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In this activity, learners draw a circle with a single focus, an ellipse with two foci close together, and an ellipse with two foci far apart, and compare the shapes. Learners then measure the Sun in four images each taken in a different season,... (View More)

Activities in this lesson promote a fundamental understanding of relationships between graphed data. Sample graphs allow students to become familiar with interpreting data and to recognize relationships between variables. Additional microsets of... (View More)

Keywords: Scatter plot; Time plot
Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

Math skills are applied throughout this investigation of windows. Starting with basic window shapes, students determine area and complete a cost analysis, then do the same for windows of unconventional shapes. Students will examine photographs taken... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school, Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

This is an activity about mission planning. Learners will use the roles of a navigation team, spacecraft, comet, Earth, and Sun to simulate how mission planners design a spacecraft/comet rendezvous. This activity requires at least four active... (View More)

Learners will use data from the Student Dust Counter (SDC) Data Viewer to establish any trends in the distribution of dust in the solar system. Students record the number of dust particles, or hits, recorded by the instrument and the average mass of... (View More)

Learners will relate the concept of density to the density of dust in space. They will use mission data from the Student Dust Counter (SDC) data viewer to determine the density of dust grains in a volume of space in order to answer questions... (View More)

In this lesson, students measure the size of several galaxies to reproduce a plot of Hubble's Law. The goal of this lesson is to give students the chance to simulate the process that led to the notion that the universe is expanding, provide insight... (View More)

Keywords: Data graphing

This lesson uses a simple discrepant event to demonstrate the underlying cause for early miscalculation of the size of the Milky Way galaxy. By standardizing the Cepheid period-luminosity relationship without recognizing there were two types of... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: $1 - $5 per group of students

In this lesson, students observe the surface of rotating potatoes to help them understand how astronomers can sometimes determine the shape of asteroids from variations in reflective brightness.

This is an activity about how the Sun can affect the Earth's atmosphere, specifically the ionosphere. Learners will use real data from a Sudden Ionosphere Disturbance Monitor, or SID Monitor, to identify the signatures in the graphed data that can... (View More)