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Explore lunar phases as viewed from Earth using paper plates. While standing in the appropriate spot in the moon's orbit, students hold paper plates that depict the Moon's phase. This activity can be used to assess understanding of lunar phases or... (View More) to continue to build a conceptual model of the phases through kinesthetic activity. Related Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are listed. (View Less)
Explore lunar phases as viewed from Earth using a golf ball and an ultraviolet light. With the student's head representing Earth, students hold and move the golf ball to demonstrate the cause of the Moon's phases in their correct order. Related Next... (View More) Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are listed. (View Less)
Learners will create a physical timeline of comet appearances in art and literature throughout history. Participants use a set of photos depicting comets in art images and science missions and place the images in chronological order, while learning... (View More) about the perceptions of comets during that time period. Note: Timeline cards that are needed to complete this activity can be found under the Related and Supplemental Resources links on the right side of this page. (View Less)
This is a lesson about using the light from the star during an occultation event to identify the atmosphere of a planet. Learners will add and subtract light curves (presented as a series of geometrical shapes) to understand how this could occur.... (View More) The activity is part of Project Spectra, a science and engineering program for middle-high school students, focusing on how light is used to explore the Solar System. (View Less)
This is a game about planning what to take on a space trip to Mars. Learners will decide on the appropriateness of items to take on a long trip to Mars and take into consideration the effects of zero gravity, limited electrical power, etc.
This is a lesson about visual spectra. Learners will explore different ways of displaying visual spectra, including colored "barcode" spectra, like those produced by a diffraction grating, and line plots displaying intensity versus color, or... (View More) wavelength. Students learn that a diffraction grating acts like a prism, bending light into its component colors. The activity is part of Project Spectra, a science and engineering program for middle-high school students, focusing on how light is used to explore the Solar System. (View Less)
This is a collection of mathematical problems about transits in the solar system. Learners can work problems created to be authentic glimpses of modern science and engineering issues, often involving actual research data.
Learners will read about missions to asteroids and comets, consider the measurements and math required for the robotic spacecraft to visit these objects, and are invited to finish the story themselves. The provided extension explains how to use a... (View More) K-W-L chart with the story and provides a glossary of terms. (View Less)
Learners will explore the concept of parallax (the apparent displacement of an object caused by a change in the viewer’s position) and then simulate the discovery of Pluto with a Blink Comparator via an online interactive.
This is an activity about collecting, describing and classifying terrestrial and lunar rocks. Learners will collect and describe rocks of varying texture, color and shapes. Descriptors will include color, presence or absence of grains and grain... (View More) size, textures, banding and other patterns. From the descriptions, learners will classify their collected rocks and extend their knowledge to classify lunar rocks. This activity is in Unit 1 of the Exploring the Moon teacher's guide and is designed for use especially, but not exclusively, with the Lunar Sample Disk program. (View Less)