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RESOURCES FOR TEACHERS

   (lesson plans and demonstrations)

INTRODUCTION

There is a great deal of information on the web about plasmas -- so much information and at so many different levels that it is difficult for a teacher who needs clear, concise information to sort through it all. This website, designed by teachers for teachers, represents a "best of the web."

Teachers wishing to incorporate Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) (http://www.nextgenscience.org/) will find plasma science links applicable to many topics. Each site is evaluated against a CPS rubric (pdf/ | doc) that includes significant adherence to NGSS.

BASIC INFORMATION

What are plasmas?

Perspectives on Plasmas: Touches on different aspects of plasma from basic principles to history. Comprehensive site listing. Great photos of stars, space plasmas. Excellent for all plasma applications.


PHET Interactive Simulations: The numerous interactive simulations are excellent support for understanding science and math concepts, including motion, waves, radiation charge, etc. Though the supportive materials address many concepts related to plasma fusion, a search resulted in no information defining or explaining plasma, the fourth state of matter, or fusion. This site is produced through University of Colorado Boulder.


Physics Central: Click on "Discover" and you will be directed to a number of plasma related topics, including "electricity and magnetism," or "space and the universe." A source for physicist bios, blogs, podcasts, You Tube clips, comic/coloring books, experiments for students, and more. You can "Ask-a-Physicist" questions. A product of American Physical Society.


Plasmas - the Fourth State of Matter: A section from the CPEP web site comparing natural and man-made plasmas according to temperature and density. Also provides interactive quizzes on various plasmas, such as lightning.


Wikipedia: Plasma (Physics): This site is strictly informational. It has easily understood explanations of the function of plasma and plasma uses. It also provides links to other sites for further explanation of specific details. 

PLASMAS IN NATURE

A. Space Plasmas

1. General Info


Amazing Space: Although there is a lot of emphasis on Hubble, this site also provides good general astronomy content. There are some interactive activities, and useful tools and projects for teachers and students.


Astronomy for Kids, from the Kids Know It Network: This terrific site is full of information, interactive activities, targeted for students and teachers. Quoted from the sites description, "Every website developed is painstakingly researched for accuracy and appropriateness. This process begins with the planning and development of materials, activities, and articles by parents and educators, and ends with the final editing and approval of experts in the field being explored."


Astronomy Magazine: Astronomy is an online magazine providing monthly issues, which include science reporting, vivid color photography, complete sky-event coverage, observing tips, informative telescope reviews, blogs, features, sky events, and an "Ask Astro" link. It is a subscription magazine. However, you can find an abundance of information just visiting the site, which includes links to magazines dating back to 1973, providing a historical timeline for the field of astronomy. Although there are few references to "plasma," the site is an excellent resource for space science.


Astronomical Society of the Pacific: A resource for information, opportunities, photos, and power point presentations with instructor guides. The organization designs and delivers astronomy toolkits, programs, publications and education guides.


Cassiopia Project - Science videos: Excellent, interesting, and informative video clips that are available for students and teachers. However, no new video clips have been added since 2009.


Challenger Center: The Challenger Center for Space Science Education is a dynamic residential program for students to become immersed in using simulation and role-playing activities. The website provides STEM resources, including lesson plans developed by Christa McAuliffe, and more.


CHIPS, Cosmic Hot Interstellar Plasma Spectrometer: This satellite studies the Interstellar Medium (ISM), the plasma between stars. It studies the "Local Bubble." Contains many links and K-12 Classroom lessons.


Cosmicopia: This site has many beautiful images and downloadable "sounds" from space. It is very easy to use and understand. Most of the information is designed for students in high school and beyond.


European Space Agency: This site discusses how new technology developed in space science is used to advance space studies and enrich our daily lives. Little is specific to plasma science, but it shows many examples of how the science and technology are human endeavors. Ion propulsion rockets are explained along with practical applications for UV protective gear for children with rare genetic sensitivity to sunlight.


European Space Agency – Space for Educators: The purpose of this site it to "inform the public about the latest advances and discoveries in the space field, and to develop programs that will inspire young people to pursue careers in science and technology." A number of research pdf documents related to plasma fusion are available. The site is a great resource for information, but does not provide classroom activities that would be useful for most classroom teachers unless they have some very high-level students interested in international opportunities. There is a link to ESA Kids, which does provide news and lab activities.


Imagine the Universe: Excellent site designed for students 14 and up. It includes a multitude of resource information, links, classroom activities, connections with scientists, curriculum and a great number of references to plasma.


Mission to Geospace: Colorful, appealing, informative, historic, this site directs you to resources for teachers, hot topics in geospace and the latest news. Student and teachers have opportunity to ask "Dr. G.O. Space" questions.


MIT Haystack Observatory: Space Weather FX: A team of scientists and video producers are exploring what happens when the Sun stirs up a little space weather. You'll find vodcast episodes, links to space weather information, and educational materials.


NASA News and Features: This site provides direct links for educators and students, providing the most up to date information, events, opportunities, videos, social media links, and more. Search for "plasma" and/or "plasma characteristics" to get an extensive listing of links to the most recent plasma-related news and applications.


NASA Wavelength: This site is an excellent clearinghouse for Earth and space science resources for educators of all levels. It provides quick, easy access to resources, connections to other websites, and a format for sharing through social media and email. Provides unique access to science data, imagery, and strand maps, along with excellent lesson plans and activities. However, in all of the resources provided on matter, energy and energy resources, there is no reference to plasma.


Space Physics and Aeronomy: Home page of the Geophysical Institute's Space Physics and Aeronomy group, this site points you to studies of auroras, the magnetosphere and the solar wind. Great pictures, charts and icons. Excellent aurora forecasting. Although the web site never uses the word "plasma" it does refer to "elementary particles" and "electrons blown from the sun" when describing auroras.


Space Science Institute: Contains good K-12 curriculum materials for space science. Discusses plasma in relation to solar wind. Good graphics.


Space Storms (NOVA): Filmed discussion of space weather, with a focus on what give rise to the northern lights. No direct mention of plasma, though it deals with plasma phenomena like the solar wind. Links to Teachers Guide, video extras, interviews.


Space Weather Center: Excellent site! Includes the sun, plasmas, aurora, and storms in space. Numerous games, activities, e-cards and research. VERY interactive.


Space Weather News: The home page of the site provides current space weather information, what’s happening in other parts of the earth, real time photo gallery, and links to much more. This site is designed for the general public. With an optional subscription one has access to more information and opportunities.


The Electronic Universe: The Electronic Universe: [A Science Outreach Server] Site by Univ. Oregon, Dept. Physics, Dr. Bothun (Dr. Darkmatter) about Space, Earth, Environment, Weather, Astronomy (Pine Mountain Observatory), Physics and other courses - all with additional links, e.g. Hubble, LIGO, Caltech very many more...


Windows to the Universe: Includes educators' pages with classroom activities, interactive puzzles & games. A good site, with some references to plasma. Beginners, Intermediate, Advanced Lessons/activities. Plasmas featured on Fundamental Physics page.

2. Solar Plasmas


ISTP, International Solar-Terrestial Physics Program/NASA: Gives major concepts and specifics of the Sun's energy affecting the Earth, the data and the satellites gathering that data, including NASA educational material.


NASA/Marshall Solar Physics Group: Comprehensive descriptions of solar physics including solar plasmas. Very user friendly. Includes research scientists' names, addresses and email. Answers "Why We Study the Sun," "Big Questions," "Magnetism," and more. Content only. No ready-made lessons.


Solar Flare Theory: This site answers such questions as "What is a solar flare? Why study solar flares?" It describes the formation of plasma in solar flares. It also has an excellent glossary. In general this site is most appropriate for grades 9-12.


Stanford Solar Center: This site is a collection of multi-disciplinary, interactive exercises and activities based on the Sun and solar science, most geared to grades 4-12. Most of these have been aligned to science standards and approved by the NASA Product Review process. From the home page you can find your way to exercises for both students and teachers.


Yohkoh Public Outreach Project (Solar Events): YPOP [Yohkoh Public Outreach Project] - Images/activities from Yohkoh (sunbeam in Japanese) solar satellite, 1991-2001, with dated but very useful images and activities and current links such as SciLink, SOHO and others. Supported by Lockheed Martin Solar and Astrophysics and Montana State Physics Department.


3. Magnetospheric Plasmas


Exploration of the Earth's Magnetosphere: Interactive site full of hands-on lessons for middle-high school. Lessons have historical context, beautiful photos, illustrations and a glossary. Describes space plasmas.


IMAGE Science Center P.O.E.T.R.Y web site: Hands-on lessons for students and teachers, sorted by content, grade level, and web-based. The activities highlight the plasma in nature (Earth's magnetic field, auroras) and show science as a human endeavor.


4. Auroras


Newton's Apple - Aurora Borealis: This Teacher's Guide, designed to support a segment on auroras from the PBS series "Newton's Apple," provides a good basic description, along with one classroom experiment, a glossary, resources, and a link to the video.

B. Lightning

A Lightning Primer: A site that grabs you with tales of lightning strikes that launch satellites, rockets and more. Nice photos and graphics. Does a good job of explaining why lightning research is important in terms of safety, technology, etc. Does not mention plasma, though it does describe the properties of ionized gas.


Lightning: FAQ (UCAR Communications): NCAR, National Center for Atmospheric Research, describes the process and sequence of lightning.


Lightning (NOVA): No specific mention of plasma, but good filmed discussion of how lightning forms. Teachers Guide.


Lightning Safety for Kids: Lightning Safety for Kids has stories about lightning strikes and near misses to children and adults. This Earth plasma is always a weather risk nationally and worldwide. No specific reference to plasma.


Theatre of Electricity: Theater of Electricity is the history of the Van de Graaff Generator with definitions, charts and historic pictures, from the Massachuttes Institute of Technology.


Thunderbolts.info: An ongoing collection of articles and papers centered on the role of electricity. Includes current and archived papers on plasma.

MAN-MADE PLASMAS

A. Neon and Fluorescent Lamps


How Stuff Works - Neon vs Fluorescent Light: Explains the difference between neon and fluorescent lights. Simple and informative. No mention of ionized gas as plasma. Site allows you to search for plasma-related questions.


The Fluorescent Lamp: As part of the "Exploration of the Earth's Magnetosphere" site, this one page gives a basic overview of how a fluorescent light works, and how it involves plasma.

B. Fusion

Applied Superconductivity and Cyroscience Group (ASCG): The ASCG of the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy takes a broad, multidisciplinary approach to applied superconductivity research. The work includes the synthesis of superconductors, the design and fabrication of conductors and their characterization. Superconductivity (there is a plasma and fusion section featuring Darren Garnier and Joe Minervini from the PSFC). 


CPEP, Contemporary Physics Education Project: CPEP offers a number of helpful charts, with topics that include Fundamental Particle and Interactions, Nuclear Science, and Plasma Physics and Fusion. The website helps explicate the charts and provides helpful links to related material.


Culham Center for Fusion Energy: This site provides a good introduction to fusion, both written and video. A brochure that can be downloaded and used as a resource in the classroom. Although most of the information is available elsewhere, check out educational resources for some unique instructions on how to build a paper replica of a fusion machine. There is also a workbook for high-level students, but it is focused on preparation for a visit to the Culham Center.


EUROfusion Classroom: This site provides information about energy, atoms, electromagnetism, light, and fusion. It's multiple videos include visits to inside the Joint European Torus (JET) site (an operational fusion experiment capable of producing fusion energy) along with excellent demonstrations, and interviews with the actual scientists working on the experiment. Teaching videos are accompanied by teacher resources, including a summary of the content, and relevant pre- and post-video questions, FAQs, and links to relevant content in Fusion Science pages. Additional resources can be found in the glossary and the FAQs. Be sure to investigate the Multimedia Link or go to https://www.euro-fusion.org/downloads to download brochures, CDs, posters, animations and more.


European Commission Research - Fusion: Excellent content information, but not activity oriented. In the sidebar, click “Under the Microscope” to access Plasma Physics and more.


FusEdWeb: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's FusEdWeb provides an entry to fusion science on earth and in the galaxy, including links to other important fusion education sites.


Fusion FAQ - Environmental: Revised in 1995. Text only. Explores interesting questions about the environmental impact and political consequences of fossil fuel based economies, and the promise of fusion.


General Atomics Fusion Education: The site provides excellent downloadable high-school level materials, though some links need improvement. Provided on this site are: a one-page explanation of fusion; limited downloads of curricula, posters on plasma science and fusion; a fusion workbook, presentation downloads, instructions on building a vacuum chamber, an "Ask the Wizard" link, and more. Some of the links have pop up warnings or security alerts.


IPPEX: The Interactive Plasma Physics Education Experiment: This site contains interactive plasma physics topics, ranging from electricity, magnetism, energy, and fusion. Please visit the "Virtual Tokamak" and our "Virtual Magnetic Stability Module" to learn about Plasma and Fusion confinement.


RGDX Online LAB – Remote Glow Discharge Experiment: The Remote Glow Discharge Experiment is housed at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory. The experiment allows you to create and observe a plasma in a glow-discharge tube, in real time. You can control the current and the magnets, to get an idea of how researchers control the plasma in a fusion device. Links provide excellent explanations of plasma, pressure, electrode voltage, electromagnets and more.


Science Action: How does a plasma contribute to a fusion reaction?: A team of Princeton University students created this video to explain the role of plasma in fusion and the distinct ways engineers control it to optimize the rate of reaction.


The Internet Plasma Physics Education eXperience (IPPEX): Excellent basic introduction to plasma and fusion energy, with educational interactive tutorials. The viewer can operate a virtual tokamak and analyze data. Explains pros and cons of fusion vs. fossil fuels. Very responsive to e-mail questions. 

C. Plasma Processing

Plasma Etch, Inc.: In educating their customers about plasma, this site does a good job of explaining some basic benefits of plasma processing, including electronic, industrial and medical applications.


Thermal Spraying Process: This describes/illustrates a commercial process of using plasma for durable unique coatings.


Torchmate (Plasma Cutter): Torchmate (Plasma Cutter) is a commercial site, but has one or two pages of educational materials, discussing plasma and how a cutter works. 


D. Plasma Propulsion in Space

Ad Astra Rocket Company: Ad Astra Rocket Company (AARC) is a rocket propulsion company dedicated to the advanced development of plasma rocket propulsion technology. It is developing VASIMR (Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket) and associated technologies. The site provides a good explanation of plasma and how it works in rocket propulsion. It includes models and videos.


Franklin Chang Diaz - Ask the Expert (NOVA): A former NASA astronaut answers questions about plasma rockets. Franklin Chang-Diaz answers questions from students of all ages and provides links to the PBS video of the astronaut talking about plasma and rocket propulsion. Also see video about Plasma Rockets.


How Stuff Works - Fusion Propulsion: This site is an encyclopedia of how things work and how things will work. "Fusion Propulsion" includes an explanation of how fusion technology will be applied in the future to rocket propulsion. It links to other "How Stuff Works" sites, including rocket engines, NASA, the sun, stars, etc. Students have opportunities to visit this site and seek further explanations whenever they find unfamiliar terms. This site also runs distracting adds for cell phones, etc.


Ions in Action: The experiment of rubbing a balloon on your hair to pick up confetti segues into a discussion of ions. Although it does not mention plasma directly, it does state that in an ion propulsion engine a charge is given to xenon gas. This is supplemented by Deep Space I Engine Facts, fact sheet on ion propulsion. Elementary level. Part of the larger web site: The Space Place.

E. Plasma Displays

How Stuff Works - Plasma Displays: In this site students will see evidence of "Science and technology," "Science as a human endeavor," etc., because these applications of plasma technology have become available to consumers during students' lifetimes.

RESOURCES FOR STUDENTS

INTERACTIVE


These sites provide exemplary, interactive materials for students to explore fusion and plasma science concepts.


CPEP On-Line Fusion Course: Created by the Contemporary Physics Education Project (CPEP) and FusEdWeb, this Guided Tour provides a detailed overview of fusion, with links to related topics, like the particle adventure, which is very interactive.


Energy Quest: Contains interactive activities primarily aimed at K-8 audience regarding the science and distribution of conventional energy resources in California. Puts nuclear energy in perspective with other energy sources. Glossary contains references to fusion, but there is no direct mention of plasma.


IMAGE Science Center P.O.E.T.R.Y web site: Hands-on lessons for students and teachers, sorted by content, grade level, and web-based. The activities highlight the plasma in nature and show science as a human endeavor.


Physics 2000: Good, simple and fun interactive site that deals with electromagnetic waves, microwaves, X-rays and lasers. Extensive set of interactive Java applets illustrating various concepts of modern physics; accessible for all ages. Plasmas not specifically discussed but many interactive applets are relevant to plasma processes.


Stanford Solar Center: This site is a collection of multi-disciplinary, interactive exercises and activities based on the Sun and solar science, most geared to grades 4-12. Most of these have been aligned to science standards and approved by the NASA Product Review process. From the home page you can find your way to exercises for both students and teachers.


The Internet Plasma Physics Education eXperience (IPPEX): Excellent basic introduction to plasma and fusion energy, with educational interactive tutorials. The viewer can operate a virtual tokamak. Explains pros and cons of fusion vs. fossil fuels. Very responsive to e-mail questions.

NOT INTERACTIVE


American Physical Society: Education and Outreach: This site has many wonderful facets. It contains a great timeline called "A Century of Physics," with plasma citations. It lists multiple teacher workshops, student workshops, links to other sites, scholarship and intern opportunities, and as well as career information.


Down-to-Earth Science: This outreach page of the Space Telescope Science Institute site is a gateway into educational activities for students, teachers and the general public.


Electricity Unit - North Canton City Schools: Provides many useful historical facts about electricity and magnetism. A student resource link site. Some links not working.


Fermilab Education Office: Excellent; many links, lessons, major nuclear topics, projects, pages for student and teacher.


Fusion Energy Education Site: Features Nine Ways to Learn about Fusion Energy - For Grades 5 and Up - through graduate school. A good survey of plasma- and fusion-related topics.


How Van de Graff Generators Work: A colorful site that explains how mechanical devices work in a way young students can understand. Includes instructions on how to build a Van de Graff generator.


Khan Academy: Numerous, excellent utube teaching videos in lecture format with explanations mostly in terms of math & chemistry. There is only one brief reference to plasma. It is found in “States of Matter Follow-up” (in the Chemistry section).


MIT Open Course Ware – high school, Highlights for High School: Includes introductory MIT courses best for high school students, video demonstrations to help teachers explain concepts and students understand them, helps for studying for Physics exams.


Physics Central: This site contains articles and links to "everything you ever wanted to know" about physics. Most of it is aimed at high school and above. Sponsored by the American Physical Society.


Plasma on the Internet: Contains Who's Who in Atomic/Plasma Physics, bibliography and glossary. Recommended for physicists and college students. Good information on careers and educational programs. Mainly for graduate students.


Science of NFL Football: NBC has created a series of engaging videos that use the game of football to science lessons on everyting from the Pythagorean Theorem to Newton’s First Law of Motion.

RESOURCES FOR TEACHERS

(lesson plans and demonstrations)

ABC's of Nuclear Science: This site explains an excellent nuclear wall chart. It provides details of the nucleus and nuclear changes/reactions, definitions & diagrams. There is a page on how to build a cosmic ray detector.Produced by the Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory Nuclear Science Division.


Activities to Explore - Stanford Solar Center: Part of the Stanford Solar Center site. Provides hands-on activities and lesson plans for students, showing how to conduct actual observations by building spectroscopes and other instruments.


American Physical Society: Education and Outreach: This site has many wonderful facets. It contains a great timeline called "A Century of Physics," with plasma citations. It lists multiple teacher workshops, student workshops, links to other sites, scholarship and intern opportunities, and as well as career information.


ASPIRE: Excellent site with lots of interactive lessons, created by teachers for teachers. While there is no specific mention of plasma, there are related topics, including wave basics and star life cycle.


Best Education Sites: This site targets a variety of fundamental Astronomy and Space education websites, some of which are specifically evaluated in this CPS guide. The linked sites vary in quality and quantity of information from being strictly bulleted information bites with photos to very expansive sources of information, interactive activities, tools and sources. The links are mostly excellent and up to date, though the original project began in 2011.


CINDI - Coupled Ion Neutral Dynamics Investigation (at UT Dallas): You need to click on the education bar to get to the education section. On this site you will find a collection of teaching and education resources for grades 6-9 about the CINDI project, the Earth's atmosphere, space weather, the scale in the Earth-Moon system, satellites and rockets and more.


Department of Energy - For Educators: Excellent resource for energy education. However, "plasma" is not included. A search resulted in one mention of plasma in an article.


Discovering the Sun: A great inquiry activity for middle/high school students that primes students to discover plasma and other aspects of the sun as they work in teams on "a mission." Part of a broader site, The Lesson Plans Page, which provides over 3500 lessons plans for K-College. Many of the activities could be somewhat relevant to understanding plasma physics.


Discovery Education School Resources: Three lesson plans are offered. Each teaches plasma related topics through inquiry. Two relate to space/physical science and one relates to magnetism. Students investigate the suns energy and nuclear reactions (9-12); Students debate the exploration and exploitation of the solar system within reach (6-8); Students produce detailed scientific explanations for magnetism and its use (9-12).


Down-to-Earth Science: This outreach page of the Space Telescope Science Institute site is a gateway into educational activities for students, teachers and the general public. Go to "Amazing Space" for K-12 lesson plans, including black holes, stars, etc. Detailed plans and activities are available, evaluated against national science standards. Instead of using the word "plasma" the site refers to "ionized particles" or simply "gases." The site is most noteworthy for it's breathtaking images of space plasmas from the Hubble telescope.


European Space Agency – Space for Educators: The purpose of this site it to "inform the public about the latest advances and discoveries in the space field, and to develop programs that will inspire young people to pursue careers in science and technology." A number of research pdf documents related to plasma fusion are available. The site is a great resource for information, but does not provide classroom activities that would be useful for most classroom teachers unless they have some very high-level students interested in international opportunities. There is a link to ESA Kids, which does provide news and lab activities.


Fermilab Education Office: Excellent; many links, lessons, major nuclear topics, projects, pages for student and teacher.


FusEdWeb: Fusion Energy Education: Provides many links to informative sites including the CPEP Online Fusion Course, student/teacher resources, very few classroom activities, and other fusion plasma sites. Also includes the plasma dictionary, which allows users to submit new terms, search for specific terms or browse alphabetic listings. Most suitable for high school/college.


Genesis: Search for Origins: This site provides a cluster of K-12 science modules for teachers, using Genesis Mission as a real world link to capture student interest. Some modules are plasma-related. A NASA site.


IMAGE Science Center P.O.E.T.R.Y web site: Hands-on lessons for students and teachers, sorted by content, grade level, and web-based. The activities highlight the plasma in nature and show science as a human endeavor.


Intel Education: Help Wanted: Physicist! A unit designed for high school (11-12) students to study current topics of physics research, including plasma physics, and consider potential social and economic implications. The unit is multidisciplinary and provides clear instructional procedures, differentiated instruction, and assessment processes.


Khan Academy: Numerous, excellent utube teaching videos in lecture format with explanations mostly in terms of math & chemistry. There is only one brief reference to plasma. It is found in “States of Matter Follow-up” (in the Chemistry section).


MIT Haystack Observatory Lesson Plans: A list of space-oriented lesson plans for teachers. The sidebar can direct you to Research Experiences for Teachers, Pre-College resources and Public Outreach Activities.


MIT Open Course Ware – high school, Highlights for High School: Includes introductory MIT courses best for high school students, video demonstrations to help teachers explain concepts and students understand them, helps for studying for Physics exams.


NASA Education: The NASA Education page is a gateway to all their educational websites. You'll also find News, Learning Resources, Internet Resources, Multimedia Resources, Contacts for Educators, Professional Development and Student Opportunities. It's a great site to explore.


NASA Internet Resources for Educators: Provides major links to NASA internet sources for educators.


NASA Spacelink: A good site to go to when looking for a wealth of multimedia resources from on-line slide shows to videotapes and software.


Newton's Apple - Aurora Borealis: This Teacher's Guide, designed to support a segment on auroras from the PBS series "Newton's Apple," provides a good basic description, along with one classroom experiment, a glossary, resources, and a link to the video.


Open Ed: This award-winning site provides multi-level, multi-media resources keyed to national standards (NGSS): video, games, lesson plans, homework and assessments.


Plasma 101 - Daily Lesson Plan: A pen and paper activity from the New York Times Learning Network requiring research skills and critical thinking. Students elicit information about the definition of plasma from selected examples then create "How It Works" posters about particular forms of plasma, and reflect on the importance of funding for plasma research.


Plasma Sphere: This site contains everything you wanted to know about plasma spheres from constructing your own to purchasing one already made. Includes experiments and other activities useful for classroom demonstrations.


Plasma Wars: From the sidebar on this site, teachers can download teaching modules for themselves and activities for their students (under Plasma Wars). In the module Cosmic Chemistry: Planetary Diversity, students investigate planetary diversity in the shape, size, and strength of the planetary magnetospheres, and in the types and sources of the high-energy charged particles that occupy them.


Science of NFL Football: NBC has created a series of engaging videos that use the game of football to science lessons on everyting from the Pythagorean Theorem to Newton’s First Law of Motion.


Solar Maximum Resources for Educators: Live data, exciting graphics and interesting lesson plans should be helpful to teachers interested in teaching students about the solar/sunspot cycle and solar maximum. Also provides lists of sites that provide the latest data and educational images. Part of the larger Mission to Geospace Site.


Space Science Education Resource Directory (NASA): A convenient way to find NASA space science products for use in the classroom. There are hundreds of resources here, searchable by grade and topic.


Space Weather Center Classroom Resources: Curriculum materials for 4-8 grades; offers teacher workshops.


Stanford Solar Center: This site is a collection of multi-disciplinary, interactive exercises and activities based on the Sun and solar science, most geared to grades 4-12. Most of these have been aligned to science standards and approved by the NASA Product Review process. From the home page you can find your way to exercises for both students and teachers.


Sun-Centered Physics: Teacher Linda Knisely's page provides lesson plans (Grades 11-12) on four sun-centered topics, including the electromagnetic spectrum. She provides focused links to specific NASA websites. Excellent higher-level detail. Explains many of the physical phenomena that occur on the Earth as a direct result of the Sun-Earth interaction.


Teacher Link – NASA Regional Educator Resource Center: This excellent site, provided by Utah State University College of Education, provides a multitude of resources, including educator curriculum guides, print resources, online resources, NASA videos and multimedia, and daily blogs providing the most current links to apps and other resources.


The Exploration of the Earth's Magnetosphere: The materials are directed toward the high school level. However, the information and explanations are a wonderful resource for a teacher at any level. There are no activity plans for teaching students.


The National Center for Atmospheric Research & the UCAR Office of Programs: NCAR's student & teacher friendly site with topics of Astronomy and the Universe Physics about atoms, particles, plasma, Sun, etc. Levels: Beginners, Intermediate, Advanced Lessons/activities.


Van de Graaf Electrostatic Generator Page: This site provides everything you will need to purchase or construct and operate a Van de Graaf Electrostatic Generator, as well as links to other related sites.


University of Virginia Physical Science SOL (Standards of Learning) Activities: Teachers are provided with a host of physical science activities for their classrooms under Alphabetical List of Activities, including Heat of Fusion, Investigating Magnetic Fields, Nuclear Fission and Nuclear Fusion, Nuclear Reactions, and more plasma-related science.

A PLASMA OUTREACH PROGRAM NEAR YOU

The sites below point toward outreach programs that either have a plasma component or could support a discussion of plasma. If you cannot find an outreach program near you, remember that a local college/university may house a chapter of the Society of Physics Students (SPS). Often these students do physics outreach into their local communities.

ALABAMA - NEW MEXICO:

SiteStateDescription
Plasma On The Internet
A comprehensive site that lists plasma-related research sites around the nation and the world.
Science 2 Schools
The site, supported by the University of Illinois Physics Van, provides a directory of science assemblies, workshops, exhibits, or mobile labs that can come to your school.
The World Wide Web Virtual Library - Plasma Science and Technology Sites Worldwide
Plasma-related research sites around the world. Part of the larger Perspectives on Plasma site. 
Auburn University, Plasma ProgramALABAMA
The Marshall Space Center (Huntsville, AL)ALABAMASponsors a speakers' bureau, tours, partnerships and workshops as well as providing information. 
University of Alabama, Department of Astronomy and Physics (Tuscalusa, AL)ALABAMAHosts Public Nights, an evening program open to the public for viewing celestial objects. See their web site for dates and times.
Poker Flat Research Range (Poker Flat, AK)ALASKA"the world's only scientific rocket launching facility owned by a university," the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF). They offer general information, scientific data, tours, aurora activity information, etc.
The Geophysical Institute, Space Physics and Aeronomy Group (Fairbanks, AK)ALASKAConducts research in the Earth's geophysical environment from the space around the sun to our atmosphere.
Lowell Observatory (Flagstaff, AZ)ARIZONA
National Solar Observatory (Kitt Peak, AZ)ARIZONA
University of Arizona, Physics Dept. Outreach (Tucson, AZ)ARIZONAOutreach is not specific to plasmas, but may include plasmas.
University of Arkansas, Center for Mathematics and Science EducationARKANSASSTEPUP - Student and Teacher Education Outreach Programs with University Partners. Will do in-class science presentations upon request.
General Atomics Educational Web SiteCALIFORNIA
Shala BarreraCALIFORNIAAll topics (earth, solar system, stars & galaxies, technology) have links to Public Services (Tours, Talks) or Educational Materials.
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, The Center for Science & Engineering Education (CSEE)CALIFORNIAProvides a list of websites for education programs and activities throughout the lab, including Utube videos.
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Science and Technology Education ProgramCALIFORNIA
Lockheed Martin Space Plasmas GroupCALIFORNIA
Mt. Wilson ObservatoryCALIFORNIAA tour of the observatory, or a night viewing through the telescope, could supplement a discussion of plasma.
Sonoma State University - Education and Public OutreachCALIFORNIAFormal and informal educational materials for grades 4-14 are provided, including gamma-ray burst real-time sky map, and interactive activities focusing on NASA space science missions.
Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC)CALIFORNIAHosts public lecture series, tours of SLAC, and regional science bowls for high school students.
Stanford University, Stanford Solar CenterCALIFORNIAThis site presents a collection of fun educational activities based on Solar Oscillations Investigation and Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) data.
UC Irvine Physics Road ShowCALIFORNIA
Center for Integrated Plasma StudiesCOLORADOHas some links to education materials through their different Research Groups.
Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at U of Colorado, in association with NASA: CU/LASP Rocket ExperimentCOLORADO
National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Public Outreach EventsCOLORADOHosts professional development workshops, interactive on-line courses, exhibits, and Science Saturday events, spanning topics such as climate change, modeling earth systems, weather, and observational systems.
National Renewal Energy Lab (NREL)COLORADOLists educational opportunities for K-12, college and post-graduates, and teachers, as well as educational resources.
Physics Department, U of ColoradoCOLORADOClick on the Outreach button on the Physics page.
Science from CUCOLORADOHas a "States of Matter" link that deals with plasma.
Space Science Institute (Boulder, CO)COLORADO
University of Colorado at BoulderCOLORADOMaintains a number of outreach sites, including Fiske Planetarium and Sommers Bausch Observatory.
Educational Outreach in Physics, Southern Connecticut University (New Haven)CONNECTICUTDr. James Dolan is listed as being in charge of educational outreach. Plasmas are not specifically mentioned. 
Mount Cuba Astronomical ObservatoryDELAWARE
University of Delaware, Physics and Astronomy Outreach (Newark)DELAWARESummer internships and outreach programs for students.
Florida Agricultural Mechanical University, Center for Plasma Science and TechnologyFLORIDAThis site is a resource for up-to-date plasma research information on remote sensing research in the nation's defense, fusion and plasma research for alternative power and advanced materials, and advanced computations research in support of plasmas and photonics physics.
Florida Solar Energy Center (University of Central Florida)FLORIDA
National High Magnetic Field Laboratory (Tallahassee)FLORIDA
Discover Georgia's Magnificent PlanetariumsGEORGIAA listing and description of all planetariums in Georgia.
Georgia Science OlympiadGEORGIASouthern Polytechnic hosts the Georgia Science Olympiad, a science competition for teams from K-12, engaging students in doing and applying science. Visit this site to learn more about the competitions and how to register your team of up to 15 members.
Georgia State University Department of Physics and Astronomy, Cosmic Ray ProjectGEORGIASchools participate in a Large Scale High Energy Cosmic Ray Energy project, with teachers and students maintaining the operation of detectors and participating in data analysis. This site also provides resources for up-to-date information (including geomagnetic fields), simulations and other resource links.
Georgia Tech - Materials Society (GHOST)GEORGIAGeorgia High School Outreach for Science and Technology (GHOST) brings materials science to Atlanta area classrooms and enables high school teachers to take their classes to the Georgia Tech MSE department. The site does not mention any specific plasma education.
Joint Astronomy Center Public OutreachHAWAIIThe JAC provides a number of outreach opportunities, including school visits, public lectures and demonstrations. Highlights include telescope information, news/press releases, career opportunities, resources, interactive activities, posters, celestial visuals and much more for teachers and students. You may even locate your own birthday star on this site.
University of Hawaii, Institute for Astronomy (Maui)HAWAIIAstronomy Projects.
Discovery Center of IdahoIDAHOInteractive programs, ranging from 1-hour presentations for schools and communities to half-day training for teachers. Plasma science is not mentioned as a specific topic. Star Lab rental is also available.
Idaho National Laboratory (INL)IDAHOType "plasma" in the search box for more specific information on plasma physics. The education link in the side bar can point you to tournaments and "high school action team" opportunities.
Argonne National Laboratory, Division of Educational ProgramsILLINOISLists several K-12 Programs, including field trips and speakers bureau.

Fermilab Education Office

ILLINOIS
Northwestern University, Physics and Astronomy Public OutreachILLINOISThis outreach program hosts public lectures based on the science behind popular physics subjects, ranging from MRI scanners to the internet. The complete content lectures are available as movie files.
Physics Van Outreach Program (University of Illinois Physics Department)ILLINOISIncludes shows, demonstrations, and much more!
University of Chicago Center for Astrophysical Research in AntarcticaILLINOIS
University of Chicago Center for Cosmological PhysicsILLINOIS
University of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignILLINOISOffers Science2Schools Programs for grades 5-8 focusing on Newton's Laws of Motion and Electrical Science.
Indiana University Bloomington Science Outreach ProgramsINDIANAThe Science Speakers Bureau makes available Indiana University faculty researchers to visit the classroom for presentations of your choice. A search for plasma physics results in an abundance of available information and resources from the IU departments of physics and mathematics.
Purdue University Physics Outreach ProgramINDIANA
Ames Laboratory, ToursIOWA
Science Center of IowaIOWA"Boom" and "Simply Electrifying" are two plasma related assembly programs offered for your schools, grades K-8. Educator resources are also available for visits to the IMAX theatre and planetarium.
University of Iowa Department of Physics and AstronomyIOWAHawk-Eyes on Science Outreach Program
University of Iowa Department of Physics and AstronomyIOWARadio and Plasma Wave Group
University of Kansas Center for Science EducationKANSAS
University of Kentucky (Lexington, KY)KENTUCKYPhysics and Astronomy, Education and Outreach.
Louisiana State University Physics and Astronomy Outreach (Baton Rouge, LA)LOUISIANA2016-05-15
Sci-Port - Louisiana's Science CenterLOUISIANAPlasma physics is a component of many of the Sci-Port field trip site programs. Click on "For Educators" in the side bar for more specific teacher resources and outreach programs and exhibits. Includes traveling science workshops - Sci-Port Traveling Science workshops are designed for middle and high schools located within 60 miles of Sci-Port. "Light Detectives" involves a spectroscope, elements, and the chemical composition of a new star.
University of Maine Physics and Astronomy Outreach (Orono, ME)MAINE
The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (Greenbelt, MD)MARYLANDOffers resources to local residents as well as sponsoring programs throughout the U.S. Workshops, partnerships, information and more are available. The pages for their Education Programs and their Speakers Bureau are especially helpful.
Space Telescope Science Institute (NASA) (Baltimore)MARYLAND
University of Maryland, Lecture-Demonstration Facility Search EngineMARYLANDUniversity of Maryland, Lecture-Demonstration Facility hosts this search engine site for resources specific to plasma physics.
MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center Educational OutreachMASSACHUSETTS
MIT's Educational Outreach ProgramsMASSACHUSETTSClick on the MIT Outreach Data Base, then type "plasma fusion" into the search box to find out more about "Middle School and High School Outreach Days" focused on plasma and fusion research and "Plasma Science and Fusion Center Tours".
Eastern Michigan University Physics and Astronomy Outreach (Ypsilanti, MI)MICHIGANAlso look at side bar for Society of Physics Students and Sherzer Observatory, both of which also do outreach.
Michigan State University Physics and Astronomy Department Outreach (Lansing, MI)MICHIGAN
University of Michigan Physics K-12 Programs (Ann Arbor)MICHIGANAlthough the site does not specifically mention plasma science outreach, the University of Michigan does research involving plasmas. Check out also their Saturday Morning Physics Program, which may involve discussion of plasma from time to time.
University of Minnesota College of Science and Engineering - K-12 OutreachMINNESOTAScroll down the classroom resources page for links to "Physics Force: The Next Generation" and the "Minnesota Space Grant Consortium", and be sure to check out the teacher development opportunities involving particle physics, fluid power, and astronomy.
University of Minnesota Space Plasma Physics Group (Twin Cities, MN)MINNESOTA
The University of Southern Mississippi Center for Science and Math EducationMISSISSIPPIFrom this page you can explore science education opportunities hosted by USM Center for Science and Math Education, including the Science and Engineering Fair, the MIssissippi Science Olympiad and Teacher workshops.
Honeywell Federal Manufacturing and TechnologiesMISSOURIBring an Engineer to Class program

Honeywell FM&T: FMA Live!

MISSOURIBy making science fun and relevant to students' everyday lives, FMA Live! aims to inspire students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math.

Missouri State University K-12 Science Outreach

MISSOURIThis site provides information on various science competitions for students in Missouri.

University of Missouri Science Outreach

MISSOURI
University of Montana Blue Mountain ObservatoryMONTANA
University of Nebraska Lincoln Physics and Astronomy OutreachNEBRASKAIncludes programs for teacher development and for students.
University of Nevada, Physics on the RoadNEVADA
Experimental Space Plasma Physics Group, University of New Hampshire (Durham, NH)NEW HAMPSHIRE

Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory Educational Programs

NEW JERSEY

Robert A. Schommer Observational Observatory (Rutgers)

NEW JERSEY

Rutgers University Physics and Astronomy Outreach

NEW JERSEY

Bradbury Science Museum Programs (Los Alamos, NM)

NEW MEXICO

Los Alamos National Laboratory

NEW MEXICO

National Atomic Museum

NEW MEXICO

National Solar Observatory

NEW MEXICO

Sandia National Lab, Educational Partnerships

NEW MEXICO

NEW YORK - WYOMING:

SiteStateDescription

Brookhaven National Laboratory

NEW YORK
Cornell Center for Materials ResearchNEW YORKThis site offers activities and education modules, but not much related to plasma. However, a search for plasma or plasma education will take the searcher to "Ask a Scientist" references, where a lot of plasma information if available via links.
Cornell University (Ithaca, NY)NEW YORKIncludes teacher resources, workshops and tours, K-12 programs and more. They are not about plasmas, but provide general physics information useful in developing a foundation for understanding plasmas.
Laboratory for Laser Energetics (Rochester, NY)NEW YORKFocuses on Inertial Confinement Fusion. Follow the education link to the High School Program, and learn about a recent Summer High School Outreach Program.
Morehead Observatory Guest Night (Chapel Hill, NC)NORTH CAROLINA
Ohio House of Science and EngineeringOHIOThis outreach program involves scientists and engineers from both the academic and public realm in mentoring, collaborating, and networking with K-12 schools. Wonders of Our World (W.O.W.), is a program with many experiments that support plasma education and takes science outreach to the students in elementary and middle schools.
Ohio State University (Columbus, OH): Department of Astronomy Public OutreachOHIO
Ohio University Society of Physics StudentsOHIOIn the past, this chapter of the Society of Physics Students has offered successful after-school programs for elementary schools. Check to see what is available for the current year.
University of Tulsa, Jerome Dean McCoy, Jr.OKLAHOMAJerome Dean McCoy, Jr. presents physics shows for K-12 audiences, and provides professional development seminars in the Tulsa area and around the state.

George Fox University Science Outreach Program

OREGONServices provided by GFU include youth science classes, equipment loan, laboratory and facility outreach, and Star Lab programs, with opportunities for brainstorming to meet the needs of teachers and students.

Pine Mountain Observatory (University of Oregon)

OREGON

University of Oregon GK-12 Science Outreach Program

OREGONUniversity of Oregon Ph.D. students serve as science resource specialists for teaching hands-on physical science and mathematics in partnering Oregon elementary and middle schools.

University of Pennsylvania, Department of Physics and Astronomy Outreach

PENNSYLVANIA

Carolina Science Outreach

SOUTH CAROLINAThis outreach program offers presentations for all ages addressing the basic elements of matter, how particle accelerators work, what the future looks like, or even topics chosen by you.
Ruth Patrick Science Education CenterSOUTH CAROLINA

Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL)

SOUTH CAROLINAIn partnership with education institutions, SRS offers hands-on programs for pre-college students and teachers, research opportunities, work-based learning opportunities, and various workshops, tours, lectures, and demonstrations.
Angelo State University Society of Physics Students Facebook PageTEXASThis group won the 2009 Blake Lilly Prize for outstanding physics outreach. Click on this link to get to the Facebook page for a group committed to spreading physics outreach to those ranging in ages from kindergarten to undergraduates in college.

CASPER - Center for Astrophysics, Space Physics & Engineering Research, Baylor University (Waco, TX)

TEXAS

Texas A&M University, Physics and Astronomy, Exploration Station

TEXASProvides links to an annual Physics Festival, Physics Shows for schools in Brazos Valley, and a Saturday Morning Physics Program.

Texas State University Student Organizations

TEXASVisit this site to see what the Society of Physics Students and Mexican American Engineers and Scientists are offering in the San Marcos area in the way of outreach for children interested in physics.

University of Texas, High Intensity Laser Group (Austin, TX)

TEXAS
University of Texas at Austin, Physics Programs and Outreach OpportunitiesTEXASClick on The Physics Circus for numerous demonstrations for local K-12 schools and communities.

Brigham Young University Astronomical Society

UTAHThis student run organization provides weekly public planetarium shows and monthly star parties.

Brigham Young University Society of Physics Students

UTAHSign up to have BYU Society of Physics Students give demonstrations in your classroom.

The Leonardo - The Leo on Wheels

UTAHThe Leo on Wheels travels throughout Utah to middle schools to engage students in interactive exhibits and inquiry-based activities to learn about energy, force and motion.

University of Utah Chapter of Society of Physics Students (SPS)

UTAHCan be contacted for outreach.

University of Utah, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Outreach

UTAHClick on ASPIRE for interactive lessons and labs as well as the link for direct support for teachers and students. In addition to the ASPIRE programs, Star and Solar parties are hosted at the Observatory, and telescopes are available for traveling. Includes the MESA Recruiting Partnership, a program designed to support the underserved ethnic minority and female students in middle and high school students in the STEM areas of study.

Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium (St. Johnsbury, VT)

VERMONT
Vermont Astonomical SocietyVERMONTVisit this site for up-to-date information on public star parties, and to arrange a presentation or a telescope-making class for your school or group.

Science Museum of Western Virginia

VIRGINIAThis outreach program targets preK-5 grades with several physical science topics that provide basic preliminary information for plasma physics.

Science Education at Jefferson Lab

VIRGINIA

Virginia Air and Space Center

VIRGINIAThe Virginia Air & Space Center has created an array of educational programming for grades pre-K through 12, designed to meet the Virginia Standards of Learning guidelines and stimulate student interest in the fields of air, space, science and technology.

Virginia Tech, College of Science, Science Outreach Program (SOuP)

VIRGINIAThis program focuses more on life and earth science. I did not find anything relevant to plasma.

James Richard Jewett Observatory, Star Parties!

WASHINGTONStar Parties are held for the general public at the Jewett Observatory. The WSU Planetarium is used for astronomy classes and school groups for free one-hour sky tours.

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (Richland,WA)

WASHINGTON

Seattle University, PhysFest

WASHINGTONIn the spring of the year, Seattle University hosts a PhysFest for high school seniors interested in studying physics at Seattle University.

University of Washington, Aero and Astro, K-12 Outreach

WASHINGTONRepresentatives from the Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Student Chapter will come to you and assist with engineering and science related projects. The also have a searchable K-12 Resource Guide.

University of Washington Plasma Science

WASHINGTON

West Virginia University Plasma Physics Laboratory

WEST VIRGINIA

K-12 Engineering Outreach Program (University of Wisconsin - Madison)

WISCONSIN

UW-Madison Astronomy Outreach

WISCONSINThe University of Wisconsin Space Place is an education center, which regularly fields questions about astronomical events and occurrences like meteor showers, solar flares, and space probes.

The Wonders of Physics (University of Wisconsin)

WISCONSIN

University of Wyoming Physics and Astronomy Outreach (Laramie,WY)

WYOMINGIncludes numerous observatories.