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In this lesson, students observe the surface of rotating potatoes to help them understand how astronomers can sometimes determine the shape of asteroids from variations in reflective brightness.

This activity is designed to introduce students to planetary geologic features and processes. First, students will use NASA satellite images to identify geologic surface features on the "Blue Marble" (Earth), and will explore the connection between... (View More)

Learners will construct a model to show the relative size and scale of the Sun-Earth system, investigate the visible and electromagnetic spectrums, discuss solar flares and solar weather, develop a UV shield, and discuss the results of their... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

This is an activity about bar magnets and their invisible magnetic fields. Learners will experiment with magnets and a compass to detect and draw magnetic fields. This is Activity 1 of a larger resource, entitled Exploring the Sun. The NASA... (View More)

Learners will use direct vocabulary instruction to learn the new definitions of planet, dwarf planet, and asteroid. The publicity generated by the International Astronomical Union's definition of Pluto as a dwarf planet in 2006 created a teachable... (View More)

In this activity students are challenged to create a model of the universe in a single class period. This activity is designed to elicit student ideas and preconceptions about the contents and organization of the cosmos. Most students will be... (View More)

This is an activity about how the Sun can affect the Earth's atmosphere, specifically the ionosphere. Learners will use real data from a Sudden Ionosphere Disturbance Monitor, or SID Monitor, to identify the signatures in the graphed data that can... (View More)

This is an activity about identifying solar flares. Learners will cross-reference data collected from a Sudden Ionosphere Disturbance, or SID, Monitor, the GOES solar catalog, and SOHO spacecraft images of the Sun to identify solar flares coming... (View More)

This resource complements a planetarium experience. However, the accompanying educator's guide and companion guides - with lessons on observing and investigating the Moon - are available to download for independent classroom use. The hands-on... (View More)

This is a lesson about the field of astrobiology, the study of life in the universe, and ice as a preservative for evidence of life. Learners will consider the relationship between ice and life as they investigate the conditions required for life to... (View More)