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This twelve-minute YouTube video incorporates NASA imagery and visualizations as it traces the history of air quality research.
This activity is an interactive word find game with words related to comets and NASA's Comet Nucleus Sample Return mission. Accompanying text and pictures describe what comets are and why we are interested in them.
In this activity, learners draw a circle with a single focus, an ellipse with two foci close together, and an ellipse with two foci far apart, and compare the shapes. Learners then measure the Sun in four images each taken in a different season,... (View More) comparing the apparent size of the Sun in each image to determine when Earth is closest to the Sun. This is the second activity in the SDO Secondary Learning Unit. The activity is reprinted with permission from the Great Explorations in Math and Science (GEMS). (View Less)
In this activity about spectroscopy, learners build a spectroscope, learn about graphing spectra, and then identify elements in gas tubes using their spectra. The activity concludes as learners graph the spectra of different materials. Essential... (View More) materials required for this activity include spectrum light tubes, the power source for spectrum light tubes, and diffraction grating material. (View Less)
In this activity about the Sun's influence on plant growth, learners will create a plant box and observe that a plant will grow towards the Sun, its primary source of energy. By periodically collecting data on the growth of the plant, they can come... (View More) to their own conclusions about why the plant grew towards the sunlight. One to two weeks are needed to grow plants for this lesson; also, time is needed to construct the plant box. Potting soil and bean seeds are needed for this activity. (View Less)
This is a lesson about the electromagnetic spectrum. Learners will read two pages of information about the electromagnetic spectrum and answer questions in an accompanying worksheet. This activity is from the Stanford Solar Center's All About the... (View More) Sun: Sun and Stars activity guide for Grades 5-8 and can also accompany the Stanford Solar Center's Build Your Own Spectroscope activity. (View Less)
In this kinesthetic activity, learners act out the rotation and revolution motions of Earth around the Sun over the course of one year. Learners also physically model the tilt of the Earth and will identify the summer and winter solstice and vernal... (View More) and autumnal equinox locations in relation to Earth's orbit around the Sun. (View Less)
This is an activity involving observations of the Sun. Learners use pinhole cameras, solar telescopes, and/or solar viewing glasses to make solar observations, draw what they see, and identify sunspots, if they are present. Then, learners go online... (View More) and compare their drawings to images obtained by the SOHO spacecraft. This activity requires the use a sunny outdoor location. This activity also require use of safe methods for observing the Sun, such as pinhole cameras, telescopes with proper solar filters attached, and/or viewing glasses that are designated for safe solar viewing. No one should look at the Sun unless one or more of these methods is used in a proper fashion. (View Less)
This is an activity about the concept of direct versus indirect sunlight. Learners construct and use a sun angle analyzer to investigate the effect of angle on area illuminated. The fraction of light on each square of the analyzer is then calculated... (View More) and compared. A discussion at the end relates the results to the amount of sunlight falling on different parts of the Earth and the effect this has on temperature and seasons. Reprinted with permission from the Great Explorations in Math and Science (GEMS). (View Less)