This is a short NASA video on the water cycle. The video shows the importance of the water cycle to nearly every natural process on Earth and illustrates how tightly coupled the water cycle is to climate.

This 15-panel interactive from NOVA Online describes some of the factors (such as Earth's rotation and the sun's uneven heating of Earth's surface) contributing to the formation of the high-speed eastward flows of the jet streams, found near the top of the troposphere. These jet streams play a major role in guiding weather systems.

This activity introduces students to the process of converting sunlight into electricity through the use of photovoltaics (solar cells). Students complete a reading passage with questions and an inquiry lab using small photovoltaic cells.

In this activity students learn how Earth's energy balance is regulating climate. This activity is lesson 4 in the nine-lesson module Visualizing and Understanding the Science of Climate Change.

This NASA video reviews the role of the sun in driving the climate system. It uses colorful animations to illustrate Earth's energy balance and how increased greenhouse gases are creating an imbalance in the energy budget, leading to warming. The video also reviews how the NASA satellite program collects data on the sun.

Student teams design and build solar water heating devices that mimic those used in residences to capture energy in the form of solar radiation and convert it to thermal energy. In this activity, students gain a better understanding of the three different types of heat transfer, each of which plays a role in the solar water heater design. Once the model devices are constructed, students perform efficiency calculations and compare designs.

This animated video outlines Earth's energy. The video presents a progression from identifying the different energy systems to the differences between external and internal energy sources and how that energy is cycled and used.

Students gain experience using a spreadsheet and working with others to decide how to conduct their model 'experiments' with the NASA GEEBITT (Global Equilibrium Energy Balance Interactive Tinker Toy). This activity helps students become more familiar with the physical processes that made Earth's early climate so different from that of today. Students also acquire first-hand experience with a limitation in modeling, specifically, parameterization of critical processes.

The purpose of this activity is to identify global patterns and connections in environmental data contained in the GLOBE Earth Systems Poster, to connect observations made within the Earth Systems Poster to data and information at the National Snow and Ice Data Center, and to understand the connections between solar energy and changes at the poles, including feedback related to albedo.

This Motions of the Sun Lab is an interactive applet from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Astronomy Applet project.

Pages