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This is a lesson about the path meteorites take to get from the asteroid belt to Earth and how rare it is for the Earth to be hit by a large asteroid. Three activities comprise the lesson. Learners will draw circles and ellipses to illustrate basic... (View More) shapes of orbits in the solar system (Activity A); construct a scale-model of the inner solar system, observe relative distances and sizes, plot paths meteoroids might take and manipulate models to demonstrate the ecliptic plane (Activity B); and graph the locations of Earth and a near-earth asteroid, observe the significance of time and space, and estimate when the asteroid might cross the orbit of Earth (Activity C). Activities, vocabulary words, and experimental extensions are included. This is Lesson 4 of 19 in Exploring Meteorite Mysteries. (View Less)
This is a lesson about impact craters; the relationships between crater size, projectile size and projectile velocity; and the transfer of energy in the cratering process. Learners will create plaster of Paris or layered dry impact craters and... (View More) conduct controlled experiments using mass and velocity as the independent variables. Energy calculations for advanced classes, and vocabulary words are included. This is lesson 6 of 19 in Exploring Meteorite Mysteries. (View Less)
In this activity, learners build a sextant to measure the altitude, or height above the horizon, of an object. The activity was originally designed to accompany a previous NASA-funded educational program, entitled The Sun in Time.
In this introductory global change investigation, students gather and record visual and written data from their surroundings, and through analysis, show how the sampling window chosen for examination can affect an outcome, sometimes resulting in... (View More) false conclusions. Connections between their observations and the study of climate change using imagery and data sets is discussed. Use of a camera is suggested for this activity. This activity is part of the Ground Truth Studies Teacher Handbook, which provides more than 20 activities to build student understanding of global change and remote sensing, and includes background chapters for teachers, glossary, and appendices. (View Less)