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**Earth and space science**

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Students will use the law of reflection to reflect a laser beam off multiple mirrors to hit a sticker in a shoebox. Since X-ray telescopes must use grazing angles to collect X-rays, students will design layouts with the largest possible angles of... (View More) reflection. This activity is from the NuSTAR Educators Guide: X-Rays on Earth and from Space, which focuses on the science and engineering design of NASA's NuSTAR mission. The guide includes a standards matrix, assessment rubrics, instructor background materials, and student handouts. (View Less)

This collection of math problems is based on a weekly series of space and Earth science problems distributed to teachers during the 2013-2014 school year. The problems were intended for students looking for additional challenges in the math and... (View More) physical science curriculum and were created to be authentic glimpses of modern science and engineering issues, often involving actual research data. Includes information for teachers and answer key. (View Less)

In this lesson, learners will construct a 3D scale model of one of the MMS satellites. After, they will calculate the octagonal area of the top and bottom of the satellites, given the measurements of the satellite. Then, learners will compare the... (View More) octagonal cross-section area of the satellites with the circular cross-section area of the launch vehicle to determine if the eight-sided spacecraft will fit the circular rocket hull. This is lesson one of the MMS Mission Educator's Instructional Guide, which uses examples from the MMS Mission to introduce mathematics (focusing on geometry) in a real-world context. The lessons use the 5E instructional cycle. **Note: MMS launched March 12, 2015. For the latest science and news, visit the MMS Mission Website under Related & Supplemental Resources (right side of this page).** (View Less)

In this lesson, learners will first watch a video about the orbit and formation of the MMS satellites to learn about their flight configuration. After, they will research similar facts about other types of satellites. Next, learners will compute the... (View More) volume of MMS' tetrahedral flight configuration and investigate how the tetrahedral volume changes as the satellites change positions. Finally, they will create a report that outlines their findings. This activity requires student access to internet accessible computers. This is lesson three in the MMS Mission Educator's Instructional Guide, which uses examples from the mission to introduce mathematics (focusing on geometry) in a real-world context. The lessons use the 5E instructional cycle. **Note: MMS launched March 12, 2015. For the latest science and news, visit the MMS Mission Website under Related & Supplemental Resources (right side of this page).** (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)

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)

Learners will build an open spectrograph to calculate the angle the light is transmitted through a holographic diffraction grating. After finding the desired angles, the students will design their own spectrograph using the information learned. The... (View More) 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)

In this activity, learners draw a circle with a single focus, an ellipse with two foci close together, and an ellipse with two foci far apart, and compare the shapes. Learners then measure the Sun in four images each taken in a different season,... (View More) comparing the apparent size of the Sun in each image to determine when Earth is closest to the Sun. This is the second activity in the SDO Secondary Learning Unit. The activity is reprinted with permission from the Great Explorations in Math and Science (GEMS). (View Less)

This is an activity about measurement. Learners will label key points and features on a rectangular equal-area map and measure the distance between pairs of points in order to calculate the actual physical distance on the Sun that the point pairs... (View More) represent. This is Activity 5 of the Space Weather Forecast curriculum. (View Less)

This is a booklet containing 31 problem sets that involve a variety of math skills, including scientific notation, simple algebra, and calculus. Each set of problems is contained on one page. Learners will use mathematics to explore varied space... (View More) science topics including black holes, ice on Mercury, a mathematical model of the Sun's interior, sunspots, the heliopause, and coronal mass ejections, among many others. (View Less)