Grades 9-12

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?

The Chemistry of Deep Sea Vents

Article

The Chemistry of Deep Sea Vents

Valuable ore deposits of iron, copper, and zinc—all formed by deep sea vents and thrust up onto land. If you want to know how mineral deposits are formed, look to the ocean.

Under Pressure

Activity

Under Pressure

Why does pressure increase the deeper you go in the ocean? And does this building pressure change the way water flows? Fill a soda bottle with plain water, and find out. 

Sinking Water

Activity

Sinking Water

If you've spent even a few hours in a pool, you know that the deep end is colder than the shallow. But do you know why? Experiment with colored ice cubes for insight into water density.

Simple Submarine

Activity

Simple Submarine

Plop, plop. Fizz, fizz. Dive, dive. Build your own mini submarines for a deeper look at how they work. No expensive supplies required—just Alka Seltser tablets and household objects.

Seeing the Light

Classroom Activity

Seeing the Light

This simple experiment eases the task of understanding daily and seasonal cycles of day and night. See firsthand why the length of daylight changes along with your location on Earth.

Blindfolded Walk

Classroom Activity

Blindfolded Walk

Without your eyes to guide—and possibly distract—you, what would you notice that you otherwise might not have? Enlist the help of a few friends, and find out.

Site Report

Activity

Site Report

Not sure how to describe your field site? This one-page site report will help you note the important details, from area and average elevation to human-made and natural topography.

Responsible Collecting

Article

Responsible Collecting

Collecting specimens is necessary for studying and documenting new species—making responsible collecting all the more important. Find out how you can practice it.

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