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Topics/Subjects:
Light and optics  
Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes  
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This is an activity about the size of the Sun. Learners will construct a pinhole camera and, using the projected image of the Sun, calculate its diameter. After calculating the diameter of the Sun, learners will create a classroom sized scale model... (View More)

In this problem set, learners will analyze a graph of the reflectivity of soil and two kinds of vegetation to understand how scientists use these measures to identify different materials. Answer key is provided. This is part of Earth Math: A Brief... (View More)

Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

This activity models grazing incidence reflection by using students as the “sea of electrons” provided generally by metallic bonding on the surface of a metal. A tossed ball is used to represent a photon of light and the ball tosser represents... (View More)

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

This demonstration shows that similar-appearing lights can be distinctly different, suggesting that the light emitted is generated in different ways. It requires some advance preparation/setup by the teacher and three recommended sources of orange... (View More)

This interactive, online activity provides a method for generating waves using a computer. Students can select the energy they want the waves to have, observe how the waves appear on the screen, and then measure the frequency and wavelength of the... (View More)

Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

This 28-minute film was created to explain how our current understanding of the Milky Way was reached using many different wavelength of the electromagnetic spectrum. Please note, the link is to a direct download of the video; this is a large file -... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

This is a student reading about the different types of spectra: continuous, absorption, and emission. Learners will read about the differences between each and see graphical representations of each. This activity is from the Stanford Solar Center's... (View More)

This is a short activity about our Sun. Learners will read a page of information about our Sun and the electromagnetic spectrum and answer questions in an accompanying worksheet. This activity is from the Stanford Solar Center's All About the Sun:... (View More)

This introductory lesson introduces the tool of scientific inquiry, beginning with observations inside and outside of the classroom, looking for changes, perspectives, and patterns. Measuring tools as simple as feet and fists are employed initially,... (View More)

This introductory lesson introduces the tool of scientific inquiry, beginning with observations inside and outside of the classroom, looking for changes, perspectives, and patterns. Measuring tools as simple as feet and fists are employed initially,... (View More)