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Informal education  
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Students are introduced to the periodic table and the concept of atomic elements. The group discusses how all material in the Universe is composed of elements and that the atom is the smallest particle that still has the physical and chemical... (View More)

Students are introduced to the scientific tool of spectroscopy. They each build a simple spectroscope to examine the light from different light sources, particularly the Sun (Warning: Do not look directly at the Sun) and artificial lights (e.g.,... (View More)

Students are introduced to the basic properties, behavior and detection of black holes through a brief discussion of common conceptions and misconceptions of these exciting objects. They "act out" a way black holes might be detected through their... (View More)

Learners will explore the physical characteristics of comets by reaching into a series of boxes and feeling the materials and structures within. They will describe what they observe and speculate on comet characteristics being modeled in each box,... (View More)

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.

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

This astronomy program is designed for middle school children in out-of-school-time settings. The program explores basic astronomy concepts (like invisible light, telescopes) and focuses on the universe outside the solar system (stars, galaxies,... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

In this lesson, students observe the surface of rotating potatoes to help them understand how astronomers can sometimes determine the shape of asteroids from variations in reflective brightness.

This exhibit uses text and images to portray humanity's views of the universe and how they have evolved over time. It includes six two-sided panels that feature key astronomical discoveries from the past 400 years. The exhibit also highlights the... (View More)

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)

Keywords: Exoplanets
Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

Using a graphing calculator and a Norland Research calculator robot, students create programs in TI-BASIC to direct their robot through a variety of tasks. Ten robot missions and three exploration extensions are included in this lesson booklet.... (View More)