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The PlanetQuest Observing Cards are designed to give telescope operators and other interpreters a new way of explaining the night sky. Relating common observing objects to our search for exoplanets makes these spectacular sights more understandable.... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

This model aims to help illustrate the purpose and methodology of NASA's Kepler mission. It includes (1) a hand-cranked or motorized orrery (moving model of a planet system) made of LEGO parts, (2) a light sensor representing the Kepler photometer,... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

In this activity, students are reminded that the Universe is made up of elements and that the heavier elements are created inside of a star, as they learned in the "Elements and You" activity. They are introduced to the life cycle of a star and to... (View More)

In this lesson, students explore a discrepant event when they design an experiment to measure the rate that ice melts when in pure water versus salt water. It is designed to help students realize that a carefully-designed experiment may yield... (View More)

In this lesson, students explore how eclipses happen and why Einstein needed a total eclipse to image stars near the Sun in order to demonstrate how the Sun's mass bends the light from a far away star. Using a foam ball and a lamp, learners create a... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: $1 - $5 per group of students

In this lesson, students will be introduced to how the Doppler effect changes our perception of wavelengths of sound (pitch) and light (color). Students will model how astronomers use the line spectra of stars to identify elements in the stars and... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Over $20 per group of students

The purpose of this lesson is to model for students gravitational waves and how they are created. Students will build a simple "Gravitational Wave Demonstrator" using inexpensive materials (plastic wrap, plastic cups, water, food coloring, and... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: $1 - $5

This lesson uses a simple discrepant event to demonstrate the underlying cause for early miscalculation of the size of the Milky Way galaxy. By standardizing the Cepheid period-luminosity relationship without recognizing there were two types of... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: $1 - $5 per group of students

In this lesson, students will read the 1919 edition of the Cosmic Times (see related resources) and respond by raising questions to be answered with further research. They will make a model of curved space to view the motion of spheres as explained... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: $1 - $5 per group of students

In this lesson, students will investigate the Doppler Effect and discover how the same principle can be used to identify a possible tornado in storm clouds and investigate the rotation of distant galaxies. Students should be familiar with the... (View More)

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