, and provides a personal sense of accomplishment and pride.

Lesson 1: Watersheds and Nonpoint Source Pollution Basics- LGREI
Video, background reading, facilitator guide, discussion questions and handouts
The first video in the Groundswell Communities for Clean Water series introduces the concept of a watershed and sources of nonpoint source pollution.
Students are introduced to scientific models that help them to conceptualize watersheds and their importance for managing nonpoint sources of pollution. Students answer these essential questions: 1. What is a watershed? 2. What is the relationship of the water cycle to watersheds? 3. How does my watershed connect to the Grand River and Lake Michigan? 4. What is nonpoint source pollution? 5. How can actions upstream affect water quality downstream?

Lesson 2: Watersheds and Nonpoint Source Pollution l Managing Excess Sediment- LGREI
Video, background reading, facilitator guide, discussion questions and handouts
The second video in the Groundswell Communities for Clean Water series discusses sediment pollution and its impacts on water quality. This lesson focuses on the importance of excess sediment as a major type of nonpoint source pollution affecting the Lower Grand River Watershed. Students explore excess sediment as illustrated by the 2013 Grand River flood event. They create a concept map about the effects of excess sediment in streams and rivers. After observing the characteristics of sediment and soils, students create a physical model of a stream noting how sediment moves. They research the sediment patterns in the Lower Grand River Watershed and explore how to reduce excess sediment loads. Outdoor explorations include looking for erosion in their schoolyard and stream monitoring.

Lesson 3: Watersheds and Nonpoint Source Pollution l Managing Pathogens- LGREI
Video, background reading, facilitator guide, discussion questions and handouts
The third video in the Groundswell Communities for Clean Water series discusses pathogen pollution and its impacts on water quality. This lesson explores pathogens, a major type of nonpoint source pollution affecting the Lower Grand River Watershed.  Fecal coliform and Escherichia coli (abbreviated as E. coli) bacteria data from sampling sites in the Lower Grand River Watershed are analyzed, and a task force is simulated to address pathogen issues.

Lesson 4: Watersheds and Nonpoint Source Pollution l Managing Excess Nutrients- LGREI
Video, background reading, facilitator guide and handouts
This lesson explores nutrients - a major type of nonpoint source pollution affecting the Lower Grand River Watershed.  In this lesson you will explore the types and sources of nutrients, visualize the effects of nutrients on plant growth, and simulate a task force to address nutrient issues.

Chicken Waste and Water Pollution
Video, background reading and discussion questions
This video segment adapted from FRONTLINE: “Poisoned Waters” describes the problem of water pollution from chicken waste. On the Chesapeake Bay’s Eastern Shore, large-scale chicken farms dominate the landscape. These factory farms produce a bountiful supply of cheap chicken, but also an excess of chicken manure. Runoff from these farms, which is largely unregulated, flows into rivers that pollute the bay. While chicken farmers and chicken companies debate who should be responsible for the waste, the industry has successfully resisted pollution control regulations, arguing that voluntary practices are better.

Catching the Rain
Video and further information
This NC Science Now segment documents how environmental engineers in North Carolina are working to keep polluted water from running directly into streams. In particular, they are installing rain gardens in residential neighborhoods so that polluted water will be able to filter through the earth, rather than running off and setting a direct course for the ocean.

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Global Ocean Circulation
Video, teacher materials, background reading, discussion questions, further information and teaching tips
In this video from NOVA: “Earth From Space,” learn about patterns of global ocean circulation, which distribute heat around the planet. Differences in the density of water masses drive large-scale ocean currents. Dense water forming over the continental shelf of Antarctica is exported to the adjacent deep ocean, creating streams of very cold water that spread northward along the sea floor into the global oceans. Visualizations show the constant motion and flow of ocean currents. The ocean and the atmosphere are closely connected and are responsible for maintaining Earth's relatively stable climate, providing a hospitable environment for life.

Great Ocean Conveyor Belt: Part I
Image, background reading and discussion questions
The oceans are in constant flux. The movement of ocean water is readily observable in the rise and fall of the tides and the continual lapping of waves along the coastlines of continents and islands. Less obvious is the network of currents that constantly circulates ocean water from one side of the globe to another. This image from GRID-Arendal illustrates the path of the great ocean conveyor belt, also known as the thermohaline conveyor.

Sea Surface Temperature
Media, background reading and teaching tips
Image 1. Explore patterns in sea surface temperature, salinity, and density in these images adapted from NASA. Ocean water properties are influenced by many factors, such as heating from the Sun, Earth’s rotation, currents, winds, rainfall, rivers, and sea ice. The first image shows the long-term average of sea surface temperature, with red representing warmer temperatures and blue representing colder temperatures. 

Sea Surface Salinity
Media, background reading and teaching tips
Image 2. Explore patterns in sea surface temperature, salinity, and density in these images adapted from NASA. Ocean water properties are influenced by many factors, such as heating from the Sun, Earth’s rotation, currents, winds, rainfall, rivers, and sea ice.  The second image shows the long-term average of sea surface salinity, with white representing higher salinity and dark regions representing lower salinity. 

Sea Surface Density
Media, background reading and teaching tips
Image 3. Explore patterns in sea surface temperature, salinity, and density in these images adapted from NASA. Ocean water properties are influenced by many factors, such as heating from the Sun, Earth’s rotation, currents, winds, rainfall, rivers, and sea ice. The third image shows the long-term average of sea surface density, with light blue representing lower density and dark blue representing higher density.

The Ocean and Climate: Heat Redistribution
Lesson plan, student handouts and media resources 
Students explore how unequal heating of Earth’s surface by the Sun drives global ocean circulation patterns in this media-rich lesson plan from WGBH. Through an interactive lesson and data visualizations from NASA, students investigate how phenomena such as surface winds and ocean water density are involved in large-scale ocean circulation patterns and heat transport, with a focus on the Atlantic Ocean. They are also introduced to other elements of ocean heat transport, such as gyres and eddies. By the end of the lesson, students will have a basic understanding of how the ocean redistributes heat around the planet.

Ocean Circulation in the North Atlantic
Interactive Lesson, teaching tips and student handouts
Students explore the ocean’s role in redistributing the Sun’s energy on Earth in this interactive lesson from WGBH. Students are introduced to factors influencing global ocean circulation, with a focus on the significant North Atlantic region. Through data visualizations from NASA, students investigate how factors such as sea surface temperature, density, winds, and various types of ocean flows interact in the transport of heat from equatorial regions northwards in the North Atlantic.

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Rocky Coasts
Interactive, background reading and discussion questions
Tides, currents, shelf slope, and geologic history all influence how coastline features are broken down or built up. More than any other factors, wave energy and coastal rock type influence the erosion processes that shape rocky coastlines. In this interactive resource adapted from the National Park Service, learn about sea stacks, fjords, and other features that characterize rocky coasts in some of America's national parks.

Sandy Coasts
Interactive, background reading and discussion questions
This interactive resource adapted from the National Park Service profiles sandy coast environments and describes various features of sandy beach environments. Waves play a major role in breaking down and building up coastline features. But other factors, including tides, currents, and sediment type, also determine how erosional and depositional processes shape coastlines.

Coastal Geological Materials
Interactive, background reading and discussion questions
Ocean basins are filled with loose sediments — the products of erosion. Most marine sediment originates inland and is fed into oceans by rivers. Debris from cliffs and other coastal landforms provides additional sediment volume, as do skeletons, shells, teeth of marine organisms, ash from volcanoes, and even asteroids. In this interactive resource adapted from the National Park Service, learn how these different parent materials influence the color and size of the materials that compose a beach, as well as other reasons why some beaches are composed entirely of fine sand, while others are a mix of pebbles and shells.

Coastal Geological Processes
Interactive, background reading and discussion questions
Coastlines are places of continuous, often dramatic geological activity. Shaped by the actions of waves, tides, currents, and other forces, coastlines change daily and seasonally, but especially over long time periods. In this interactive resource from the National Park Service, learn about the forces that help shape coastal landforms like cliffs and beaches.

H.E.6A.9