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Instructional Strategies:
Hands-on learning  
Educational Level:
Grade 7  
Topics/Subjects:
Earth structure  
Solar system  
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This is an activity about electromagnetism and the Sun. First, learners will do a KWL activity using six vocabulary words. Next, they will build an electromagnet and investigate how it works. Finally, learners will relate the workings of their... (View More)

This paper model shows the orbit of Comet ISON (late 2013) with respect to the innermost planets of the solar system. After reading background information about comets - how they form and where they come from - students cut out and tape together the... (View More)

This is an activity that compares the magnetic field of the Earth to the complex magnetic field of the Sun. Using images of the Earth and Sun that have magnets attached in appropriate orientations, learners will use a handheld magnetic field... (View More)

This 12-lesson unit includes inquiry-based lessons about the surface features of the Moon and the Earth and how these two worlds formed and continue to evolve. Students participate in real science as they help lunar scientists map the surface of the... (View More)

This is a lesson about using the light from the star during an occultation event to identify the atmosphere of a planet. Learners will add and subtract light curves (presented as a series of geometrical shapes) to understand how this could occur.... (View More)

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 an activity about sunlight as an energy source. Learners will create a plant box and observe that a plant will grow toward the Sun, its primary source of energy. This hands-on activity is an additional lesson as part of the book, The Day... (View More)

In this activity about magnetic fields and their relation to the Sun, learners will simulate sunspots by using iron filings to show magnetic fields around a bar or cow magnet, and draw the magnetic field surrounding two dipole magnets, both in... (View More)

This is an activity about observing and mapping sunspots by direct solar observation. Learners will use a small telescope, binoculars, or a Sunspotter to create a projected image of the Sun and trace the position of any observed sunspots on a piece... (View More)

In this lesson, students observe the surface of rotating potatoes to help them understand how astronomers can sometimes determine the shape of asteroids from variations in reflective brightness.

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