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Physical sciences
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# Solar Week Thursday: Funnel the Sun

This is an activity during Solar Week, a twice-yearly event in March and October during which classrooms are able to interact with scientists studying the Sun. Outside of Solar Week, information, activities, and resources are archived and available... (View More)

# Observing Convection Currents

This model demonstrates convection currents and uses water, food coloring, a cup of very hot water and a votive candle as heat sources. Movie clips of demonstration setup and convection in action are provided. This activity is supported by a... (View More)

# Cosmic Microwave Background

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)

# Grandma's Apple Pie

In this activity, students work in groups to create a presentation that illustrates the meaning of the statement "To make an apple pie from scratch you must first invent the universe." Students pick an element that can be found in apple pie and... (View More)

# The Moon Orbits the Sun?!

In this activity, students compute the strengths of the gravitational forces exerted on the Moon by the Sun and by the Earth, and demonstrate the actual shape of the Moon's orbit around the Sun. The lesson begins with students' assumptions about the... (View More)

# Evidence for Hidden Mass

In this activity, students will interpret and analyze the information presented on the Evidence for Hidden Mass graph. They will observe trends in the graphs, and use it to determine if there is evidence for hidden mass. This is Activity 6b in the... (View More)

# Modeling Mass in the Solar System and a Galaxy

In this activity, students will discover how mass is distributed in the solar system and a galaxy by using kitty litter. Students compare the distribution of mass in a solar system to the distribution of mass in a galaxy. This is Activity 6a in the... (View More)

# Weighing a Galaxy

In this activity, students use Newton's Laws of Motion, and the motions of the planets, to determine the mass of the sun. They then use the same techniques to determine the mass of a galaxy. In doing so, students convert among different units of... (View More)

# Nickel-odeon

In this activity, students use a piano keyboard to model spectral lines as musical chords. It is designed to aid student understanding of spectral analysis, what the patterns mean, how elements are involved, and how this relates to stars.... (View More)

# Analyze This!

Traditionally, spectral images are two dimensional, and related to text. This kinesthetic activity has groups of students position themselves along a printed spectrum to make spectral patterns and model various elements. Includes photos, teachers... (View More)

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