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Physical sciences  
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Middle school  
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This is an activity about the position of the Moon and the Sun in the sky. Learners will use styrofoam balls to model the interactions between the Earth, Sun, and phases of the Moon. This is Activity A-5 of Universe at Your Fingertips 2.0: A... (View More)

This is a lesson about measuring star size. Learners will use eclipsing binary systems to measure star diameters. This is Activity G-8 of Universe at Your Fingertips 2.0: A Collection of Activities and Resources for Teaching Astronomy DVD-ROM, which... (View More)

This is a poster about Europa. Learners may read informational text or complete the Europa Geology Jigsaw Puzzle to learn about creating a geologic map of the ice on this moon of Jupiter.

Audience: Middle school

This is an activity about gravity. Learners will design their own experiments to explore the fundamental force of gravity and then extend their thinking to how gravity acts to keep objects like moons and ring particles in orbit. They use the... (View More)

This article contains a series of kinesthetic activities, explaining and demonstrating why stars twinkle and what astronomers can do to minimize it. The activities can be used to demonstrate how Earth's atmosphere distorts starlight and how advanced... (View More)

Audience: Middle school, Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

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)

In this inquiry investigation, students study the motion and positions of the Earth and how they affect the path of sunlight we get in different places. They discover that the Earth must be curved to account for the different lengths of shadows at... (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)

In this inquiry investigation, students explore how light hits things of different shape and form. One real world application to this activity is understanding what we actually observe when we see a solar eclipse. Supplies needed for this lesson... (View More)

In this inquiry investigation, students will learn about how light travels by using mirrors, prisms, and shadow makers. Supplies for this investigation include mirrors, prisms, objects of differing transparency, garden hose or spray bottle,... (View More)