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Earth processes  
Light and optics  
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In this lesson on cosmic rays, students will explain two examples of a cosmic ray detector. Includes information about student preconceptions and a demonstration that requires a geiger counter and optional access to a small radioactive source that... (View More)

Keywords: Cosmic Ray; Radiation
Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Over $20

In this investigation, students use "point-source" light, light meters, and graphing software to quantify the reduction in light over distance. Through careful measurement of light received at several distances, students discover the best fit of the... (View More)

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

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

This demonstration shows that similar-appearing lights can be distinctly different, suggesting that the light emitted is generated in different ways. It requires some advance preparation/setup by the teacher and three recommended sources of orange... (View More)

This is an activity about polarized light. Learners will use a polarizing filter to build and calibrate a simple polarimeter, use the constructed polarimeter to find sources of polarized light, and measure the angle of polarization of polarized... (View More)

In this activity, learners will explore the properties of color filters and filter bandpass by observing light sources using diffraction grating and color filters and create a graph of percent transmission versus wavelength to characterize the... (View More)

Students identify the actual colors of objects bathed in monochromatic light and learn how three colors of light can be combined to produce colors ranging from black to white. Students see how space observatories make use of monochromatic filters to... (View More)

Students determine the ability of various lenses and mirrors to gather light in order to compare and calculate their light gathering power. This activity is part of Unit 3 in the Space Based Astronomy guide that contains background information,... (View More)

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