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In this activity, students graph second and third order functions, discovering an inverse relationship between squares and square roots and between cubes and cube roots. Students graph these functions on both linear grid (evenly spaced numbers), and... (View More) a log-log grid (evenly space exponents). Graph lines that curve on linear grids transform into straight lines on the log-log grids, with slopes equal to their exponential powers. This activity is activity E3 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, the teacher sets up three simulated clouds representing three different cloud types. Students use different methods to estimate precipitation contents of each cloud type. Each method is roughly analogous to methods actually used... (View More) for weather forecasting. Finally the precipitation from each cloud is released, and the students will compare their estimates to what is actually experienced on the ground. SciJinks is a joint NASA/NOAA educational website targeting middle school-aged children and their educators. It explores weather and Earth science through articles, videos, images, and games. (View Less)

This article contains a series of kinesthetic activities, explaining and demonstrating why stars twinkle and what astronomers can do to minimize it. The activities can be used to demonstrate how Earth's atmosphere distorts starlight and how advanced... (View More) telescope technology (adaptive optics) is used to compensate for this distortion. (View Less)