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Physical sciences  
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Middle school  
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1 to 2 hours  
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This is an activity about satellite design. Learners will create a satellite model to determine which shape will provide a steady minimum current output from solar panels, given a fixed position light source. After, as a group, they will assess... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

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)

This is a lesson about the electromagnetic spectrum. Learners begin by arranging a set of picture cards; in the discussion afterwards, this activity is related to the electromagnetic spectrum as an arrangement of energy waves. Next, using a... (View More)

These two hands-on labs are about the role of temperature and salinity in governing the density of seawater, a major factor controlling the ocean's vertical movements and layered circulation. In the first activity students work in groups to... (View More)

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)