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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, student teams design small-scale physical models of hot and cold planets, (Venus and Mars), and learn that small scale models allow researchers to determine how much larger systems function. There is both a team challenge and... (View More)

This is a lesson about magnetism and solar flares. Learners will evaluate real solar data and images in order to calculate the energy and magnetic strength of a solar flare moving away from the Sun as a coronal mass ejection. This is Activity 3 in... (View More)

Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

In this activity, students build a simple computer model to determine the black body surface temperature of planets in our solar system: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. Experiments altering the luminosity and... (View More)

This is an activity about the properties and characteristics of Earth’s magnetic field as shown through magnetometer data and its 3D vector nature. This resource builds understanding of conceptual tools such as the addition of vectors and... (View More)

This activity enables students to better understand the motion of the Sun and how we use it to measure time. Students create a "horizon calendar" at their school by carefully observing and recording the horizon and the Sun at sunset (or sunrise, for... (View More)

In this activity, students explore the importance of adequate sampling strategies when conducting a scientific investigation. They are tasked with determining the average temperature of the Earth, using data sets easily found on the Internet, and... (View More)

In this activity, student teams learn about research design and design a controlled experiment exploring the relationship between a hypothetical planet, an energy source, and distance. They analyze the data and derive an equation to describe the... (View More)

This activity explores how ancient Sun observers made use of natural and built structures to mark solar alignments observed at different times of the year, particularly around the solstices and equinoxes. In Part 1, the teacher prepares a horizon... (View More)

This is an activity about the movement, or "wandering," of our Earth's magnetic poles. The learner will explore this concept by measuring and calculating the distance the Earth's north magnetic pole has moved over the past 400 years and calculating... (View More)

Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free