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Physical sciences  
Earth, moon and sun  
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Experiment/lab  
Model  
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This is a set of instructions for building a physical model. The model simulates the Sun's paths across the sky at summer solstice, winter solstice, and the spring and fall equinoxes. A bead simulates the Sun, moving along a cord, from rising along... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

The 9-session NASA Family Science Night program invites 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)

Audience: Informal education

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 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 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)

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)

This is a kinesthetic activity about the rotation of the Moon. Learners act out the rotation and revolution motions of Moon around the Earth to illustrate that the Moon rotates once in the same amount of time as it orbits the Earth once, called... (View More)

This is an activity about understanding how the Earth’s axial tilt changes the angle at which sunlight hits the Earth, contributing to the variations in temperature throughout the seasons. Learners will create a sun angle analyzer in order to see... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: 1 cent - $1

This is an activity about the shape of the Earth’s orbit. Learners will first use elements of the orbit of Earth and Pluto and an apparatus using string, a pencil, and pushpins to accurately draw an ellipse, showing the nearly circular shape of... (View More)

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)

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