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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)

This is an activity about the motion of the Earth around the Sun. Learners will act out the motions of Earth as it orbits around the Sun over the course of one year, starting with modeling one day, then one year, and finally the months.

In this kinesthetic activity, learners act out the rotation and revolution motions of Earth around the Sun over the course of one year. Learners also physically model the tilt of the Earth and will identify the summer and winter solstice and vernal... (View More)

This is an activity about seasons. Learners begin by brainstorming a list of activities and events that occur in each season. Next, learners perform an experiment by comparing the temperature on thermometers left under a lamp for different lengths... (View More)

In this hands-on activity, learners begin by estimating the size of each planet in our Solar System and Pluto and making each out of playdough or a similar material. Then, learners follow specific instructions to divide a mass of playdough into the... (View More)

This is an activity about the relation between day length and temperature. In one team, learners will create and analyze a graph of hours of sunlight versus month of the year for a number of latitudes. In another team, learners will graph... (View More)

This is an activity about the concept of direct versus indirect sunlight. Learners construct and use a sun angle analyzer to investigate the effect of angle on area illuminated. The fraction of light on each square of the analyzer is then calculated... (View More)

The images and information in the slide show presentation are designed to give learners a better understanding of how ancient cultures observed and interpreted the apparent motions of the Sun in the sky, as well as modern studies of the Sun using... (View More)

How effective would solar cells be in any particular area of the United States? In this activity, students answer that question by analyzing graphs of incoming solar radiation. Students will download two solar radiation graphs, one based on latitude... (View More)

Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

This is an activity about the measurement of time. Learners model the rotation of Earth over one day by holding a flashlight for the Sun and a blow up globe, and record their observations. Then, they use those observations to create devices that... (View More)