In two lessons, designed for grades 6-12, students will explore how Earth’s magnetic field protects us from harmful space weather that can damage communications systems, disrupt navigation systems, and overwhelm the electric grid. Students will use a GPS-enabled smartphone or tablet as a magnetometer to gather data on the intensity of magnetic fields in their local environment. Finally, students will engage in a community/citizen science project to contribute authentic geomagnetic data to add to a database that scientists use to better understand and map how space weather causes disturbances to the magnetic field.
- Develop a model to describe a phenomenon in which solar storms impact Earth’s magnetic field and disrupt human systems.
- Plan and investigate the strength of magnetic fields created by electronics or metal objects.
- Collect data on how solar activity impacts the intensity of Earth’s magnetic field