Mini Lesson/Activity

Introduction to Volcanic Ash


Watch NASA videos about aerosols and volcanic ash.

Student Directions


  1. Watch the videos and answer the questions. Check with your instructor on how to submit answers.
  2. Watch the NASA's Earth Minute: All About Aerosols video (above). 
    1. Identify different sources of aerosols.
    2. What are the effects of aerosols?
    3. How does NASA study aerosols?
  3. Watch the NASA video: Fire, Ice, and Safer Skies: NASA Satellites Track Volcanic Clouds (below) which describes hazards of volcanic emissions. 
    1. How does volcanic ash demonstrate an interaction between the geosphere and the atmosphere?
    2. Why are volcanic emissions a problem?
    3. What is NASA tracking to try to help predict emissions?

Teacher Note

Teachers, these mini lessons/student activities are perfect "warm up" tasks that can be used as a hook, bell ringer, exit slip, etc. They take less than a class period to complete. Learn more on the "My NASA Data What are Mini Lessons?" page.

Teachers who are interested in receiving the answer key, please complete the Teacher Key Request and Verification Form. We verify that requestors are teachers prior to sending access to the answer keys as we’ve had many students try to pass as teachers to gain access. 


  1. NASA's Earth Minute: My Name is Aerosol. (2017, January 13). YouTube. Retrieved April 28, 2022, from
  2. Fire, Ice, and Safer Skies: NASA Satellites Track Volcanic Clouds. (2016, May 10). YouTube. Retrieved April 28, 2022, from

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