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Physical sciences
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High school
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Solar Week Thursday: Solar Shadow Tool

This is an activity during Solar Week, a twice-yearly event in March and October during which classrooms are able to interact with scientists studying the Sun. Outside of Solar Week, information, activities, and resources are archived and available... (View More)

Technology Through Time: Ancient Astronomical Alignments

This is an online set of information about astronomical alignments of ancient structures and buildings. Learners will read background information about the alignments to the Sun in such structures as the Great Pyramid, Chichen Itza, and others.... (View More)

Audience: Middle school, High school, Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

What is the Difference between Heat and Temperature?

In this laboratory activity, learners explore the difference between heat and temperature, and explore the rate of heat transfer from one substance to another as it depends on the density of the substances being investigated. The activity can be... (View More)

Sundial: When is High Noon, and How High is It?

This is a lesson plan for an activity about the nature of the Sun's apparent motion throughout the day. Learners will follow detailed instructions to construct a sundial using everyday materials and make measurements of the shadow cast by the... (View More)

Sunrises at Stonehenge

This is a lesson plan for an activity about the changing horizon positions of sunrise. Learners will predict horizon positions of sunrise on several dates throughout the year and plot monthly azimuth data on a graph using data from Stonehenge. In a... (View More)

Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

Length of the Day

In this activity, students measure the length of the day using the rotation of the Earth, and discover that the Sun is not exactly in the same place at the same clock time every day, understand that the changes are due to motions of the Earth, and... (View More)

This is an experiment about shadow lengths, geometry, and motion. Learners will use a flashlight and toothpick to create a shadow and will measure changes the length of the shadow as they change the position of the light. This is activity B-1 of... (View More)

Plotting the Apparent Daily Motion of the Sun

This is an activity about the Sun's position in the sky. Learners will use a clear plastic hemisphere to create a model of the sky and mark the position of the Sun in the sky on the hemisphere several times throughout the day. From this information,... (View More)

Audience: High school

Observing Where the Sun Sets

This is an activity about observing sunset positions. Learners will observe the position of sunset over the course of two to three months, at minimum, or up to a year, at maximum, and discuss results and predict future sunset locations. This is... (View More)

Solar Motion Demonstrator

This is an activity about the Sun's position in the sky as seen throughout the northern hemisphere. Learners will create a small device that models the changing position of the Sun for an observer anywhere in the northern hemisphere. This is... (View More)

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