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Informal education  
Middle school  
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This is an activity about how the Earth's axial tilt causes its seasons. Learners will make a model using polystyrene spheres and a light bulb to represent the Earth-Sun system, showing why the tilt of the Earth’s spin axis causes its seasons due... (View More)

Keywords: NSTA2013
Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: $1 - $5 per student

In this activity, students learn that light carries information. Students also discover that infrared (IR) radiation is a form of light that in some cases behaves like visible light and in other cases behaves very differently. For example, some... (View More)

In this lesson, students explore how eclipses happen and why Einstein needed a total eclipse to image stars near the Sun in order to demonstrate how the Sun's mass bends the light from a far away star. Using a foam ball and a lamp, learners create a... (View More)

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

In this lesson, students will explore the density of substances as a model for understanding the mass to light ratio as a predictor of dark matter. They will measure and calculate mass and volume to calculate the density of a foam ball. Students... (View More)

This is a lesson about the connection between meteorites and asteroids, focusing on remote-sensing techniques using light. Learners will make and record observations and measurements; analyze data and draw analogies; compare samples; measure and... (View More)

This is a lesson about the electromagnetic spectrum. Learners begin by arranging a set of picture cards; in the discussion afterwards, this activity is related to the electromagnetic spectrum as an arrangement of energy waves. Next, using a... (View More)

Students simulate the process of remote sensing by using common materials to represent Earth’s different ground coverings and a light meter to represent satellite instruments. The concept of albedo and its importance in Earth’s radiation budget... (View More)

In this lesson, learners will discover how certain snakes (pit-vipers) can find prey using a natural infrared sensor and will extend their understandings by exploring infrared technology applications. The lesson features background information for... (View More)

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

In this introductory activity, learners investigate and discuss infrared images of various everyday objects, such as toasters, hairdryers, and running water, to learn about infrared imaging. Student questions about the false-color images help guide... (View More)

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