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Physical sciences  
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Educational Level:
High school  
Learning Time:
30 to 45 minutes  
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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)

In this introductory activity, learners investigate and discuss infrared images of various everyday objects, such as toasters, hairdryers, and running water, to learn about infrared imaging. Student questions about the false-color images help guide... (View More)

This exploration engages students in an investigation that leads them to the conclusion that regions of the electromagnetic spectrum vary according to energy per photon, and connects with the video where Dr. Ilana Harrus explains observing a... (View More)

Audience: High school

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)

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)

In this activity, students will model the time after the Big Bang when the first nuclei of hydrogen and helium were created. The students will move and display cards that show the elements that are formed. This activity requires a large area - e.g.,... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

In this activity, students experience a demonstration of light scattering that explains the blue colors in the Intersetllar Medium (ISM) nebulae, and the reddening of stars viewed through the ISM. It also explains the blue appearance of the sky on... (View More)

Audience: High school, Higher education
Materials Cost: $1 - $5

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)

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)

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)

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