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In this lesson, students will explain CRaTER's purpose and how it works. They will also design (using paper and pencil) a cosmic ray detector to answer their own questions. CRaTER's purpose is to identify safe landing sites for future human missions... (View More) to the moon; discover potential resources on the Moon; and characterize the radiation environment of the Moon. The lesson includes background information for the teacher, questions, and information about student preconceptions. This is lesson 4 of 4 from "The Cosmic Ray Telescope for the Effects of Radiation." (View Less)
In this lesson on cosmic rays, students will explain two examples of a cosmic ray detector. Includes information about student preconceptions and a demonstration that requires a geiger counter and optional access to a small radioactive source that... (View More) emits energetic helium nuclei (alpha particles), e.g., the mineral the mineral autunite, which contains uranium. This is activity two of four from The Cosmic Ray Telescope for the Effects of Radiation (CRaTER). (View Less)
In this lesson about cosmic rays, students will describe why cosmic rays are dangerous to astronauts. Includes information about student preconceptions. This is activity 3 of 4 from "The Cosmic Ray Telescope for the Effects of Radiation (CRaTER)."
In this lesson, students will learn how cosmic rays were discovered and what they are - including their size and speed. Includes background information for the teacher, questions, activities and information about student preconceptions. This is... (View More) lesson 1 of 4 from "The Cosmic Ray Telescope for the Effects of Radiation (CRaTER)." (View Less)
This is a unit of 8 sessions about the Sun-Earth system. Learners will construct a model to show the relative size and scale of the Sun-Earth system, investigate the visible and electromagnetic spectrums, discuss solar flares and solar weather,... (View More) develop a UV shield, and discuss the results of their investigations. The unit is set in the context of solving a mystery and supports the idea that scientific explanations are based on evidence. This is Unit 1 of the GEMS Space Science Sequence for Grades 6-8, which is available for purchase (see related link). (View Less)
One of the greatest mysteries of all is what causes gamma ray bursts. These bursts are the most powerful explosions in the Universe and occur about once a day. Their origin is unknown, although there are several theories. Students learn about NASA's... (View More) Swift mission, with a specially-equipped satellite to further explore the causes of gamma ray bursts. This activity is part of the Great Explorations in Math and Science guide entitled "Invisible Universe: The Electromagnetic Spectrum from Radio Waves to Gamma Rays" that features five activities. It is available for purchase from the website. (View Less)