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Light and optics  
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In this activity, students experience a demonstration of light scattering that explains the blue colors in the Intersetllar Medium (ISM) nebulae, and the reddening of stars viewed through the ISM. It also explains the blue appearance of the sky on... (View More)

Audience: High school, Higher education
Materials Cost: $1 - $5

This is a detailed lesson about heat transfer and distance. Learners will design and conduct experiments to answer the question, "how does distance and inclination affect the amount of heat received from a heat source?" They will measure heat change... (View More)

This is a lesson about infrared radiation. Learners will investigate invisible forms of light as they conduct William Herschel’s experiment and subsequent discovery of infrared radiation. They will construct a device to measure the presence of... (View More)

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)

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)

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)

In this hands-on activity, students analyze the data on Mystery Object Cards, observe that astronomical objects have many observable properties, and discover that these properties allow scientists to categorize astronomical objects into different... (View More)

This is an activity about polarized light. Learners will use a polarizing filter to build and calibrate a simple polarimeter, use the constructed polarimeter to find sources of polarized light, and measure the angle of polarization of polarized... (View More)

In this activity, learners will explore the properties of color filters and filter bandpass by observing light sources using diffraction grating and color filters and create a graph of percent transmission versus wavelength to characterize the... (View More)

This is an activity about spectroscopy. Learners will build a spectroscope with a scale for measuring wavelength and use it to observe various light sources. They will identify spectral lines in more than one light source and analyze the collected... (View More)