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In this lesson, students explore the cosmic microwave background to understand why it permeates the universe and why it peaks as microwave radiation. Students should be able to explain that the origin of the background radiation is the uniform... (View More)

This is an educators guide to accompany the Journey to the Stars planetarium show. The materials for grades 9-12 include suggestions for activities to do before and after viewing the planetarium show, including class discussions about units of... (View More)

This series of curriculum support materials and classroom activities explores how our understanding of the nature of the universe has changed during the past 100 years. Students examine the process of science through the stories of the people and... (View More)

Keywords: History of science
Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

In this lesson, students simulate an experiment in which the discovery of dark energy can be made by plotting modern supernova distances on a Hubble Diagram. Data is provided in an Excel spreadsheet (see related resources). In order to complete this... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

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 lesson, students will investigate the Doppler Effect and discover how the same principle can be used to identify a possible tornado in storm clouds and investigate the rotation of distant galaxies. Students should be familiar with the... (View More)

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)

Audience: Middle school

This is a lesson about the shape of objects in space. Learners will observe the surface of rotating potatoes to help them understand how astronomers use variations in reflective brightness to determine the shape of asteroids.

In this two-part investigation, students explore the concept of transits. In the first part, they discover that a transit is an event where one body crosses in front of another, like when a planet goes in front of a star. In the second part,... (View More)

Keywords: NSTA2013

This is a lesson about discovering distant planets using an Earth-based observing technique called stellar occultation. Learners will explore how a stellar occultation occurs, how planetary atmospheres can be discovered, and how planetary diameters... (View More)