Grades 9-12

Space Shuttle Orbiter

Curriculum Materials

Space Shuttle Orbiter

Did you know that satellites and the Space Shuttle don't need engines to power their orbits? See how Earth's gravitational pull bends their forward motion and keeps them moving around the planet.

Safety and Wintering Over in Antarctica

Article

Safety and Wintering Over in Antarctica

Antarctica's winter runs from mid-February through late August. If you decide to stay, you're there for the duration—all aircraft traffic is stopped. Learn how research crews prepare to go it alone.

Sea Ice and Climate in Antarctica

Article

Sea Ice and Climate in Antarctica

At the poles, it's possible to study sea ice that's 3,000 years old. Find out what scientists learn by cutting up ice cores and seeing the ice crystals' many different textures and colors.

Crazy Cold Air

Classroom Activity

Crazy Cold Air

Why does cold air rush out of a freezer when you open the door? How does it then move through a room? Experiment to learn the answers—and gain insight into the blustery winds of Antarctica.

Meet the Bighorn Sheep

Educator Guide

Meet the Bighorn Sheep

This slideshow provides background information on the bighorn sheep and their habitat and breeding habits.

Fabric Test

Activity

Fabric Test

It all comes down to choosing the right outfit ... when you're dressing for an expedition to Antarctica. Do you know which fabrics would do the best job keeping you warm and dry?

Antarctic Extreme Jeopardy

Activity

Antarctic Extreme Jeopardy

Hazards to Humans, Polar Gear, The Cold Facts—how well do you know your Antarctica trivia? Whatever you do, don't forget to give your answers in question form!

Create a Polar Creature

Activity

Create a Polar Creature

Ice floes, katabatic winds, and subzero temperatures—welcome to life in Antarctica. What features would your ideal creature have to thrive in this extreme habitat?

Amazing Albedo

Activity

Amazing Albedo

There's a good reason why your summer attire is lighter and brighter than your winter wardrobe. This easy experiment illustrates the power of albedo in black and white.

What's the Angle?

Activity

What's the Angle?

Why is there such a dramatic temperature change between the equator and the South Pole? Explore all the angles of sunlight with a few thermometers and a heat lamp.

Which Map's the Best Map?

Activity

Which Map's the Best Map?

As a miniature model of the Earth, a globe is the most accurate representation of our planet. Yet it's not what most scientists use to do their work. What do they use instead, and why?

Making Map Projections

Classroom Activity

Making Map Projections

Don't toss that empty soda bottle! Grab a knife and test out your cartography skills. You'll never look at a map of the Earth in the same way again.

Understanding Exploration

Activity

Understanding Exploration

Compass, dog sled, telephone, computer, Global Positioning System (GPS)—which of these technological advances has made the biggest contribution to Antarctic exploration? Take our research challenge.

Locating a Point

Activity

Locating a Point

The full force of the Antarctic winter is just days away, and you're deep into your research on a fallen meteorite. How can you mark its exact location for your return in six months?

Light and Dark in the Sea

Article

Light and Dark in the Sea

Only the top 200 meters (656 feet) of the ocean get enough light to support plants. Below 1,000 meters (3,281 feet), there's complete darkness. So how do organisms on the sea floor find food?

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