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Mathematics  
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Informal education  
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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)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: $1 - $5

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)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

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)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: $5 - $10

This is an activity about the Venus Transit and how it helped astronomers determine the scale of the solar system. Learners will use measurement, ratios, and graphing to construct a model of the solar system and determine the relationship of each... (View More)

Audience: Middle school, Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

In this activity, students solve exponential equations where the unknown is contained in the exponent. Students learn that taking base-10 or base-2 logs pulls down the exponent, allowing the unknown to be isolated and solved.  This activity is... (View More)

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)

In this activity, students construct base-two slide rules that add and subtract base-2 exponents (log distances), in order to multiply and divide corresponding powers of two. Students use these slide rules to generate both log and antilog equations,... (View More)

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)

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)