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In this hands-on lesson, students measure the effect of distance and inclination on the amount of heat felt by an object and apply this experiment to building an understanding of seasonality. In Part 1, the students set up two thermometers at different distances from a light bulb and record their temperatures to determine how distance from a heat source affects temperature. In Part 2, students construct a device designed to measure the temperature as a function of viewing angle toward the Sun by placing a thermometer inside a black construction paper sleeve, and placing the device at different angles toward the Sun. They then explain how distance and inclination affect heat and identify situations where these concepts apply, such as the seasons on Earth and the NASA Mercury MESSENGER mission.
Subject: Geoscience:Atmospheric Science:Climate Change:Natural causes, Environmental Science:Global Change and Climate:Climate Change:Natural causes, Environmental Science:Global Change and Climate:Climate Change, Environmental Science:Global Change and Climate, Geoscience:Atmospheric Science:Climatology , Climate Change, Climatology :Orbital patterns, Solar radiation, Global energy balance Resource Type: Activities Grade Level: Middle (6-8) Theme: Teach the Earth:Enhancing your Teaching:NGSS, Teach the Earth:Course Topics:Environmental Science, Teach the Earth:Incorporating Societal Issues:Climate Change, Teach the Earth:Course Topics:Atmospheric Science