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This is the first module in the Solar Dynamic Observatory (SDO) Project Suite curriculum. Activities are self-directed by students or student teams using online videos and data from the SDO satellite to explore, research and build knowledge about... (View More) features of the Sun. Students build vocabulary, apply or demonstrate learning through real world connections, and creating resources to use in their investigations. Each activity comes with both a teacher and student guide with sequential instructions and embedded links to the needed videos and internet resources. Activity 1A: Structure of the Earth's Star takes students through the features and function of the Sun's structures using online videos, completing a "Sun Primer" data sheet using information from the videos, and creating a 3D origami model of the Sun. Students use a KWL chart to track what they have learned. Activity 1B: Observing the Sun has students capture real solar images from SDO data to find and record sunspots and track their movement across the surface of the Sun. Activity 1C has students create a pin-hole camera to use in calculating the actual diameter of the Sun, and then calculate scales to create a Earth-Sun scale model. Students reflect on their learning and results at the end of the module. An internet connection and access to computers are needed to complete this module. See related and supplementary resources for link to full curriculum. The appendix includes an alignment to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). (View Less)

This is a lesson about the solar wind, Earth's magnetosphere, and the Moon. Participants will work in groups of two or three to build a model of the Sun-Earth-Moon system. They will use the model to demonstrate that the Earth is protected from... (View More) particles streaming out of the Sun, called the solar wind, by a magnetic shield called the magnetosphere, and that the Moon is periodically protected from these particles as it moves in its orbit around the Earth. Participants will also learn that the NASA ARTEMIS mission is a pair of satellites orbiting the Moon that measure the intensity of solar particles streaming from the Sun. (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)

This is an activity about using models to solve a problem. Learners will use a previously constructed model of the MMS satellite to determine if the centrifugal force of the rotating MMS model is sufficient to push the satellite's antennae outward,... (View More) simulating the deployment of the satellites after launch. Then, learners will determine the minimum rotational speed needed for the satellite to successfully deploy the antennae. This is the seventh activity as part of the iMAGiNETICspace: Where Imagination, Magnetism, and Space Collide educator's guide. Instructions for downloading the iBook educator's guide and the associated Transmedia book student guide are available at the resource link. (View Less)

The 9-session NASA Family Science Night program emables middle school children and their families to discover the wide variety of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics being performed at NASA and in everyday life. Family Science Night... (View More) programs explore various themes on the Sun, the Moon, the Stars, and the Universe through fun, hands-on activities, including at-home experiments. Instructions for obtaining the facilitator's guide are available on the Family Science Night site. (View Less)

In this activity, students build a simple computer model to determine the black body surface temperature of planets in our solar system: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. Experiments altering the luminosity and... (View More) distance to the light source will allow students to determine the energy reaching the object and its black body temperature. The activity builds on student outcomes from activity A, "Finding a Mathematical Description of a Physical Relationship." It also supports inquiry into a real-world problem, the effect of urban heat islands and deforestation on climate. Includes a teacher's guide, student worksheets, and an Excel tutorial. This is Activity B of module 3, titled "Using Mathematic Models to Investigate Planetary Habitability," of the resource, Earth Climate Course: What Determines a Planet's Climate? The course aims to help students to develop an understanding of our environment as a system of human and natural processes that result in changes that occur over various space and time scales. (View Less)

Students explore how mathematical descriptions of the physical environment can be fine-tuned through testing using data. In this activity, student teams obtain satellite data measuring the Earth's albedo, and then input this data into a... (View More) spreadsheet-based radiation balance model, GEEBITT. They validate their results against published the published albedo value of the Earth, and conduct similar comparisons Mercury, Venus and Mars. The resource includes an Excel spreadsheet tutorial, an investigation, student data sheets and a teacher's guide. Students apply their understanding to the real life problem of urban heat islands and deforestation. The activity links builds on student outcomes from activities A and B: "Finding a Mathematical Description of a Physical Relationship," and "Making a Simple Mathematical Model." This is Activity C in module 3, Using Mathematical Models to Investigate Planetary Habitability, of the resource, Earth Climate Course: What Determines a Planet's Climate? The course aims to help students to develop an understanding of our environment as a system of human and natural processes that result in changes that occur over various space and time scales. (View Less)

In this activity, student teams learn about research design and design a controlled experiment exploring the relationship between a hypothetical planet, an energy source, and distance. They analyze the data and derive an equation to describe the... (View More) observations. Includes student data sheets, a teacher's guide, and a tutorial on how to use the spreadsheet program Excel. This is Activity A in module 3, titled "Using Mathematic Models to Investigate Planetary Habitability," of the resource, Earth Climate Course: What Determines a Planet's Climate? The course aims to help students to develop an understanding of our environment as a system of human and natural processes that result in changes that occur over various space and time scales. (View Less)

This activity is about planetary climate. Once familiar with the factors that determine a planet's surface temperature, learners will use an interactive spreadsheet model of a planet's atmosphere to determine if greenhouse gases, luminosity of the... (View More) source, the distance of the planet from the source and the albedo of the planet can be manipulated so that the average surface temperature on Mars or Venus could support human life. Learners will then be asked to make some conclusions about these methods and suggest improvements for the spreadsheet model (see related resources for link to this model). The activity requires use of Microsoft Excel software. This is Activity D in the fourth module, titled "How do Atmospheres Affect Planetary Temperatures?," of "Earth Climate Course: What Determines a Planet's Climate?." (View Less)