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Paleontological Research Institution


6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Physics, Earth and Space Sciences

Resource Type

  • Videos, 4 minutes, 10 seconds, CC, Subtitles

Regional Focus



YouTube Video

Seeing (Infra)Red

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  • This video describes the electromagnetic spectrum and demonstrates how infrared radiation can be absorbed using an infrared camera.
  • The narrator describes the analogy of the greenhouse effect and how it relates to Earth's atmosphere.
Teaching Tips


  • A thorough verbal explanation and visual demonstration is very effective in explaining this difficult topic. 
  • The narrator talks at a pace that is conducive to taking notes or drawing a diagram on the board for students.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should be familiar with the electromagnetic spectrum and terms like visible light, infrared radiation, and wavelength.


  • Consider having students draw a diagram of their understanding of the greenhouse effect after watching the video.  Students may need to watch the video multiple times to accomplish this. 
  • Have students see the difference between different materials and their ability to absorb infrared radiation by having them hold various items (pencil, paperclip, ball of paper, etc.) for a minute and then compare the infrared radiation from them.
  • To dive deeper into the science of the greenhouse effect and climate change, high school students may benefit from this interactive online lesson called Heating it Up: The Chemistry of the Greenhouse Effect.
Scientist Notes
This resource uses an infrared camera to visualize the greenhouse effect. The Earth emits infrared radiation and carbon dioxide, one of the leading Greenhouse Gases, absorbs that infrared radiation and makes the planet warmer. This video visually demonstrates that effectively. This resource is recommended for teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS2: Earth's Systems
      • HS-ESS2-2 Analyze geoscience data to make the claim that one change to Earth’s surface can create feedbacks that cause changes to other Earth systems.
      • HS-ESS2-4 Use a model to describe how variations in the flow of energy into and out of Earth’s systems result in changes in climate.
    • PS3: Energy
      • MS-PS3-4 Plan an investigation to determine the relationships among the energy transferred, the type of matter, the mass, and the change in the average kinetic energy of the particles as measured by the temperature of the sample.
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