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In this hands-on activity, students learn about the different realms of the Universe and explore their sizes and relative scales. They will be guided through a process that uncovers the immense sizes of the Sun, Solar System, Solar Neighborhood,... (View More) Milky Way, Local Group, Supercluster, and the observable Universe. The full version of this activity involves students doing simple math computations, however it can also be done without the math. There are some inexpensive materials involved, as well as a powerpoint presentation. It is intended for grades 8-12, but can be adapted down for lower grade levels. (View Less)

Students will learn about black holes through reading a NASA press release and viewing a NASA eClips video segment. Then students will use tables and mathematical expressions to compare black hole sizes and temperatures. Common Core State Standards... (View More) for Mathematics and English Language Arts are identified. This activity is part of the Space Math multi-media modules that integrate NASA press releases, NASA archival video, and mathematics problems targeted at specific math standards commonly encountered in middle school textbooks. The modules cover specific math topics at multiple levels of difficulty with real-world data and use the 5E instructional sequence. (View Less)

Students use simple proportions and fractions to explore the number of stars in the Milky Way, and the relative sizes of some famous stars compared to our own Sun. By reading a NASA press release and viewing a NASA eClips video segment, students... (View More) will learn more about stars and the Milky Way galaxy. Common Core State Standards for Mathematics and English Language Art are identified. This activity is part of the Space Math multi-media modules that integrate NASA press releases, NASA archival video, and mathematics problems targeted at specific math standards commonly encountered in middle school textbooks. The modules cover specific math topics at multiple levels of difficulty with real-world data and use the 5E instructional sequence. (View Less)

Students will learn about NASA's Fermi satellite and gamma ray sources through reading a NASA press release. They will also learn about gamma rays and the electromagnetic spectrum by viewing a NASA eClips video segment. Then, students will use... (View More) percentages to explore the origins of mysterious gamma ray sources in the sky using NASA Fermi data. Common Core State Standards for Mathematics and English Language Art are identified. This activity is part of the Space Math multi-media modules that integrate NASA press releases, NASA archival video, and mathematics problems targeted at specific math standards commonly encountered in middle school textbooks. The modules cover specific math topics at multiple levels of difficulty with real-world data and use the 5E instructional sequence. (View Less)

Students will learn about the NASA Kepler mission and Earth-like planet discoveries through reading a NASA press release. They will also view a NASA eClips video describing the search for planets beyond our solar system. Then, students will study... (View More) the statistics of planets outside our solar system and estimate the number of Earth-like planets in the Milky Way galaxy. Common Core State Standards for Mathematics and English Language Arts are identified. This activity is part of the Space Math multi-media modules that integrate NASA press releases, NASA archival video, and mathematics problems targeted at specific math standards commonly encountered in middle school textbooks. The modules cover specific math topics at multiple levels of difficulty with real-world data and use the 5E instructional sequence. (View Less)

Students will learn about the Spitzer Infrared Observatory and a recently observed dust ring around Saturn through reading a NASA press release and viewing a NASA video segment. Then students will use scientific notation to perform calculations to... (View More) understand the size, mass, and volume of dust and the new dust ring. Common Core State Standards for Mathematics and English Language Arts are identified. This activity is part of the Space Math multi-media modules that integrate NASA press releases, NASA archival video, and mathematics problems targeted at specific math standards commonly encountered in middle school textbooks. The modules cover specific math topics at multiple levels of difficulty with real-world data and use the 5E instructional sequence. (View Less)

Students will learn about the technology of cryogenics where engineers and scientists work with very cold gases and liquids. They will use a simple equation to convert from the Fahrenheit to the Celsius temperature scales and to the Kelvin scale... (View More) which is used in cryogenics. They will also view a NASA eClips video and read a press release dealing with very cold gases and liquids. Common Core State Standards for Mathematics and English Language Arts are identified. This activity is part of the Space Math multi-media modules that integrate NASA press releases, NASA archival video, and mathematics problems targeted at specific math standards commonly encountered in middle school textbooks. The modules cover specific math topics at multiple levels of difficulty with real-world data and use the 5E instructional sequence. (View Less)

Students will learn about the Big Bang theory of the universe through reading a NASA press release and viewing a NASA eClips video segment. They will use simple linear equations to analyze data that reveals the expansion and early history of the... (View More) universe after the Big Bang. Common Core State Standards for Mathematics and English Language Arts are identified. This activity is part of the Space Math multi-media modules that integrate NASA press releases, NASA archival video, and mathematics problems targeted at specific math standards commonly encountered in middle school textbooks. The modules cover specific math topics at multiple levels of difficulty with real-world data and use the 5E instructional sequence. (View Less)

This lesson provides a way for students to determine the relationship between the distance from a light source and its brightness. Once students discover the relationship, they can begin to understand how astronomers use this knowledge to determine... (View More) the distances to stars and far away galaxies. (View Less)

Materials Cost: $10 - $20 per group of students

In this lesson, students will explore the density of substances as a model for understanding the mass to light ratio as a predictor of dark matter. They will measure and calculate mass and volume to calculate the density of a foam ball. Students... (View More) will try to explain a discrepant event when data is not as expected (in this case a nerf ball that seems too heavy for its volume). Students will then use the concept of density, a ratio of mass to volume, to attempt to explain the mass to light ratio for luminosity and gravity. Advance preparation required. Materials needed for this activity include: small foam balls, tape measure, triple beam balance for each group, posterboards/construction paper, and markers (estimated materials cost doesn't include triple beam balances). This lesson is part of the Cosmic Times teachers guide and is intended to be used in conjunction with the 1965 Cosmic Times Poster. (View Less)