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NuSTAR has a 10-meter rigid mast that separates the optics from the detector. Inspired by this, students will design, test, and build a lightweight mast 1 meter tall that can fully support the weight of a typical hardcover textbook (~2 kg). The... (View More) footprint of the mast must be no larger than 11" x 14". 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)

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 online Flash interactive simulates the process of discovering new exoplanets using the transit method. Learners explore a simulated star field, record data, make measurements and do calculations to discover new planets. Instructional videos and... (View More) guides are included. (View Less)

This is a building-wide enrichment program consisting of a series of posters and accompanying questions designed to pique student interest in science concepts and their application to the world in which we live. Accompanying each poster is a series... (View More) of question sheets of increasing difficulty levels that students answer and submit at a designated location (collection box, office, etc.). Random prize drawings can be used to recognize/celebrate student participation. The purpose is to expose students to and create school-wide interest about science so students want to "STOP for Science" as displays are changed throughout the year. Although the focus is building-wide, content can be linked to classrooms through use of accompanying teacher resource guides. The website includes several resources for program facilitators, including posters, answer sheets, podcasts, implementation guide and webinars for facilitators. The program targets grades 3-6 for independent use, but can be used with grades K-2 with adult or upper grade level assistance. Each poster in the series stands alone and is not tied to concepts in other posters. Therefore, posters can be displayed in any sequence desired. (View Less)

Using the diameter of a pencil as a reference, students calculate and construct a line chart to show the relative height of several altitudinal points such as Earth's atmosphere, the beginning of space, commercial airplane flights, and the Hubble... (View More) space telescope. (View Less)

This lesson uses a simple discrepant event to demonstrate the underlying cause for early miscalculation of the size of the Milky Way galaxy. By standardizing the Cepheid period-luminosity relationship without recognizing there were two types of... (View More) Cepheid variable stars with intrinsic differences in absolute magnitude, a distance calculation error occurred. Requires two lamps and two soft-white light bulbs: 25 watt and 60 watt (estimated materials cost is for light bulbs). This lesson is part of the Cosmic Times teachers guide and is intended to be used in conjunction with the 1955 Cosmic Times Poster. (View Less)

In this activity, learners explore the size and scale of the universe by shrinking cosmic scale in 4 steps, zooming out from the realm of the Earth and Moon to the realm of the galaxies. This informational brochure was designed as a follow-up... (View More) take-home activity for teen and adult audiences. It can follow informal education activities where participants have experienced related space science programming. This activity allows participants to explore ideas of size and scale in the universe at their own pace. (View Less)

This lesson is comprised of four parts grouped to enable student appreciation of the importance of making accurate scientific observations, descriptions, and drawings. In part one (The Truth is Out There), students describe an object given to them... (View More) by their instructor. In part two (Who Knows?), students attempt to draw and identify a creature based on another student’s description. In part three (Tell It Like It Is!), students make new descriptions, using accurate observations and measurements of what they see. In part four (Truth Revealed), students assess the completeness of the more detailed descriptions. These activities are part of an astrobiology guide called the "Fingerprints of Life" which contains background information for students, worksheets, extension activities, suggested assessments, and alignment to standards. (View Less)

In this activity students use log tapes and base-two slide rules as references to graph exponential functions and log functions in base-10 and base-2. Students discover that exponential and log functions are inverse, reflecting across the y = x axis... (View More) as mirror images. This is activity E2 in the "Far Out Math" educator's guide. Lessons in the guide include activities in which students measure, compare quantities as orders of magnitude, become familiar with scientific notation, and develop an understanding of exponents and logarithms using examples from NASA's GLAST mission. These are skills needed to understand the very large and very small quantities characteristic of astronomical observations. Note: In 2008, the GLAST mission was renamed Fermi, for the physicist Enrico Fermi. (View Less)

In this activity, students construct adding slide rules, scaled with linear calibrations like ordinary rulers. Students learn to move these scales relative to each other in ways that add and subtract distances, thus calculating sums and differences.... (View More) This is Activity A1 in the "Far Out Math" educator's guide. Lessons within the guide include activities in which students measure, compare quantities as orders of magnitude, use scientific notation, and develop an understanding of exponents and logarithms using examples from NASA's GLAST mission. These are skills needed to understand the very large and very small quantities characteristic of astronomical observations. Note: In 2008, the GLAST mission was renamed Fermi, for the physicist Enrico Fermi. (View Less)