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Topics/Subjects:
Geometry  
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Hands-on learning  
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Instructor guide/manual  
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NuSTAR has a 10-meter rigid mast that separates the optics from the detector. Inspired by this, students will design, test, and build a lightweight mast 1 meter tall that can fully support the weight of a typical hardcover textbook (~2 kg). The... (View More)

Students will use the law of reflection to reflect a laser beam off multiple mirrors to hit a sticker in a shoebox. Since X-ray telescopes must use grazing angles to collect X-rays, students will design layouts with the largest possible angles of... (View More)

This is a math-science integrated unit about spectrographs. Learners will find and calculate the angle that light is transmitted through a holographic diffraction grating using trigonometry. After finding this angle, the students will build their... (View More)

Audience: High school

This is a lesson about using the light from the star during an occultation event to identify the atmosphere of a planet. Learners will add and subtract light curves (presented as a series of geometrical shapes) to understand how this could occur.... (View More)

Learners will build an open spectrograph to calculate the angle the light is transmitted through a holographic diffraction grating. After finding the desired angles, the students will design their own spectrograph using the information learned. The... (View More)

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)

Learners will demonstrate the size (volume) differences between Earth, Earth's Moon, and Mars. An extension is provided to estimate the distance between the Earth and the Moon, and the Earth and Mars, using the scale of the play dough planets'... (View More)

Learners will investigate how water and ice exist in the atmosphere as they study water vapor condensing, find that clouds are made of tiny droplets of water, and notice that snow forms in clouds. Activities include demonstrations by the teacher,... (View More)

Learners will design and conduct experiments to answer the question, "how does distance and inclination affect the amount of heat received from a heat source?" They will measure heat change as a function of distance or viewing angle. From that... (View More)

This activity focuses on the question, What do active galaxies look like when viewed from different distances? Students work in small groups to learn about the small angle formula, construct a template, and use it to correctly measure the angular... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: $1 - $5 per group of students
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