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Carl Sagan once claimed that the most important lesson we learn from studying the stars is perspective. To address this concept, this activity offers a scale model of the solar system to be evaluated. There are many versions of solar system scale... (View More) models available; this one is unique for its large scale chosen, the quality of the scaled objects, and the supplementary materials and information provided. The model is extended to include interaction and discovery on the part of learners, and suggested extensions. The set of materials includes a book about the solar system, developed from NASA's "From Earth to the Solar System" (FETTSS) imagery, and appropriate for use with the model. (View Less)
Using stickers created from the templates provided, students create a Venn diagram of objects in our solar system, our galaxy and the universe. This short activity can be used as a formative assessment.
This is an activity about scale. Participants will arrange imagery of Earth and many other space objects in order of their size from smallest to largest, their distance from Earth's surface, their temperature from coolest to hottest, and/or their... (View More) age from youngest to oldest. By manipulating these images and discussing their ideas, children and adults represent and confront their own mental models of space and time. (View Less)
Learners select from a variety of fruits to construct a scale model of the Moon, Earth, and Sun. After determining the correct sizes and distances for their models, they remove the Moon. They consider what it would be like if the nearby Moon were no... (View More) longer reflecting the Sun's light in the nighttime or daytime sky. This activity is part of Explore! Marvel Moon, a series of activities developed specifically for use in libraries. (View Less)
This manual provides simple demonstrations to show how lenses and mirrors are used to create telescopes. It was created for use by the Night Sky Network of astronomy clubs.
This activity includes twelve monthly star charts to identify the stars that are visible in the night sky and that are known to have planets around them. The star maps can be used to find constellations and identify stars with extrasolar planets.... (View More) (Northern Hemisphere only, naked eye) (View Less)
In this activity, learners explore the size and scale of the universe by shrinking cosmic scale in 4 steps, zooming out from the realm of the Earth and Moon to the realm of the galaxies. This informational brochure was designed as a follow-up... (View More) take-home activity for teen and adult audiences. It can follow informal education activities where participants have experienced related space science programming. This activity allows participants to explore ideas of size and scale in the universe at their own pace. (View Less)
This manual provides an overview of how telescopes have changed our understanding of the universe and contains simple demonstrations to use at star parties to get across basic ideas of optics. This manual will also help explain why the images that... (View More) folks see at the eyepiece of a telescope at an outreach star party is so different from images published in magazines. The manual was produced to accompany an outreach toolkit developed for the NASA Night Sky Network. The toolkit is no longer being manufactured, but the activities are available through the manual, which can be freely downloaded. (View Less)
In this activity students develop a simplified log table using information from their Log Tapes. Then they use it to solve arithmetic problems by looking up and combining logs, and finding the antilog. Because these problems are extremely simple,... (View More) students appreciate the logic of logarithms without getting bogged down in the arithmetic detail and error. This is activity B3 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)