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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)

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)

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 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)

Keywords: NSTA2013
Audience: Elementary school

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)

Keywords: NSTA2013
Audience: Elementary school

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)

Audience: Elementary school, Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

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)

Audience: Elementary school, Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

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)

Keywords: NSTA2013
Audience: Elementary school

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)

Keywords: NSTA2013
Audience: Elementary school

This is an activity about the Sun, Earth and Moon and their movements during solar and lunar eclipses. Students observe and manipulate a styrofoam ball model and simulate the movement of these bodies during the different kinds of eclipses. Learners... (View More)

Keywords: NSTA2013
Audience: Elementary school