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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)
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)
This is a lesson about the shape of objects in space. Learners will observe the surface of rotating potatoes to help them understand how astronomers use variations in reflective brightness to determine the shape of asteroids.
This is an activity about modeling the apparent motion of the Sun as seen from Earth. Learners will use a flashlight, toothpick, and styrofoam model Sun to mimic the relative shadow motion produced by a sundial. The activity will help learners... (View More) understand that because the Earth rotates from West to East, the Sun appears to rise in the East and set in the West. This is Activity 6 of the Sun As a Star afterschool curriculum. (View Less)
This is an activity about light and shadow. Learners will make outdoor sundials. They will use the sundial and the length of the shadow that is cast to explore the relationship between the size and position of the shadows and the position of the Sun... (View More) in the sky. to measure the lengths of the shadows made directly by the Sun at various times. The activity requires access to a sunny outdoor location. This is Activity 5 of the Sun As a Star afterschool curriculum. (View Less)
This is an activity about how light travels. Learners will perform two experiments. The first explores blocking light to create shadows. The second asks learners to use mirrors to figure out that light travels in a straight line. This is Activity 4... (View More) of the Sun As a Star afterschool curriculum. This activity requires use of a room that can be darkened. (View Less)