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Students will learn about the twin STEREO spacecraft and how they are being used to track solar storms through reading a NASA press release and viewing a NASA eClips video segment. Then students will examine data to learn more about the frequency... (View More) and speed of solar storms traveling from the Sun to Earth. This activity is part of the Space Math multimedia modules that integrate NASA press releases, NASA archival video, and mathematics problems targeted at specific math standards commonly encountered in middle school textbooks. The modules cover specific math topics at multiple levels of difficulty with real-world data and use the 5E instructional sequence. (View Less)
Students will use NASA's Global Climate Change website to research five of the key indicators (vital signs) of Earth’s climate health. These indicators are: global surface temperature, carbon dioxide concentrations, sea level, Arctic sea ice, and... (View More) land ice. They will use this information, shared in their expert groups, to create an informative poster about their assigned key indicator. The poster will be used by other groups to learn about all five of the key indicators and how Earth scientists use these indicators to analyze changes in Earth’s climate. The lesson plan uses the 5E instructional sequence. (View Less)
This is an online set of information about astronomical alignments of ancient structures and buildings. Learners will read background information about the alignments to the Sun in such structures as the Great Pyramid, Chichen Itza, and others.... (View More) Next, the site contains 10 short problem sets that involve a variety of math skills, including determining the scale of a photo, measuring and drawing angles, plotting data on a graph, and creating an equation to match a set of data. Each set of problems is contained on one page and all of the sets utilize real-world problems relating to astronomical alignments of ancient structures. Each problem set is flexible and can be used on its own, together with other sets, or together with related lessons and materials selected by the educator. This was originally included as a folder insert for the 2010 Sun-Earth Day. (View Less)
This is an activity about detecting elements by using light. Learners will develop and apply methods to identify and interpret patterns to the identification of fingerprints. They look at fingerprints of their classmates, snowflakes, and finally... (View More) “spectral fingerprints” of elements. They learn to identify each image as unique, yet part of a group containing recognizable similarities. The activity is part of Project Spectra, a science and engineering program for middle-high school students, focusing on how light is used to explore the Solar System. (View Less)
This is an activity about seasons. Learners compare the seasons though identifying seasonal activities and drawing scenes in each season. Then, they compare the temperature on thermometers left under a lamp for different lengths of time to explore... (View More) how Earth heats more when the Sun is in the sky for longer periods of time. Finally, learners use a flashlight and a globe to investigate how the spherical shape of Earth causes the seasons to be opposite in each hemisphere. This hands-on activity is an additional lesson as part of the book, Adventures in the Attic. (View Less)
This is a lesson about using the light from the star during an occultation event to identify the atmosphere of a planet. Learners will add and subtract light curves (presented as a series of geometrical shapes) to understand how this could occur.... (View More) The activity is part of Project Spectra, a science and engineering program for middle-high school students, focusing on how light is used to explore the Solar System. (View Less)
This is a series of three webpages about how humans and computers communicate. Learners will explore the binary and hexidecimal systems and how engineers use them to translate spacecraft data into images.
Learners will build an open spectrograph to calculate the angle the light is transmitted through a holographic diffraction grating. After finding the desired angles, the students will design their own spectrograph using the information learned. The... (View More) activity is part of Project Spectra, a science and engineering program for middle-high school students, focusing on how light is used to explore the Solar System. (View Less)
This math problem determines the areas of simple and complex planar figures using measurement of mass and proportional constructs. Materials are inexpensive or easily found (poster board, scissors, ruler, sharp pencil, right angle), but also... (View More) requires use of an analytical balance (suggestions are provided for working with less precise weighing tools). This resource is from PUMAS - Practical Uses of Math and Science - 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)
This is a collection of mathematical problems about transits in the solar system. Learners can work problems created to be authentic glimpses of modern science and engineering issues, often involving actual research data.