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Marvelous Martian Mineralogy

This is a lesson about determining planetary composition. Learners will use a reflectometer to determine which minerals are present (from a set of knowns) in a sample of Mars soil simulant. Requires the use of ALTA II spectrometers (which may be... (View More)

A Spectral Mystery

Learners will use a spectrograph to gather data about light sources. Using the data they’ve collected, students are able to make comparisons between different light sources and make conjectures about the composition of a mystery light source. The... (View More)

Using a Fancy Spectrograph

Learners will look at various light sources (including glow sticks and Christmas lights) and make conjectures about their composition. The activity is part of Project Spectra, a science and engineering program for middle-high school students,... (View More)

The Sun and Magnetic Fields

In this activity about magnetic fields and their relation to the Sun, learners will simulate sunspots by using iron filings to show magnetic fields around a bar or cow magnet, and draw the magnetic field surrounding two dipole magnets, both in... (View More)

Surface Color and Effect of Temperature Change

This activity builds the basic understanding that the heating (indicated by temperature differences) of an object is related to the object’s surface color. Materials required for this investigation include a pair of thermometers, light and dark... (View More)

Electric Current Generated with a Moving Magnet

This is an activity about magnetic induction. Learners will induce a flow of electricity in a wire using a moving bar magnet and measure this flow using a galvanometer, or Am meter. Through discussion, this activity can then be related to magnetic... (View More)

Compass Needles around a Simple Circuit

This is an activity about electromagnetism. Learners will set up a simple circuit using a battery, wire, and knife switch, and then use a compass to map the magnetic field lines surrounding the wire. Next, they will add a coil of wire to the simple... (View More)

Mapping Magnetic Field Lines

This is an activity about electromagnetism. Learners will use a compass to map the magnetic field lines surrounding a coil of wire that is connected to a battery. This activity requires a large coil or spool of wire, a source of electricity such as... (View More)

Can Photosynthesis Occur At Saturn?

In this hands-on experiment, students will investigate the basic principle of photosynthesis and learn how light intensity diminishes as a function of distance from the light source. Questions help learners connect these two ideas to determine if... (View More)

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