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Become a crime scene investigator! Learners model Dawn Mission scientists, engineers, and technologists and how they use instrumentation to detect distant worlds. After a briefing to build context, students explore interactions between different... (View More)

This is an activity about the tides. Learners discover how the Moon's gravitational pull causes the level of the ocean to rise and fall twice a day along most coastlines. Six children represent the oceans, solid Earth, Moon, and Sun and move their... (View More)

In this lesson on cosmic rays, students will explain two examples of a cosmic ray detector. Includes information about student preconceptions and a demonstration that requires a geiger counter and optional access to a small radioactive source that... (View More)

Keywords: Cosmic Ray; Radiation
Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Over $20

This is a lesson about detecting atmospheres of planets. Learners will explore stellar occultation events (by interpreting light curves) to determine if an imaginary dwarf planet "Snorkzat" has an atmosphere. The activity is part of Project Spectra,... (View More)

Learners will explore different ways of displaying visual spectra, including colored "barcode" spectra, like those produced by a diffraction grating, and line plots displaying intensity versus color, or wavelength. Students learn that a diffraction... (View More)

This is a lesson about discovering distant planets using an Earth-based observing technique called stellar occultation. Learners will explore how a stellar occultation occurs, how planetary atmospheres can be discovered, and how planetary diameters... (View More)

This is a lesson about the characteristics of ice as a mineral and how it compares to other minerals with respect to hardness. Learners will observe ice crystals, develop a hardness scale and position ice on it. Learners will also practice working... (View More)

This is a lesson about how and why ice flows, especially in a large mass such as a glacier. Learners will experience the qualities of viscoelastic materials and view videos of glacial ice flows. They will observe ice flows and materials other than... (View More)

This is a lesson about displacement, buoyancy, and density. Learners will understand why ice floats. Includes background information, teacher notes, assessment criteria, and related resources; activities are differentiated for Pre-K-grade 2 and... (View More)

Learners will explore the molecular geometry and mechanics of ice. They will create a model of H2O, investigate its molecular structure and its consistent shape. Faraday's experiment is used as background. Activities include small group miming,... (View More)

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