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Physical sciences  
Educational Level:
Middle school  
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This is a lesson about the solar wind, Earth's magnetosphere, and the Moon. Participants will work in groups of two or three to build a model of the Sun-Earth-Moon system. They will use the model to demonstrate that the Earth is protected from... (View More)

This news story highlights Hubble's infrared image of the Horsehead Nebula. Students will discover why astronomers are interested in this nebula and how they study the nebula using infrared light. The reading identifies and defines vocabulary that... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school, Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

This is an activity about the atmospheric conditions (greenhouse strength, atmospheric thickness) Mars needs to maintain surface water. Learners will use a computer interactive to learn about Mars past and present before exploring the pressure and... (View More)

This is a lesson that applys occultations to Saturn's Moon Enceladus. Learners will establish whether Saturn’s small moon, Enceladus, has an atmosphere, whether that atmosphere is over the entire planet, and what creates Saturn’s E-ring. The... (View More)

This is a lesson about detecting atmospheres of planets. Learners will explore stellar occultation events (by interpreting light curves) to determine if an imaginary dwarf planet “Snorkzat” has an atmosphere. The activity is part of Project... (View More)

This is an activity about detecting elements by using light. Learners will develop and apply methods to identify and interpret patterns to the identification of fingerprints. They look at fingerprints of their classmates, snowflakes, and finally... (View More)

This is a lesson about visual spectra. Learners will explore different ways of displaying visual spectra, including colored "barcode" spectra, like those produced by a diffraction grating, and line plots displaying intensity versus color, or... (View More)

This is a book about the importance of the Sun's energy as it relates to its impact on the Earth’s environment. Learners will read or listen to a story about a young boy, Joshua, who finds out that the Sun provides the Earth with energy in the... (View More)

Learners will build an open spectrograph to calculate the angle the light is transmitted through a holographic diffraction grating. After finding the desired angles, the students will design their own spectrograph using the information learned. The... (View More)

This is an activity about the electromagnetic spectrum and how light is split into its component frequencies or colors. Using a diffraction grating, learners will observe four different light sources and sketch their spectra. This activity requires... (View More)

Keywords: Doppler effect
Audience: Elementary school, Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free
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