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The four lessons in this unit build toward a student understanding of each component of the energy budget formula - and how the contribution of each component changes due to location and time of year. In order, the four lessons consist of: deriving... (View More) the formula for Earth’s energy budget, analyzing data from NASA’s CERES instrument, learning to code using the RStudio program, and using RStudio to explore and evaluate the energy budgets of specific locations and seasons. The unit includes a pre/post test; each lesson follows the 5E model and contains worksheets with answer keys. (View Less)

Focusing on the size of our solar system, these two short videos address both its vastness and the measurement of its distances. Part One defines the limits of the solar system; Part Two introduces the Astronomical Unit (AU) and applies it to... (View More) distances within the solar system. Both videos are part of the NASA eClips education series. These videos inspire and engage students, helping them see real world connections and opening their eyes to potential STEM career fields. (View Less)

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Through the use of rhythm patterns of sounds presented in a solar system model, learners will collect data to determine orbital periods. Then, using that data, they will derive Kepler’s Third Law (the relationship between the distance of planets... (View More) from the sun and their orbital periods) and apply the equation to search for exoplanets in orbit around extrasolar systems. Educator resources include a 5E instructional lesson and alignments with Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS): ESS1.B: Earth and the Solar System. This resource is part of the Infiniscope space exploration experiences. (View Less)

This is an online set of information about astronomical alignments of ancient structures and buildings. Learners will read background information about the alignments to the Sun in such structures as the Great Pyramid, Chichen Itza, and others.... (View More) Next, the site contains 10 short problem sets that involve a variety of math skills, including determining the scale of a photo, measuring and drawing angles, plotting data on a graph, and creating an equation to match a set of data. Each set of problems is contained on one page and all of the sets utilize real-world problems relating to astronomical alignments of ancient structures. Each problem set is flexible and can be used on its own, together with other sets, or together with related lessons and materials selected by the educator. This was originally included as a folder insert for the 2010 Sun-Earth Day. (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 construct base-two slide rules that add and subtract base-2 exponents (log distances), in order to multiply and divide corresponding powers of two. Students use these slide rules to generate both log and antilog equations,... (View More) learning to translate one in terms of the other. This is activity C1 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)