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In this lesson, students explore the cosmic microwave background to understand why it permeates the universe and why it peaks as microwave radiation. Students should be able to explain that the origin of the background radiation is the uniform... (View More) thermal radiation of the big bang and that the radiation produced was evenly distributed around the small early universe, causing it to permeate today's universe. This activity is part of the Cosmic Times teachers guide and is intended to be used in conjunction with the 1965 Cosmic Times Poster. (View Less)

In this activity, students will model the time after the Big Bang when the first nuclei of hydrogen and helium were created. The students will move and display cards that show the elements that are formed. This activity requires a large area - e.g.,... (View More) an outside location, a large classroom with seats moved back, or a gym. This activity is part of the "What is Your Cosmic Connection to the Elements" activity and information booklet. The booklet includes teacher notes and instructions as well as follow-up questions. (View Less)

In this activity, students will discover how mass is distributed in the solar system and a galaxy by using kitty litter. Students compare the distribution of mass in a solar system to the distribution of mass in a galaxy. This is Activity 6a in the... (View More) "Hidden Lives of Galaxies" information and activity booklet that was designed for use with "The Hidden Lives of Galaxies" poster. The booklet includes student worksheets and background information for the teacher. (View Less)

This activity is a kinesthetic exercise for students to experience rotation curves for themselves. The students are divided into two groups; one group will participate in the activity, while the other observes. The groups should switch for different... (View More) parts of the activity. This is Activity 6c in the "Hidden Lives of Galaxies" information and activity booklet that was designed for use with "The Hidden Lives of Galaxies" poster. The booklet includes student worksheets and background information for the teacher. (View Less)

In this activity, students solve exponential equations where the unknown is contained in the exponent. Students learn that taking base-10 or base-2 logs pulls down the exponent, allowing the unknown to be isolated and solved. This activity is... (View More) activity C3 in the "Far Out Math" educator's guide. Lessons in the guide include activities in which students measure, compare quantities as orders of magnitude, become familiar with scientific notation, and develop an understanding of exponents and logarithms using examples from NASA's GLAST mission. These are skills needed to understand the very large and very small quantities characteristic of astronomical observations. Note: In 2008, GLAST was renamed Fermi, for the physicist Enrico Fermi. (View Less)

In this activity students use their Log Tapes as a reference for ordered pairs, and graph positive numbers as a function of their base-10 logarithms. They extend each plotted point to the vertical axis, thereby generating a logarithmic scale that... (View More) cuts and folds into an improvised slide rule. This is activity E1 in the "Far Out Math" educator's guide. Lessons in the guide include activities in which students measure,compare quantities as orders of magnitude, become familiar with scientific notation, and develop an understanding of exponents and logarithms using examples from NASA's GLAST mission. These are skills needed to understand the very large and very small quantities characteristic of astronomical observations. Note: In 2008, GLAST was renamed Fermi, for the physicist Enrico Fermi. (View Less)