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Topics/Subjects:
Solar system  
Instructional Strategies:
Identifying similarities and differences  
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This is an activity about perspective. Learners will examine pictures of objects up close and far away to try and figure out what they are. Then, given an image of a star and the Sun and through discussion about the differences and similarities of... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school
Materials Cost: Free

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 involving observations of the Sun. Learners use pinhole cameras, solar telescopes, and/or solar viewing glasses to make solar observations, draw what they see, and identify sunspots, if they are present. Then, learners go online... (View More)

How effective would solar cells be in any particular area of the United States? In this activity, students answer that question by analyzing graphs of incoming solar radiation. Students will download two solar radiation graphs, one based on latitude... (View More)

Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

In this lesson, learners will use images to observe and compare the surfaces of two comet nuclei from close range. Separate teachers guides and students guides are provided. Supplementary resources needed for the lesson are provided and include... (View More)

Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

Learners will investigate, compare, and describe patterns in Solar System data. They will then hypothesize about the formation of the Solar System based on data and explain how extrasolar planets can be discovered. In the first activity, the... (View More)

Audience: High 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 cause and effect. Learners will investigate various online sources to find data and other pertinent information regarding reported effects on Earth for the solar events they identified in the previous activities in this... (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 solar rotation and sunspot motion. Learners will use a sphere or ball to model the Sun and compare the observed lateral motion of sunspots to their line-of-sight motion. This is Activity 1 of the Space Weather Forecast... (View More)