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Instructional Strategies:
Demonstrations  
SMD Forum - Primary:
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This manual provides simple demonstrations to show how lenses and mirrors are used to create telescopes. It was created for use by the Night Sky Network of astronomy clubs.

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

This activity includes twelve monthly star charts to identify the stars that are visible in the night sky and that are known to have planets around them. The star maps can be used to find constellations and identify stars with extrasolar planets.... (View More)

Keywords: Exoplanets
Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

This toolkit includes PowerPoints and scripts, videos and accompanying activities and handouts about supernovae. Following are specific items in the kit: Supernova in the Lives of Stars PowerPoint and Script; Let's Make a Supernova (participants... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

This activity introduces students to the visible light spectrum, and demonstrates what happens to the appearance of an image when certain wavelengths of light are blocked by filters or made visible using special tools. Students are lead through... (View More)

This manual provides an overview of how telescopes have changed our understanding of the universe and contains simple demonstrations to use at star parties to get across basic ideas of optics. This manual will also help explain why the images that... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

In this activity, students will learn how technology can help scientists solve a problem. One of the challenges scientists face with any spacecraft is attitude control. Students will be introduced to the problem of attitude control in space through... (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

This activity models grazing incidence reflection by using students as the “sea of electrons” provided generally by metallic bonding on the surface of a metal. A tossed ball is used to represent a photon of light and the ball tosser represents... (View More)

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

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

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)