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Students will learn about the Transit of Venus through reading a NASA press release and viewing a NASA eClips™ video that describes several ways to observe transits. Then students will study angular measurement by learning about parallax and how... (View More) astronomers use this geometric effect to determine the distance to Venus during a Transit of Venus. This activity is part of the Space Math multimedia modules that integrate NASA press releases, NASA archival video, and mathematics problems targeted at specific math standards commonly encountered in middle school textbooks. The modules cover specific math topics at multiple levels of difficulty with real-world data and use the 5E instructional sequence. (View Less)

This is a booklet containing 31 problem sets that involve a variety of math skills, including scientific notation, simple algebra, and calculus. Each set of problems is contained on one page. Learners will use mathematics to explore varied space... (View More) science topics including black holes, ice on Mercury, a mathematical model of the Sun's interior, sunspots, the heliopause, and coronal mass ejections, among many others. (View Less)

This is a lesson about condensation, snow and snowflakes. 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... (View More) clouds. Activities include demonstrations by the teacher, small group miming, speaking, drawing, and/or writing. In addition to commonly found classroom materials, dry ice, an aquarium or terrarium container, magnifying glass are needed. This is lesson 6 of 12 in the unit, Exploring Ice in the Solar System. (View Less)

This is a lesson about detecting ice on the permanently shadowed craters of Mercury and the Moon. Learners will consider what might be in that ice and will examine why the polar regions of Earth, Mercury and the Moon are colder than elsewhere on the... (View More) planets. Activities include small group miming, speaking, drawing, and/or writing. This is the lesson 12 of 12 in the unit, Exploring Ice in the Solar System. (View Less)

Materials Cost: $5 - $10 per group of students

This is a detailed lesson about heat transfer and distance. 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... (View More) as a function of distance or viewing angle. From that experiment, they will identify how the MESSENGER mission to Mercury takes advantage of these passive cooling methods to keep the spacecraft comfortable in a high-temperature environment. This is lesson 3 from MESSENGER Education Module: Staying Cool. Note: the student guide starts on p. 24 of the PDF. (View Less)

In this inquiry investigation, students explore how light hits things of different shape and form. One real world application to this activity is understanding what we actually observe when we see a solar eclipse. Supplies needed for this lesson... (View More) include solid wooden geometric shapes, overhead projector, flashlights, paper, pencils. This investigation is from "Everyday Classroom Tools," a series of lessons focusing on the changing seasons and other aspects of our everyday existence. Each lesson contains information on cognitive development, an introductory inquiry activity, and an inquiry investigation. An introduction to inquiry in education and related educational resources (especially connections to folklore) are provided for educators. Differentiation is provided for K-2, grades 2-4 and grades 4-6. (View Less)