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Origins and evolution of the universe  
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In this lesson, students explore the cosmic microwave background to understand why it permeates the universe and why it peaks as microwave radiation. Students should be able to explain that the origin of the background radiation is the uniform... (View More)

In this lesson, students explore the cosmic microwave background to understand why a completely smooth (isotropic) background poses problems for the Universe we see today. Students will participate in an engagement activity which demonstrates how... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: $1 - $5 per group of students

This fact card presents an overview of cosmic microwaves, light waves left over from the Big Bang after they have been stretched out by the expansion of the universe. The energy from microwave ovens are used as a reference point from everyday life.... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

In this lesson, students create a fictional narrative on the beginning of time. They use their scientific knowledge of the Big Bang Theory and go back into time to when it occurred so they can make observations about it. Students can select from... (View More)

This series of curriculum support materials and classroom activities explores how our understanding of the nature of the universe has changed during the past 100 years. Students examine the process of science through the stories of the people and... (View More)

Keywords: History of science
Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

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)

In this lesson, students simulate an experiment in which the discovery of dark energy can be made by plotting modern supernova distances on a Hubble Diagram. Data is provided in an Excel spreadsheet (see related resources). In order to complete this... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

In this lesson, students measure the size of several galaxies to reproduce a plot of Hubble's Law. The goal of this lesson is to give students the chance to simulate the process that led to the notion that the universe is expanding, provide insight... (View More)

Keywords: Data graphing

This collection of activities presents learners with intriguing questions about the universe and provides an opportunity to explore topics related to the search for life beyond our own planet. The collection includes eight existing classroom... (View More)

This lesson plan will provide a concrete way for students to understand the concept of distance in space equals distance in time. This is done using information gathered from a timeline activity in Lesson 1: Earth, the Universe, and Culture.... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free