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This is a lithograph about NASA's Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission, or MMS. Learners will cut out and assemble a colorful 3D model of an MMS spacecraft. Web links, additional facts, and QR codes are included for audiences to access more information.
This is an activity about asteroids. Learners will shape mashed potatoes into their own odd-shaped asteroids. They can then bake them in the oven to turn them (more or less) asteroid color, and eat them for dinner.
In this activity, learners draw a circle with a single focus, an ellipse with two foci close together, and an ellipse with two foci far apart, and compare the shapes. Learners then measure the Sun in four images each taken in a different season,... (View More) comparing the apparent size of the Sun in each image to determine when Earth is closest to the Sun. This is the second activity in the SDO Secondary Learning Unit. The activity is reprinted with permission from the Great Explorations in Math and Science (GEMS). (View Less)
In this activity about spectroscopy, learners build a spectroscope, learn about graphing spectra, and then identify elements in gas tubes using their spectra. The activity concludes as learners graph the spectra of different materials. Essential... (View More) materials required for this activity include spectrum light tubes, the power source for spectrum light tubes, and diffraction grating material. (View Less)
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) seeing objects up close, learners will use the concept of perspective to relate our nearby Sun to the stars that appear as small points of light in our sky. (View Less)
In this activity about the Sun's influence on plant growth, learners will create a plant box and observe that a plant will grow towards the Sun, its primary source of energy. By periodically collecting data on the growth of the plant, they can come... (View More) to their own conclusions about why the plant grew towards the sunlight. One to two weeks are needed to grow plants for this lesson; also, time is needed to construct the plant box. Potting soil and bean seeds are needed for this activity. (View Less)
In this kinesthetic activity, learners act out the rotation and revolution motions of Earth around the Sun over the course of one year. Learners also physically model the tilt of the Earth and will identify the summer and winter solstice and vernal... (View More) and autumnal equinox locations in relation to Earth's orbit around the Sun. (View Less)
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) size of each planet and Pluto and compare the actual modeled sizes to the students' own predictions. This activity requires a large amount of playdough material per group of learners. Three pounds is the minimum amount required for each group. (View Less)
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) and compare their drawings to images obtained by the SOHO spacecraft. This activity requires the use a sunny outdoor location. This activity also require use of safe methods for observing the Sun, such as pinhole cameras, telescopes with proper solar filters attached, and/or viewing glasses that are designated for safe solar viewing. No one should look at the Sun unless one or more of these methods is used in a proper fashion. (View Less)