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This is a lesson about using the light from the star during an occultation event to identify the atmosphere of a planet. Learners will add and subtract light curves (presented as a series of geometrical shapes) to understand how this could occur.... (View More) The activity is part of Project Spectra, a science and engineering program for middle-high school students, focusing on how light is used to explore the Solar System. (View Less)
This is a game about planning what to take on a space trip to Mars. Learners will decide on the appropriateness of items to take on a long trip to Mars and take into consideration the effects of zero gravity, limited electrical power, etc.
This is a lesson about visual spectra. Learners will explore different ways of displaying visual spectra, including colored "barcode" spectra, like those produced by a diffraction grating, and line plots displaying intensity versus color, or... (View More) wavelength. Students learn that a diffraction grating acts like a prism, bending light into its component colors. The activity is part of Project Spectra, a science and engineering program for middle-high school students, focusing on how light is used to explore the Solar System. (View Less)
In this online card game, players prepare five important NASA Earth missions. The object of the game is to be the first to complete three of five missions. A mission is completed when all four of its required components have been supplied. Each... (View More) mission needs a rocket, an orbit, a spacecraft, and a science objective. There are different kinds of each of these components; each mission needs a different combination of the components. The game is based on real NASA Earth missions: Aqua, Aura, CloudSat, IceSat, and Terra. (View Less)
This is an activity about the moon. Learners will create their own models of lunar orbiters out of edible or non-edible materials. They determine what tools would be necessary to help us better understand the Moon and plan for a future lunar... (View More) outpost. Then they incorporate these elements into their models. NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter is used as an example of a spacecraft armed with "eyes," "ears," and other tools for exploration. This activity is part of Explore! To the Moon and Beyond! - a resource developed specifically for use in libraries. (View Less)
This is an activity about impact craters. Learners will experiment to create impact craters and examine the associated features. Then they observe images of lunar craters and explore how the mass, shape, velocity, and angle of impactors affects the... (View More) size and shape of the crater. This activity is part of Explore! To the Moon and Beyond! - a resource developed specifically for use in libraries. (View Less)
In this activity, learners draw conclusions about where on a planetary body scientists might look for ice and why. They use a clay ball, ice cubes, and a heat lamp to model the permanently-shadowed polar regions of planets and moons that may harbor... (View More) ice. They learn that our Moon, and even Mercury, may have areas with ice. This activity is part of Explore! To the Moon and Beyond! - a resource developed specifically for use in libraries. (View Less)
This is a collection of mathematical problems about transits in the solar system. Learners can work problems created to be authentic glimpses of modern science and engineering issues, often involving actual research data.
This is an activity about the Doppler effect. Learners begin by simulating the noise made by a passing siren. After learning that the change in pitch results from movement, they investigate the definition of frequency, calculate change in frequency,... (View More) and learn how this applies to light and the study of astronomy. This lesson requires a Doppler ball, also referred to as a buzzer ball. (View Less)
This activity is about groundwater and how an underground aquifer can be affected by actions on the surface that are miles away. Using an aquarium, leaners will construct an interactive groundwater model to demonstrate how water flows through the... (View More) ground into the atmosphere and back. This activity may also be completed as a demonstration. This is the second of four activities in the "Impact of Climate Change on the Desert Pupfish" of the "Climate Change, Wildlife and Wildlands: A Toolkit for Formal and Informal Educators." (View Less)