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This is an activity associated with activities during Solar Week, a twice-yearly event in March and October during which classrooms are able to interact with scientists studying the Sun. Outside of Solar Week, information, activities, and resources... (View More)

This is an activity about rockets. Learners will research facts about Atlas V rockets, which will launch the MMS satellites. After, they will compute the speed of the launch rocket, given a data chart of time vs. distance from lift-off. Then, they... (View More)

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)

This is an activity about the relative sizes of the Earth and the Moon and the distance between them. Learners will inflate a balloon to the approximate size of the moon in relation to a standard globe. They will then hypothesize as to the correct... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school, Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

This is an activity about the phases of Venus and the planet’s variance in angular size as seen from Earth. Learners will use an online program such as Solar System Live to determine Venus’s distance from Earth for one half of its cycle. This... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school, Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

In this activity, students engage in an ongoing investigation to find patterns of sunlight and shadow in a classroom (or any room that gets sunlight) at different times of the day and different times of the year. Students look for repeating... (View More)

This activity enables students to better understand the motion of the Sun and how we use it to measure time. Students create a "horizon calendar" at their school by carefully observing and recording the horizon and the Sun at sunset (or sunrise, for... (View More)

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)

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)

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)

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