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Rice Air Curriculum - Lesson 1 (Student): Introduction to the Atmosphere

Module by: Kavita Venkateswar, Daniel Cohan. E-mail the authors

Overview

Today, you will begin to learn about the atmosphere—the air that surrounds Earth. Even though the atmosphere is mostly invisible gases, it plays important roles in protecting the Earth, regulating its temperature, and helping to sustain life. At the end of the lesson, your teacher will show you some cool tools that will let you measure the weather and air pollution outside your school and learn more about the air around you!

Demonstration: Glass of ice and water and the Three States of Matter

Your teacher will show you a glass of ice and water to demonstrate the three states of matter.

Exercise 1

What solid do you see in this demonstration?

Exercise 2

What liquid do you see in this demonstration?

Exercise 3

Even though water vapor gas in the air is invisible, how do we know it exists? (Hint: Think about why the water droplets form on the outside of the glass.)

Discussion

Gases. Your teacher will help you brainstorm other examples that demonstrate that air exists, even though most gases are invisible.

Exercise 4

What are examples of things you can observe to see that air really does exist?

Atmosphere. Your teacher will share with you some interesting facts the atmosphere and help you brainstorm why the atmosphere is so important.

Exercise 5

What are some examples of why the atmosphere is so important for life on Earth?

Figure 1
Figure 1 (Object 2.png)

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