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You will use this hands-on activity to help high school students learn how solar activity is monitired and the impact the sun has on space weather and Earth systems.

Space weather results from solar activity that creates ever-changing conditions in space. Magnetic energy drives the suns' activity, which is correlated to the occurrence of sunspots on the sun's surface, or photosphere. Sunspots are dark, coole rareas on the surface of the sun that can move, change, and disappear over time. Sunspots are caused by solar activity, occurring in areas with intense energy and magnetic activity. With at least 250 years of data, sunspots became the first means of measuring and monitoring solar activity, the driver of space weather. The eventual goal of solar monitoring programs is to be able to predict solar activity and its influence on Earth.

In the media carousel above you will also find:

  • images for your use in the hands-on activity
  • the "Build the Future" introductory video to be shown to students at the beginning of your presentation
  • the PowerPoint presentation that highlights the many different types of engineers
To prepare for your classroom visit, about two weeks in advance, review the information in the Engineer Guide and the materials provided for this activity.