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Physical sciences  
Educational Level:
Middle school  
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Planetary Science  
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Learners will investigate how to build a space suit that keeps astronauts cool. This is technology activity 1 of 2 found in the ISS L.A.B.S. Educator Resource Guide.

Audience: Middle school

This is a lesson about determining planetary composition. Learners will use a reflectometer to determine which minerals are present (from a set of knowns) in a sample of Mars soil simulant. Requires the use of ALTA II spectrometers (which may be... (View More)

Learners will use a spectrograph to gather data about light sources. Using the data they’ve collected, students are able to make comparisons between different light sources and make conjectures about the composition of a mystery light source. The... (View More)

Learners will look at various light sources (including glow sticks and Christmas lights) and make conjectures about their composition. The activity is part of Project Spectra, a science and engineering program for middle-high school students,... (View More)

In this lesson, students observe the surface of rotating potatoes to help them understand how astronomers can sometimes determine the shape of asteroids from variations in reflective brightness.

Learners will explore the conditions required for water to be in a liquid state. They discover that temperature is the essential variable. They then explore how temperature is not a measure of heat but of the average motion of molecules of a... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

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 this hands-on experiment, students will investigate the basic principle of photosynthesis and learn how light intensity diminishes as a function of distance from the light source. Questions help learners connect these two ideas to determine if... (View More)

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