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**Earth and space science**

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In this activity, students create a scale model depicting the vertical distance from Earth’s surface to various features and objects, including Earth’s atmospheric layers, the Van Allen Radiation Belts, and geocentric satellites. Students also... (View More) compare the vertical distances to these features and objects with distances from their classroom to other common points on the ground. Includes background science information; student reading, handouts and worksheet; teacher information; and suggested extensions and adaptations for students with vision impairment. (View Less)

In this hands-on activity, students learn about the different realms of the Universe and explore their sizes and relative scales. They will be guided through a process that uncovers the immense sizes of the Sun, Solar System, Solar Neighborhood,... (View More) Milky Way, Local Group, Supercluster, and the observable Universe. The full version of this activity involves students doing simple math computations, however it can also be done without the math. There are some inexpensive materials involved, as well as a powerpoint presentation. It is intended for grades 8-12, but can be adapted down for lower grade levels. (View Less)

This is a lesson about the electromagnetic spectrum. Learners begin by arranging a set of picture cards; in the discussion afterwards, this activity is related to the electromagnetic spectrum as an arrangement of energy waves. Next, using a... (View More) clothesline to model a logarithmic scale, they add in the electromagnetic spectrum. Finally, learners conduct several simple tests to detect other types of radiation. This activity requires access to a sunny outdoor location and the use of ultraviolet light-sensitive beads. (View Less)

In this lesson, students examine the idea of inflation in the Universe using rising raisin bread dough as a model for universal expansion. Students will read the Cosmic Times 1993 edition and use two articles: Pancake or Oatmeal Universe - What's... (View More) for Breakfast and Inflation in the Universe to help them make observations. The students will observe a bowl of oatmeal to explain the lumpiness and smoothness of the universe. Then the students will use raisin bread to describe how the universe went through a period of inflation to expand into its current form today. This lesson is part of the Cosmic Times teacher guide and is intended to be used in conjunction with the 1993 Cosmic Times Poster. (View Less)

In this activity students are challenged to create a model of the universe in a single class period. This activity is designed to elicit student ideas and preconceptions about the contents and organization of the cosmos. Most students will be... (View More) somewhat familiar with solar system objects, but may be confused about the relationship of stars to planets, and about their relative distances. This activity is part of the "Cosmic Questions Educator's Guide" developed to support the Cosmic Questions exhibit. The activites in the guide can be used in conjunction with or independently of the exhibit. (View Less)

In this activity, students determine the direction to a gamma ray burst using the times it is detected by three different spacecraft located somewhere in the solar system. We assume that all the spacecraft are in the plane of the Earth's orbit... (View More) around the Sun; that is, there is no third dimension and that we are only concerned with two dimensions, x and y. We also assume the burst is billions of light years away, so the incoming gamma rays are traveling along parallel lines. This activity is part of a unit that is designed to use gamma-ray bursts - unimaginably huge explosions that signal the births of black holes - as an engagement tool to teach selected topics in physical science and mathematics. The guide is based on the 5E instructional sequence and features background information, assessments, student worksheets, extension and transfer activities. (View Less)

In this activity students convert antilogs to logs, and logs to antilogs using scientific notation as an intermediate step. They will thereby develop a look-up table for solving math problems by using logarithms. This is activity D2 in the "Far Out... (View More) 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, GLAST was renamed Fermi, for the physicist Enrico Fermi. (View Less)

In this activity students construct multiplying slide rules scaled in Base-10 exponents and use them to calculate products and quotients. They will come to appreciate that super numbers (exponents, orders of magnitude and logarithms) play by... (View More) different rules of arithmetic than ordinary numbers (numbers, powers of ten and antilogs). This is activity A2 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, GLAST was renamed Fermi, for the physicist Enrico Fermi. (View Less)

In this activity students construct Log Tapes calibrated in base-ten exponents, then use them to derive relationships between base-ten logs (exponents) and antilogs (ordinary numbers). This is activity B1 in the "Far Out Math" educator's guide.... (View More) 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, GLAST was renamed Fermi, for the physicist Enrico Fermi. (View Less)

This is an activity about the size and scale of the Sun-Earth system. Learners will take an imaginary trip to the Sun by comparing images of the Sun and Earth at different points in altitude above the Earth. This is to ultimately conceptualize the... (View More) spherical shape of the Earth, which is key to understanding the cause of the seasons. They will then produce a scale model of the Sun and Earth to reinforce the idea that the distance to the Sun is enormous compared with the size of the Earth. Finally, learners reflect on Question 3 of the Sun-Earth Survey, which is the prior activity in this set. This is Activity 3 in the Great Explorations in Math and Science (GEMS) guide titled Real Reasons for Seasons: Sun-Earth Connections. An additional related activity, entitled Scale Models of the Earth-Moon System and the Solar System, is included in the CD-ROM enclosed with the resource guide. The resource guide is available for purchase from the Lawrence Hall of Science. This activity recommends use of an overhead projector, and requires use of a small scale model toy, such as a car or any other toy made to scale, and a rigid globe or large ball like a soccer ball or basketball. (View Less)