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In this activity, students examine the first line of evidence, galactic motion, for the notion of an expanding universe. By examining the spectrum of light from a galaxy, students can determine whether a galaxy is moving toward or away from us, and... (View More)

Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

This lesson will help students understand the cultural nature of scientific research. Students explore famous scientists, their theories, places of origin, and their culture. They document scientific viewpoints of famous scientists throughout... (View More)

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 will model the time after the Big Bang when the first nuclei of hydrogen and helium were created. The students will move and display cards that show the elements that are formed. This activity requires a large area - e.g.,... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

This paper model airplane is designed to resemble the Swift bird, and conveys information about NASA's Swift gamma-ray burst Explorer mission.

In this activity, students will discover how mass is distributed in the solar system and a galaxy by using kitty litter. Students compare the distribution of mass in a solar system to the distribution of mass in a galaxy. This is Activity 6a in the... (View More)

This activity is a kinesthetic exercise for students to experience rotation curves for themselves. The students are divided into two groups; one group will participate in the activity, while the other observes. The groups should switch for different... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

In this activity, students determine the direction to a gamma ray burst using the times it is detected by three different spacecraft located somewhere in the solar system. We assume that all the spacecraft are in the plane of the Earth's orbit... (View More)

Audience: High school

In this hands-on activity, students analyze the data on Mystery Object Cards, observe that astronomical objects have many observable properties, and discover that these properties allow scientists to categorize astronomical objects into different... (View More)

This lesson is comprised of three parts grouped to enable student understanding of classifying organisms. In part one of the lesson, students classify imaginary organisms represented by a mix of breakfast cereals, candies, nuts, raisins, etc.... (View More)