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**Earth and space science**

**Astronomy**

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In this lesson, students consider observations and inferences to determine the support for each of two theories on the origin of the universe: Steady State and Big Bang. Working with partners, students draw from a set of Evidence cards (master is... (View More) provided, which needs to be copied and cut into cards) and decide if the statement describes direct evidence as an observation/experiment or if it describes an inference or interpretation. They then look at two models describing the origin of the universe, and then assign Evidence cards to each theory (with blank cards provided for evidence they believe applies to both models). Students then review each others work and discuss. 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 lesson, students will investigate the Doppler Effect and discover how the same principle can be used to identify a possible tornado in storm clouds and investigate the rotation of distant galaxies. Students should be familiar with the... (View More) electromagnetic spectrum and the concept of Doppler Shift (links to background information are provided). Materials required for every group of 2-4 students include: a Slinky toy, safety glasses, meter stick, and colored pencils. This lesson is part of the Cosmic Times teachers guide and is intended to be used in conjunction with the 1965 Cosmic Times Poster. (View Less)

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) very small variations in a pattern are unrecognizable without the use of technology. In the exploration and explanation sections of the lesson, students will understand why Big Bang theory requires variations in Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) radiation (anisotropy); they also examine the significance of both anisotropic and isotropic observations. Finally, in the extension and evaluation sections, students complete activities that further reinforce and demonstrate their understanding of the material presented. This activity is part of the Cosmic Times teachers guide and is intended to be used in conjunction with the 1993 Cosmic Times Poster. (View Less)

How big is the Earth’s atmosphere and where does space begin? This is a question that many students have trouble picturing and this activity helps them get a handle on the relative size of the Earth’s atmosphere and the various ideas about where... (View More) space starts. Students construct a scale model in which the height of Mount Everest is equal to the thickness (diameter) of a regular pencil. They then see where various things (such as airplane flights, the beginning of space, the Hubble Space Telescope) fit on the model. (View Less)

Materials Cost: 1 cent - $1 per group of students

This is an activity about the size and scale of the Sun, Earth and Moon. Learners will collectively paint and label a model of the Sun and determine the comparative sizes of these three bodies. Learners can then complete a worksheet to further... (View More) explore the mathematical concepts of less than, greater than, and equal to. This activity will require various materials of specific measurements to ensure accuracy. This is Activity 3 of a larger resource entitled Eye on the Sky. (View Less)

This is an activity exploring the concept that distance affects how we perceive an object's size, specifically pertaining to the size of the Sun and the Moon as seen from Earth. Learners will complete a hands on activity where two balls of differing... (View More) sizes stand in for the Sun and the Moon. By moving the balls away from each other, students will determine how far the larger ball needs to be in order to make the two seem similar in size. They will also use the balls to demonstrate a solar eclipse. Lastly, learners will complete a worksheet explaining their findings. This is Activity 12 of a larger resource entitled Eye on the Sky. (View Less)

This is an activity about the period of the Sun’s rotation. Learners will select images of the Sun from the SOHO spacecraft image archive. Next, they will calculate an image scale for the selected solar images. Then, they will use it to help... (View More) determine the actual speed of sunspots based on measurements of their motion in the selected Sun images and, finally, determine the period of the Sun's rotation. This activity requires access to the internet to obtain images from the SOHO image archive. This is Activity 3 of the Space Weather Forecast curriculum. (View Less)

This is an activity about measurement. Learners will label key points and features on a rectangular equal-area map and measure the distance between pairs of points in order to calculate the actual physical distance on the Sun that the point pairs... (View More) represent. This is Activity 5 of the Space Weather Forecast curriculum. (View Less)

This is an activity to reinforce concepts learned about the Sun, the Sun, Earth, and Moon system and eclipses. Learners will communally discuss their knowledge of these concepts briefly, and will then complete a series of worksheets and writings to... (View More) demonstrate grasp of content. This is Activity 15, the final activity of a larger resouce entitled Eye on the Sky and is meant to follow the preceding 14 activities in the resource. These worksheets and writings would ideally be added to students' portfolios accumulated throughout this suite of lessons and can serve as a summative assessment of student work throughout the lesson suite. (View Less)

This is an activity about shadows and how the Sun's location affects the direction of a shadow. Learners will first identify what they already know about shadows and will be asked to share any questions they may have. Then students will be taken... (View More) outside to observe and trace a classmates shadow. From this tracing, students will complete a worksheet by drawing their partner, his or her shadow, and the location of the Sun. Two to three hours later, this observation and tracing process will be repeated, allowing students to witness the movement of shadows as a result of the Earth's rotation. This activity requires a sunny day with plenty of outdoor space to trace the shadows of all students. This is Activity 4 of a larger resource entitled Eye on the Sky. (View Less)