Students investigate passive solar building design with a focus on heating. Insulation, window placement, thermal mass, surface colors, and site orientation are addressed in the background materials and design preparation. Students test their projects for thermal gains and losses during a simulated day and night then compare designs with other teams for suggestions for improvements.

In this activity, students make a model sea floor sediment core using two types of buttons to represent fossil diatoms. They then compare the numbers of diatom fossils in the sediment at different depths to determine whether the seas were free of ice while the diatoms were alive.

In this interactive, regionally-relevant carbon cycle game, students are challenged to understand the role of carbon in global climate change. They imagine that they are carbon molecules and travel via different processes through carbon reservoirs on the Colorado Plateau (the Four Corners area of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah). This game can be adapted to other regions.

This video segment, adapted from NOVA, examines one method scientists use to understand ancient climate conditions in Africa.

This Flash-based simulation explores the relationship between carbon emissions and atmospheric carbon dioxide using two main displays: (1) graphs that show the level of human-generated CO2 emissions, CO2 removals, and the level of CO2 in the atmosphere, and (2) a bathtub animation that shows the same information as the graphs. The bathtub simulation illustrates the challenges of reducing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere.

This visualization, from the US Geological Survey, provides a simple schematic of the various pathways that water can take as it cycles through ocean, lakes, atmosphere, surface and ground.

This short video, is the fifth in the National Academies Climate Change, Lines of Evidence series. It focuses on greenhouse gases, climate forcing (natural and human-caused), and global energy balance.

This activity from the Department of Energy provides background information about solar ovens and instructions on building a simple model solar cooker.

This narrated slide presentation shows the carbon cycle, looking at various parts of this biogeochemical sequence by examining carbon reservoirs and how carbon is exchanged among them and the atmosphere.

This three-part, hands-on investigation explores how sunlight's angle of incidence at Earth's surface impacts the amount of solar radiation received in a given area. The activity is supported by PowerPoint slides and background information.

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