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This is a resource that explains the rationale behind the multiple time zone divisions in the United States. Learners will work through a problem set to practice calculating the time in one time zone, given the time in another time zone. This is... (View More) activity 9 from the educator guide, Exploring Magnetism: Magnetic Mysteries of the Aurora. (View Less)

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) the rate at which the magnetic pole location has changed its position during that time. Finally, learners will use this information to extrapolate how the region for viewing aurorae may change over the next century at the present rate of polar wander. This is Activity 6 in the Exploring Magnetism on Earth teachers guide. (View Less)

In this activity, students engage in long-term systematic observation to learn about the apparent annual motion of the Sun caused by the Earth’s orbit around the Sun. Students put a dot on a window where sunlight enters the classroom (or any room... (View More) into which sunlight enters each day) and mark the position of the shadow cast by the dot day by day and throughout the school year. To make a personal connection to the activity, spots marked on a student’s birthday can be labeled with the student’s name. This activity can be done as a whole class or individual project. Part 1 of this activity involves establishing location, and casual observation over the course of a day. Part 2, involves “daily” (Monday, Wednesday, Friday is fine) marking of Sun-track at a specific time of day over the course of at least a month. This activity should be run for at least a month, but is best as a school-year-long project. The lesson includes a math extension activity to calculate the average daily motion at which the sunbeam shadow moves, as well as background information about the analemma. This activity is the fourth lesson in the Ancient Eyes Look to the Skies curriculum guide. (View Less)

In this activity, students learn about the motion of the Sun in relation to the Earth, and how geographic directions are defined. Students use a tetherball pole (or an alternative) as a gnomon and the shadow the Sun casts to determine the exact... (View More) directions of north, south, east and west. The best tetherball pole to use is one that is in full sunlight for most of the day, one that is vertical and unbent, and one that is built on asphalt or concrete. This activity can be done as a whole class or individual project. Part 1 of this activity involves the initial marking of the tetherball pole shadow using chalk (about 10 minutes) and subsequent markings by one or two students (less than 5 minutes) every half hour over a four-hour period. Students keep a record of the gnomon’s shadow by recording a sketch in their logs. Part 2 of this activity involves using a piece of string to connect the dots after the final observation, then bisecting this arc to determine north and south. The lesson includes discussion questions, background information about gnomons, and a math extension activity making and graphing the tetherball's shadow length at different times. This activity is the fifth lesson in the Ancient Eyes Look to the Skies curriculum guide. (View Less)

In this activity, students learn the basics of the horizon, direction and the rising and settings of the Sun and stars by making a schoolyard "medicine wheel" with sidewalk chalk on playground asphalt. Medicine wheels are stone rings constructed by... (View More) the Plains people of North America which may have been used as a calendar system based on observations of objects in the sky. This activity requires a flat area at least 6 meters across – preferably asphalt or concrete – that has a good view of the sky. It can be done as a whole class activity. Part 1 of this activity involves constructing the medicine wheel (about 10-15 minutes). Part 2 of this activity involves making ongoing observations throughout the year at noon (about 10-15 minutes for each observation). Part 3 involves making observations from the wheel during after-school hours to observe the rising or setting points of stars, the Sun and Moon. Discussion questions, background information and a math extension activity are included. This activity is the second lesson in the Ancient Eyes Look to the Skies curriculum guide. (View Less)

This article discusses an example of a practical use of the square root of 2 by explaining how this irrational number figures in printing two pages on one side of A series-sized paper. This resource is from PUMAS - Practical Uses of Math and Science... (View More) - a collection of brief examples created by scientists and engineers showing how math and science topics taught in K-12 classes have real world applications. (View Less)

In this interactive, online activity, bias is explored when the students decide which of several sampling methods are biased. They see how bias affects the percentage of irregular galaxies determined to be in the sample from the Deep Field. After... (View More) completing this activity students will be able to analyze and identify sampling methods that reduce bias. Student may work independently or in small groups to complete each activity. This activity is apart of the online exploration, Galaxy Hunter. Detailed teacher pages, identified as Teaching Tips on the title pages of the activity, provide science background information, lesson plan ideas, related resources, and alignment with national education standards. (View Less)

In this interactive, online activity students elect a simple random sample to draw conclusions from data as presented in the Hubble Deep Field-North and Hubble Deep Field-South images. The optimal sample size is determined by exploring sample... (View More) variability, which is introduced through a min/max plot. The mean and median are added in order to pinpoint the spot where variability settles down and the measures of central tendency approach a constant value. The point where that first occurs is the smallest reasonable sample size. Students may work independently or in small groups to complete each activity. This interactive online activity is apart of the online exploration "Galaxy Hunter." Detailed teacher pages, identified as Teaching Tips on the title pages of the activity, provide science background information, lesson plan ideas, related resources, and alignment with national education standards. Use sample variability to determine optimal sample size. (View Less)

In this assessment activity, students generate a data sample from either the Hubble Deep Field-North or Hubble Deep Field-South images, and compare the sample to data from the unselected field. This provides students with a real-life example of how... (View More) statistics can be used by scientists. After completing this activity students will be able to compare sample data with the population parameter to determine accuracy of sampling techniques and use statistical data to make conjectures about the universe. This interactive online activity is part of the online exploration “Galaxy Hunter”. Detailed teacher pages, identified as Teaching Tips on the title pages of the activity, provide science background information, lesson plan ideas, related resources, and alignment with national education standards. (View Less)

In this activity, students use base-two slide rules, log tapes, and calculators to practice raising exponents in base notation and pulling down exponents in log notation. Students will develop an understanding that antilog notation expresses the... (View More) exact same idea as raising a base to a power. This activity is activity C2 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)