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Students will use the law of reflection to reflect a laser beam off multiple mirrors to hit a sticker in a shoebox. Since X-ray telescopes must use grazing angles to collect X-rays, students will design layouts with the largest possible angles of... (View More) reflection. This activity is from the NuSTAR Educators Guide: X-Rays on Earth and from Space, which focuses on the science and engineering design of NASA's NuSTAR mission. The guide includes a standards matrix, assessment rubrics, instructor background materials, and student handouts. (View Less)

This lesson provides a way for students to determine the relationship between the distance from a light source and its brightness. Once students discover the relationship, they can begin to understand how astronomers use this knowledge to determine... (View More) the distances to stars and far away galaxies. (View Less)

This activity uses Dr. Drake's framework to have students consider the implications of each term and make their own estimates of life in the Milky Way galaxy. This activity is part of a guide that was developed in conjunction with the Cosmic... (View More) Questions exhibit and complements a museum visit. However, the activities can also be used independently. The format is flexible, and educators can pick and choose the materials that are most appropriate for their students. (View Less)

In these activities, students investigate how gamma ray bursts emit energy in beams (as opposed to emitting light in all directions) and investigate the implications of this on the total number of gamma ray bursts seen in the universe. This activity... (View More) is part of a unit designed to use gamma-ray bursts - unimaginably huge explosions that signal the births of black holes - as an engagement tool to teach selected topics in physical science and mathematics. The guide is based on the 5E instructional sequence and features background information, assessments, student worksheets, extension and transfer activities. (View Less)

In this activity, students determine the direction to a gamma ray burst using the times it is detected by three different spacecraft located somewhere in the solar system. We assume that all the spacecraft are in the plane of the Earth's orbit... (View More) around the Sun; that is, there is no third dimension and that we are only concerned with two dimensions, x and y. We also assume the burst is billions of light years away, so the incoming gamma rays are traveling along parallel lines. This activity is part of a unit that is designed to use gamma-ray bursts - unimaginably huge explosions that signal the births of black holes - as an engagement tool to teach selected topics in physical science and mathematics. The guide is based on the 5E instructional sequence and features background information, assessments, student worksheets, extension and transfer activities. (View Less)

In this activity, students look at the distribution of aluminum foil balls arranged in a circle on the floor, and compare them to the distribution of gamma-ray bursts on the sky. This activity is part of a unit designed to use gamma-ray bursts -... (View More) unimaginably huge explosions that signal the births of black holes - as an engagement tool to teach selected topics in physical science and mathematics. The guide is based on the 5E instructional sequence and features background information, assessments, student worksheets, extension and transfer activities. (View Less)

In this activity students convert antilogs to logs, and logs to antilogs using scientific notation as an intermediate step. They will thereby develop a look-up table for solving math problems by using logarithms. This is activity D2 in the "Far Out... (View More) 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)

In this activity students construct multiplying slide rules scaled in Base-10 exponents and use them to calculate products and quotients. They will come to appreciate that super numbers (exponents, orders of magnitude and logarithms) play by... (View More) different rules of arithmetic than ordinary numbers (numbers, powers of ten and antilogs). This is activity A2 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)

In this activity students add and subtract log distances on their Log Tapes to discover that the corresponding numbers multiply and divide. This will lead them to an experiential understanding of the laws of logarithms. This is activity B2 in the... (View More) "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)

In this activity students use their Log Tapes as a reference for ordered pairs, and graph positive numbers as a function of their base-10 logarithms. They extend each plotted point to the vertical axis, thereby generating a logarithmic scale that... (View More) cuts and folds into an improvised slide rule. This is activity E1 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)