This magnetism guide is one of three guides that provide students with the opportunity to buildon science concepts related to Earth’s magnetism and its changes, as detected by THEMISmagnetometers located in schools across the U.S. The three guides have been used indifferent types of classes from physical science and physics classes, to geology classes, toastronomy classes. The THEMIS project helps to motivate the learning or to give anapplication to the science introduced in many of these lessons. The three guides aredescribed in the following paragraphs.
Magnetism and Electromagnetism
contains a review of basic magnetism, similar to whatis encountered in most grade-level physical science texts. Students are introduced to magnetsand the concepts of polarity and magnetic lines of force. These materials are mostly used byteachers presenting Earth and Physical Science courses in grades 6-9 and occasionally as alab at the end of high school physics classes.
Exploring Magnetism on Earth
is the second of three activity guides, which are intendedto help students explore Earth’s magnetic field through a variety of hands-on activities. Itcontains problems which examine Earth's changing magnetic field in time and space, and howthese changes can impact navigation on Earth's surface. Students use basic math skills tointerpret graphical information that displays polar wander and magnetic changes, and answerquestions about quantitative aspects of these changes. These activities have been classroom-tested in classrooms containing students with many different levels of proficiency in math andscience. The lessons have been used in geology and astronomy classes.
is the third guide in this sequence. It introduces students to Earth'smagnetic field and aurora in the context of the Sun and space weather. The guide covers theEarth’s magnetosphere, time zones and Universal Time, the evolution of auroras, and spaceweather forecasting using geomagnetic indices. These activities have also been classroom-tested in classrooms containing students with many different levels of proficiency in math andscience. The lessons have been used in physics and astronomy classes.A fourth and final guide is being developed with the goal that students can work directly withthe THEMIS magnetometer data. Look at the “In the Classroom” section of the THEMISEducation and Public Outreach website for this up-and-coming teacher’s guide.