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This model aims to help illustrate the purpose and methodology of NASA's Kepler mission. It includes (1) a hand-cranked or motorized orrery (moving model of a planet system) made of LEGO parts, (2) a light sensor representing the Kepler photometer,... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

This is an activity about how light travels. Learners will perform two experiments. The first explores blocking light to create shadows. The second asks learners to use mirrors to figure out that light travels in a straight line. This is Activity 4... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: $5 - $10

Through the use of prisms and glue sticks, this activity introduces students to a fundamental property of light: white light is made up of colors representing different wavelengths. Students use the results of the activity to explain the variation... (View More)

Learners will use a spectrograph to gather data about light sources. Using the data they’ve collected, students are able to make comparisons between different light sources and make conjectures about the composition of a mystery light source. The... (View More)

In this activity, students study the range of colors in a visible light spectrum created from either a glass prism or holographic diffraction grating. This activity is in unit 2 of the "Space-Based Astronomy" guide that contains background... (View More)

Students determine the ability of various lenses and mirrors to gather light in order to compare and calculate their light gathering power. This activity is part of Unit 3 in the Space Based Astronomy guide that contains background information,... (View More)

This lesson provides a way for students to determine the relationship between the distance from a light source and its brightness. Once students discover the relationship, they can begin to understand how astronomers use this knowledge to determine... (View More)

In this activity about spectroscopy, learners build a spectroscope, learn about graphing spectra, and then identify elements in gas tubes using their spectra. The activity concludes as learners graph the spectra of different materials. Essential... (View More)

In this lesson, students are introduced to the electromagnetic spectrum. They observe a demonstration of the visible light spectrum created by a flashlight and a prism, complete an activity sheet where they identify the wavelength that is involved... (View More)

This activity introduces students to the visible light spectrum, and demonstrates what happens to the appearance of an image when certain wavelengths of light are blocked by filters or made visible using special tools. Students are lead through... (View More)