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This model aims to help illustrate the purpose and methodology of NASA's Kepler mission. It includes (1) a hand-cranked or motorized orrery (moving model of a planet system) made of LEGO parts, (2) a light sensor representing the Kepler photometer,... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

This is an activity about magnetism. In this activity, polystyrene spheres and several strong neodymium magnets are used to represent the Sun and Earth and their distinct magnetic fields. Participants construct and use a field detector to predict... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

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)

In this activity, students use mathematics to understand tides and gravitation and how gravity works across astronomical distances, using an apparatus made from a slinky, meter stick, and a hook. A description of the mathematical relationships seen... (View More)

In this two-part activity, learners compare how soil forms on Earth and the Moon. They examine different soil samples and compare them to lunar "soil" simulant. They explore how water, wind, and impactors help to make soil. This activity is part of... (View More)

This is an activity about the Doppler effect. Learners begin by simulating the noise made by a passing siren. After learning that the change in pitch results from movement, they investigate the definition of frequency, calculate change in frequency,... (View More)

This is an activity about size and scale. Learners will create and walk through a distance scale model of the size of the Solar System. This activity requires a straight line distance of approximately 295 meters (300 yards).

Audience: Elementary school

In this activity, students are reminded that the Universe is made up of elements and that the heavier elements are created inside of a star, as they learned in the "Elements and You" activity. They are introduced to the life cycle of a star and to... (View More)

In this lesson, students explore a discrepant event when they design an experiment to measure the rate that ice melts when in pure water versus salt water. It is designed to help students realize that a carefully-designed experiment may yield... (View More)

In this lesson, students will be introduced to how the Doppler effect changes our perception of wavelengths of sound (pitch) and light (color). Students will model how astronomers use the line spectra of stars to identify elements in the stars and... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Over $20 per group of students