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In this demonstration activity, students make structural models of gas molecules using pipe cleaners and polystyrene balls and test their molecules for their resonant frequency. Students shake the models, count vibrations, and compare the resonance... (View More) frequencies of different gases. Students learn that photons of infrared energy vibrate at the right frequency to transfer their energy to carbon dioxide and methane, which in turn causes those molecules to vibrate, which is experienced in the real world as heat. The teacher's guide includes illustrative videos for this resource. This activity is supported by a textbook chapter, What's So Special about CO²?, part of the unit, Climate Change, in Global Systems Science (GSS), an interdisciplinary course for high school students that emphasizes how scientists from a wide variety of fields work together to understand significant problems of global impact. (View Less)

In this hands-on activity, students learn about the different realms of the Universe and explore their sizes and relative scales. They will be guided through a process that uncovers the immense sizes of the Sun, Solar System, Solar Neighborhood,... (View More) Milky Way, Local Group, Supercluster, and the observable Universe. The full version of this activity involves students doing simple math computations, however it can also be done without the math. There are some inexpensive materials involved, as well as a powerpoint presentation. It is intended for grades 8-12, but can be adapted down for lower grade levels. (View Less)

In this activity, students use mathematics to understand tides and gravitation and how gravity works across astronomical distances, using an apparatus made from a slinky, meter stick, and a hook. A description of the mathematical relationships seen... (View More) in the demonstration is included. The resource is from PUMAS - Practical Uses of Math and Science - a collection of brief examples created by scientists and engineers showing how math and science topics taught in K-12 classes have real world applications. (View Less)

The purpose of this lesson is to model for students gravitational waves and how they are created. Students will build a simple "Gravitational Wave Demonstrator" using inexpensive materials (plastic wrap, plastic cups, water, food coloring, and... (View More) rubber bands, marbles). Students should have a basic understanding of waves and be familiar with Einstein's theory of general relativity. The activity can be done either as a teacher demonstration or student activity. This lesson is part of the Cosmic Times teachers guide and is intended to be used in conjunction with the 1993 Cosmic Times Poster. (View Less)

This lesson uses a simple discrepant event to demonstrate the underlying cause for early miscalculation of the size of the Milky Way galaxy. By standardizing the Cepheid period-luminosity relationship without recognizing there were two types of... (View More) Cepheid variable stars with intrinsic differences in absolute magnitude, a distance calculation error occurred. Requires two lamps and two soft-white light bulbs: 25 watt and 60 watt (estimated materials cost is for light bulbs). This lesson is part of the Cosmic Times teachers guide and is intended to be used in conjunction with the 1955 Cosmic Times Poster. (View Less)

This resource describes the physics behind the formation of clouds, and provides a demonstration of those principles using a beaker, ice, a match, hot water, and a laser pointer. This resource is from PUMAS - Practical Uses of Math and Science - a... (View More) collection of brief examples created by scientists and engineers showing how math and science topics taught in K-12 classes have real world applications. (View Less)

In this experiment, students create a "lava lamp" - a beaker on a hotplate, and investigate buoyancy, convection and other fluid and thermodynamic properties using ink, water, vegetable oil and Alka-Seltzer tablets. The activity is from PUMAS -... (View More) Practical Uses of Math and Science - a collection of brief examples created by scientists and engineers showing how math and science topics taught in K-12 classes have real world applications. (View Less)

In this activity, students are introduced to the concept of remote sensing. In the course of this experiment, students will investigate heat conduction on two surfaces and understand the application of these techniques to spacecraft investigations... (View More) of surfaces in the solar system. Materials required for the outdoor demonstration include a cement step, sand, laboratory thermometers, foam rubber, and a meter stick. An optional indoor experimental set up uses twin desk lamps with equal-wattage tungsten bulbs and an infrared thermometer. A student datasheet accompanies the activity. This resource is from PUMAS - Practical Uses of Math and Science - a collection of brief examples created by scientists and engineers showing how math and science topics taught in K-12 classes have real world applications. (View Less)

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) can be determined using actual light curves from stellar occultation events. Includes adaptations for younger students and those with visual impairments. (View Less)

This is a lesson about water and water-ice. 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.... (View More) Activities include small group miming, speaking, drawing, and/or writing. This is lesson 2 of 12 in the unit, Exploring Ice in the Solar System. (View Less)