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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) interpreting contour maps displaying magnetic signature data. Learners will make several paper 3D vector addition models, watch podcasts on how to analyze magnetometer data, and employ 3D vector plots to create a model of the 3D magnetic field in the location of the magnetometer closest to their town. This is a multi-step activity with corresponding worksheets for each step. The activity uses data from the THEMIS (Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms) GEONS magnetometer, and requires the use of a computer with internet access and speakers, 2-inch polystyrene balls and bamboo skewers. This is activity 16 from Exploring Magnetism: Earth's Magnetic Personality. (View Less)
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) table that represents the Earth’s horizon. In Part 2, students create functioning models of an existing ancient solar observatory or design their own observatory. In Part 3, students test their model using the horizon table and a flashlight as the Sun. The lesson includes discussion questions, background information about Maya astronomy, a checklist for science notebook write-ups, and a math extension activity that measures shadows. This activity is the seventh lesson in the Ancient Eyes Look to the Skies curriculum. (View Less)
This is a lesson plan for an activity that explores time zone math. Learners will translate their local time to times in other zones around the world and work with the concept of Universal Time, specifically in reference to the reporting,... (View More) description and analysis of solar flares and coronal mass ejections. This is activity 10 from Exploring Magnetism Guide 3: Magnetic Mysteries of the Aurora educator guide. (View Less)
This is a lesson about the energy output of the Sun. Learners will consider the essential question, "How much energy does sunlight provide to the Earth and what is its role in the Earth’s energy resources?" Activities include building a device to... (View More) measure the solar constant - the amount of energy in sunlight - calculating the amount of energy arriving at the Earth from the Sun, and describing the differences in solar radiation at Mercury compared to Earth. This is activity 1 of 4 in the module, Staying Cool. Note: the student guide starts on p. 21 of the PDF. (View Less)
This is a lesson about distances in space. Learners will create an outdoor, to-scale model of the distances between the Sun, Earth, and Saturn. Next you will conduct a guided walk to Saturn - which gives students an understanding of how far away... (View More) Saturn is from Earth and the Sun. Like enthusiastic travelers everywhere, students will write a “postcard home” to share their exciting trip. This is lesson 4 of 10 in "Reading, Writing & Rings!" for grades 1-2. (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.