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Instructional Strategies:
Hands-on learning  
Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes  
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Learners will explore spacecraft radio communications concepts, including the speed of light and the time-delay for signals sent to and from spacecraft. Learners measure the time it takes for a radio signal to travel to a spacecraft using the speed... (View More)

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

This is an activity about size and scale. Learners will create and walk through a distance scale model of the size of the Solar System. This activity requires a straight line distance of approximately 295 meters (300 yards).

Audience: Elementary school

Assuming the role of a meteorologist, students will proclaim one month as "Thunderstorm season" for their chosen study area. This decision will be based on analysis of deep convective cloud data downloaded from the Live Access Server. This lesson... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school
Materials Cost: Free

In this hands-on activity, learners will build a solar cooker by lining a box with reflective material and adding a translucent cover. The cooker can be used to make food products. This activity recommends use of empty (clean) pizza boxes. This... (View More)

Students examine CERES radiation data to understand how the Earth's tilt causes seasonal differences in incoming solar energy, and to explore how clouds, deserts and ice modulate the reflection of energy from the Sun. The investigation is conducted... (View More)

In this lesson plan, students participate in a hands-on activity using a plastic bottle and other simple ingredients to learn the three factors required for cloud formation. Detailed Procedure and materials, vocabulary linked to an on-line glossary,... (View More)

Keywords: Clouds

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)

Cloud cover is a fundamental observation in the S'COOL project. The ability to reasonably estimate the percentage of cloud cover is introduced and practiced in this activity. The Students' Cloud Observations On-Line (S'COOL) project engages students... (View More)

Students are introduced to the periodic table and the concept of atomic elements. The group discusses how all material in the Universe is composed of elements and that the atom is the smallest particle that still has the physical and chemical... (View More)

Students are introduced to the scientific tool of spectroscopy. They each build a simple spectroscope to examine the light from different light sources, particularly the Sun (Warning: Do not look directly at the Sun) and artificial lights (e.g.,... (View More)