Lessons from Windows to the Universe
Hurricanes and Climate - Grades 6-9 Students investigate maps and data to learn about the connections between hurricanes and climate, including regional climate conditions where hurricanes form and how global climate change may be affecting hurricanes.
Thermal Expansion and Sea Level Rise - Grades 5-9 Students investigate how thermal expansion of water (warming waters) might affect sea level rise. This lesson will allow students to differentiate between thermal expansion and melting snow and ice fields as they relate to sea level rise and to predict the impact of rising sea level on coastal areas.
Changing Planet: Adaptation of Species – Grades 5-9 Students investigate how shape and structure of bird beaks affects the type of food that birds are able to eat, and view how global climate change is affecting many species of animals.
Changing Planet: Changing Mosquito Genes – Grades 8-12 Students investigate the topics of evolutionary adaptation and phenotypic plasticity to understand how species respond to the impacts of global climate change.
Sea Level Rise - Grades 6-10: Windows to the Universe - Students review topographic maps and use that knowledge to explore the impact sea level rise will have on coastal communities.
Weather v. Climate – Grades 5-8 Students will analyze weather and climate maps to determine the similarities and differences between the two terms and how each plays a role in our Earth system.
Extreme Weather – Grades 5-8 Students will analyze US drought maps to examine the effect of the large-scale national drought on our resources, and to investigate local impacts and make personal connections.
Land Surface Temperature and Longwave Radiation – grades 9-12 Students will use temperature and longwave radiation data to determine whether the climate has changed in their city over a 22-year time span and how these trends vary across the globe.
Investigating Trends in Carbon Dioxide – Grades 9-12 Students will examine the monthly carbon dioxide in the troposphere observations from the AIRS instrument to learn about how carbon dioxide varies in time and space. The satellite data will be considered in the context of long-term observation from Mauna Loa (the Keeling curve).
Earth’s Albedo – Grades 9-12 Students will focus on how the reflectivity of the Earth’s surface affects how much solar energy is absorbed. Satellite-based observations of downward and upward short-wave fluxes will be used in combination with monthly snow-ice amount to examine how these quantities may be changing over time.
Sea Level Rise – Grades 9-12 Students will use observations from the ICESat mission to investigate how ice mass has changed and the implications for sea-level change in recent years. Students will examine the impacts of continued sea-level rise on coastal habitats and communities in the Chesapeake Bay region, using results from NWF modeling.
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