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**Earth and space science**

**Mathematics**

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Carl Sagan once claimed that the most important lesson we learn from studying the stars is perspective. To address this concept, this activity offers a scale model of the solar system to be evaluated. There are many versions of solar system scale... (View More) models available; this one is unique for its large scale chosen, the quality of the scaled objects, and the supplementary materials and information provided. The model is extended to include interaction and discovery on the part of learners, and suggested extensions. The set of materials includes a book about the solar system, developed from NASA's "From Earth to the Solar System" (FETTSS) imagery, and appropriate for use with the model. (View Less)

In this unit, students investigate temperature cycles, tree rings, CO2 records, and the effects of CO2 on temperature, precipitation and cloud cover to determine the impacts of changing climate on forests. After gathering and analyzing local data,... (View More) students examine regional impacts and differences. The unit is one of four under the Chicago Botanic Garden curriculum entitled, "Climate Change in My Backyard." (View Less)

This unit focuses on local plant species; students learn to identify common species and will examine their life cycle characteristics as evidence of climate change. Through the use of the national citizen science project titled Project BudBurst,... (View More) students explore the impacts of climate variation on plant species distribution. The unit is one of four under the Chicago Botanic Garden curriculum entitled, "Climate Change in My Backyard." (View Less)

This activity is a short engineering design challenge to be completed by individual students or small teams. A real-world problem is presented, designing buildings for hurricane-prone areas, but in a simulated way that works in a classroom, after... (View More) school club, or informal education setting. Students are given simple materials and design requirements, and must plan and build a tower as tall as possible that will hold up a tennis ball while resisting the force of wind from a fan. After the towers are built, the group comes together to test them. If there is time after testing, which can be observational or framed as a contest between teams, students can redesign their towers to improve their performance, or simply discuss what worked well and what didn’t in their designs. (View Less)

Materials Cost: $1 - $5 per group of students

This activity allows participants to build a paper model of the GPM Core Observatory and learn about the technology the satellite uses to measure precipitation from space. Directions explain how to cut, fold and glue the individual pieces together... (View More) to make the model. The accompanying information sheet has details about the systems in the satellite including the Dual-frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR), the GPM Microwave Imager (GMI), the High Gain Antenna, avionics and star trackers, propulsion system and solar array, as well as a math connection and additional engineering challenges. (View Less)

Materials Cost: 1 cent - $1 per group of students

In this lesson, students observe the surface of rotating potatoes to help them understand how astronomers can sometimes determine the shape of asteroids from variations in reflective brightness.

This is an activity about coronal mass ejections. Learners will calculate the velocity and acceleration of a coronal mass ejection, or CME, based on its position in a series of images from the Large-Angle Spectrometric Coronograph (LASCO) instrument... (View More) on NASA's Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) spacecraft. This is Activity 2 of a larger resource, Exploring the Sun. The NASA spacecraft missions represented by this material include SOHO, TRACE, STEREO, Hinode, and SDO. (View Less)

This is an activity about measuring angular size and understanding the solar and lunar proportions that result in solar eclipses. Learners will use triangles and proportions to create a shoebox eclipse simulator. They will then apply what they learn... (View More) about angular size to predict the diameter and distance of one object that can be eclipsed by another. They will also complete three journal assignments to record observations and conceptual understanding. This activity derives from those demonstrated in the NASA CONNECT television series episode, titled Path of Totality. (View Less)

In this activity students convert antilogs to logs, and logs to antilogs using scientific notation as an intermediate step. They will thereby develop a look-up table for solving math problems by using logarithms. This is activity D2 in the "Far Out... (View More) 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, GLAST was renamed Fermi, for the physicist Enrico Fermi. (View Less)

In this activity students construct multiplying slide rules scaled in Base-10 exponents and use them to calculate products and quotients. They will come to appreciate that super numbers (exponents, orders of magnitude and logarithms) play by... (View More) different rules of arithmetic than ordinary numbers (numbers, powers of ten and antilogs). This is activity A2 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, GLAST was renamed Fermi, for the physicist Enrico Fermi. (View Less)