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**Earth and space science**

**Astronomy**

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In this activity, students create a scale model depicting the vertical distance from Earth’s surface to various features and objects, including Earth’s atmospheric layers, the Van Allen Radiation Belts, and geocentric satellites. Students also... (View More) compare the vertical distances to these features and objects with distances from their classroom to other common points on the ground. Includes background science information; student reading, handouts and worksheet; teacher information; and suggested extensions and adaptations for students with vision impairment. (View Less)

Students will learn about black holes through reading a NASA press release and viewing a NASA eClips video segment. Then students will use tables and mathematical expressions to compare black hole sizes and temperatures. Common Core State Standards... (View More) for Mathematics and English Language Arts are identified. This activity is part of the Space Math multi-media modules that integrate NASA press releases, NASA archival video, and mathematics problems targeted at specific math standards commonly encountered in middle school textbooks. The modules cover specific math topics at multiple levels of difficulty with real-world data and use the 5E instructional sequence. (View Less)

Students use simple proportions and fractions to explore the number of stars in the Milky Way, and the relative sizes of some famous stars compared to our own Sun. By reading a NASA press release and viewing a NASA eClips video segment, students... (View More) will learn more about stars and the Milky Way galaxy. Common Core State Standards for Mathematics and English Language Art are identified. This activity is part of the Space Math multi-media modules that integrate NASA press releases, NASA archival video, and mathematics problems targeted at specific math standards commonly encountered in middle school textbooks. The modules cover specific math topics at multiple levels of difficulty with real-world data and use the 5E instructional sequence. (View Less)

Students will learn about NASA's Fermi satellite and gamma ray sources through reading a NASA press release. They will also learn about gamma rays and the electromagnetic spectrum by viewing a NASA eClips video segment. Then, students will use... (View More) percentages to explore the origins of mysterious gamma ray sources in the sky using NASA Fermi data. Common Core State Standards for Mathematics and English Language Art are identified. This activity is part of the Space Math multi-media modules that integrate NASA press releases, NASA archival video, and mathematics problems targeted at specific math standards commonly encountered in middle school textbooks. The modules cover specific math topics at multiple levels of difficulty with real-world data and use the 5E instructional sequence. (View Less)

Students will learn about the Spitzer Infrared Observatory and a recently observed dust ring around Saturn through reading a NASA press release and viewing a NASA video segment. Then students will use scientific notation to perform calculations to... (View More) understand the size, mass, and volume of dust and the new dust ring. Common Core State Standards for Mathematics and English Language Arts are identified. This activity is part of the Space Math multi-media modules that integrate NASA press releases, NASA archival video, and mathematics problems targeted at specific math standards commonly encountered in middle school textbooks. The modules cover specific math topics at multiple levels of difficulty with real-world data and use the 5E instructional sequence. (View Less)

Students will learn about the Big Bang theory of the universe through reading a NASA press release and viewing a NASA eClips video segment. They will use simple linear equations to analyze data that reveals the expansion and early history of the... (View More) universe after the Big Bang. Common Core State Standards for Mathematics and English Language Arts are identified. This activity is part of the Space Math multi-media modules that integrate NASA press releases, NASA archival video, and mathematics problems targeted at specific math standards commonly encountered in middle school textbooks. The modules cover specific math topics at multiple levels of difficulty with real-world data and use the 5E instructional sequence. (View Less)

This image sorting assessment activity stimulates a discussion about what students know and don't know about the relative ages of objects in the universe, and about how those ages can be determined. By physically manipulating objects and images of... (View More) items new and old, students represent their own mental models of change through time. This activity is part of a DVD that is a professional development resource for educators. Many new astronomy learners, students and adults alike, are unfamiliar with the universe beyond the solar system. Instructions for obtaining the DVD and registering for the professional development workshop are contained on the website. (View Less)

This activity is an assessment activity that allows you and your students to see what they know and understand about Earth's place in the solar system and universe. Used both before and after a unit of astronomy instruction, it can make student... (View More) learning visible in a compelling way. It can also be used to begin discussion about the nature of scientific models. This activity is part of a DVD that is a professional development resource for educators. Many new astronomy learners, students and adults alike, are unfamiliar with the universe beyond the solar system. Instructions for obtaining the DVD and registering for the professional development workshop are contained on the website. (View Less)

This is an activity about the shape of the Earth’s orbit. Learners will first use elements of the orbit of Earth and Pluto and an apparatus using string, a pencil, and pushpins to accurately draw an ellipse, showing the nearly circular shape of... (View More) the orbits of Earth and Pluto. They then measure real images of the Sun in each season, determining the apparent size of the Sun to see if it changes throughout the year. By determining the apparent size of each Sun image and by seeing the shape of Earth's orbit, learners will confront the misconception that seasons are caused by changing distance of the Earth from the Sun. Finally, learners reflect on the results of the Sun-Earth Survey, which is Activity 2 in this set. This is Activity 4 in the Great Explorations in Math and Science (GEMS) guide titled Real Reasons for Seasons: Sun-Earth Connections. The resource guide is available for purchase from the Lawrence Hall of Science. This activity recommends use of an overhead projector. (View Less)

This is an activity about the size and scale of the Sun-Earth system. Learners will take an imaginary trip to the Sun by comparing images of the Sun and Earth at different points in altitude above the Earth. This is to ultimately conceptualize the... (View More) spherical shape of the Earth, which is key to understanding the cause of the seasons. They will then produce a scale model of the Sun and Earth to reinforce the idea that the distance to the Sun is enormous compared with the size of the Earth. Finally, learners reflect on Question 3 of the Sun-Earth Survey, which is the prior activity in this set. This is Activity 3 in the Great Explorations in Math and Science (GEMS) guide titled Real Reasons for Seasons: Sun-Earth Connections. An additional related activity, entitled Scale Models of the Earth-Moon System and the Solar System, is included in the CD-ROM enclosed with the resource guide. The resource guide is available for purchase from the Lawrence Hall of Science. This activity recommends use of an overhead projector, and requires use of a small scale model toy, such as a car or any other toy made to scale, and a rigid globe or large ball like a soccer ball or basketball. (View Less)