Space Weather by Raphael Lucas

Project:     NASA Heliophysics Teacher-Developed Lessons

This lesson begins with students watching the video, Chasing Sunspots. Students will then complete a T-chart (I Wonder/I Notice) and describe the direction of the Sun’s rotation in the video. Then students will watch the video: The Carrington event of 1859 — the largest solar flare ever recorded. to learn of a real world problem which occurred in 1859. Students will then use current data from NASA about sunspot activity starting from 1950 until present day (2022), to look for trends in sunspot activity over the last 70 years.

Using an Evidence Gradient Chart, students will learn about the evidence criterion for data, long-term trends vs. short-term fluctuations, determine which evidence card is more convincing, and learn about maximum and minimum value points in the data.

Students will observe sunspots to estimate their size and the rate at which they move across the face of the Sun. They will hypothesize about sunspot movement on the opposite side of the hemisphere they observed.

Finally, students will research space weather phenomena and its impact on Earth’s changing climate, on technology, communications and daily life, and engage in scientific argument, using evidence and reasoning, to convince others about the effects of climate change.