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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) footprint of the mast must be no larger than 11" x 14". This activity is from the NuSTAR Educators Guide: X-Rays on Earth and from Space, which focuses on the science and engineering design of NASA's NuSTAR mission. The guide includes a standards matrix, assessment rubrics, instructor background materials, and student handouts. (View Less)

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) reflection. This activity is from the NuSTAR Educators Guide: X-Rays on Earth and from Space, which focuses on the science and engineering design of NASA's NuSTAR mission. The guide includes a standards matrix, assessment rubrics, instructor background materials, and student handouts. (View Less)

This lesson is comprised of four parts grouped to enable student appreciation of the importance of making accurate scientific observations, descriptions, and drawings. In part one (The Truth is Out There), students describe an object given to them... (View More) by their instructor. In part two (Who Knows?), students attempt to draw and identify a creature based on another student’s description. In part three (Tell It Like It Is!), students make new descriptions, using accurate observations and measurements of what they see. In part four (Truth Revealed), students assess the completeness of the more detailed descriptions. These activities are part of an astrobiology guide called the "Fingerprints of Life" which contains background information for students, worksheets, extension activities, suggested assessments, and alignment to standards. (View Less)

In this activity students use log tapes and base-two slide rules as references to graph exponential functions and log functions in base-10 and base-2. Students discover that exponential and log functions are inverse, reflecting across the y = x axis... (View More) as mirror images. This is activity E2 in the "Far Out Math" educator's guide. Lessons in the guide include activities in which students measure, compare quantities as orders of magnitude, become familiar with scientific notation, and develop an understanding of exponents and logarithms using examples from NASA's GLAST mission. These are skills needed to understand the very large and very small quantities characteristic of astronomical observations. Note: In 2008, the GLAST mission was renamed Fermi, for the physicist Enrico Fermi. (View Less)

In this activity, students construct adding slide rules, scaled with linear calibrations like ordinary rulers. Students learn to move these scales relative to each other in ways that add and subtract distances, thus calculating sums and differences.... (View More) This is Activity A1 in the "Far Out Math" educator's guide. Lessons within the guide include activities in which students measure, compare quantities as orders of magnitude, use scientific notation, and develop an understanding of exponents and logarithms using examples from NASA's GLAST mission. These are skills needed to understand the very large and very small quantities characteristic of astronomical observations. Note: In 2008, the GLAST mission was renamed Fermi, for the physicist Enrico Fermi. (View Less)

This activity introduces measurement and scale using hands-on activities. In this activity, students use the concept of similar triangles to determine the height of a tree. This activity is one of several available on an educational poster related... (View More) to NASA's Space Interferometry Mission. (View Less)