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This is an activity about the shape of the Earth’s orbit. Learners will first use elements of the orbit of Earth and Pluto and an apparatus using string, a pencil, and pushpins to accurately draw an ellipse, showing the nearly circular shape of... (View More)

This is a lesson plan for an activity illustrating the reasons for the seasons. Learners predict sunrise, noon, and sunset positions on the dates of the equinoxes and solstices, observe these positions in a planetarium, plot their data on graphs,... (View More)

In this activity, learners will discuss possible reasons for the seasons, create a list of suggested factors, test these factors in research groups, and report their findings in a symposium format. This is Activity B-9 of Universe at Your Fingertips... (View More)

This is an activity about the size and scale of the Sun-Earth system. Learners will take an imaginary trip to the Sun by comparing images of the Sun and Earth at different points in altitude above the Earth. This is to ultimately conceptualize the... (View More)

This is an activity about how the Earth's axial tilt causes its seasons. Learners will make a model using polystyrene spheres and a light bulb to represent the Earth-Sun system, showing why the tilt of the Earth’s spin axis causes its seasons due... (View More)

Keywords: NSTA2013
Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: $1 - $5 per student

This activity introduces measurement and scale using hands-on activities. In this activity, students use the concept of similar triangles to determine the height of a tree. This activity is one of several available on an educational poster related... (View More)

This is an activity about the position of the Moon and the Sun in the sky. Learners will use styrofoam balls to model the interactions between the Earth, Sun, and phases of the Moon. This is Activity A-5 of Universe at Your Fingertips 2.0: A... (View More)

This is an activity about interpretation of a data graph. Learners will use mathematics to create a pie chart of percentages and answer accompanying questions. This is the fourth activity in the Solar Storms and You: Exploring Satellite Design... (View More)

This is an activity about seasons. Learners will analyze monthly temperature data from various cities around the globe in order to dispel the misconception that the distance between Earth and Sun may be responsible for the seasons. This is Activity... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free per group of students

This is an activity about critical observation skills. Learners will receive an egg to record its features from various vantage points, illustrating their size, shape, and location. They will then try to identify and recognize the surface features... (View More)