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Educational Level:
Elementary school  
Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes  
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Learners will build a spectroscope and use it to observe various types of lights. This activity requires spectroscope kits, diffraction gratings and fluorescent and incandescent light sources. The kits are available for purchase in packs of 25 from... (View More)

Alaska Native (Inupiat) Elders and children living in northern Alaska share their experiences and stories about the northern lights (aurora borealis). The website features a 23 minute video and a series of shorter videos and interactive animations... (View More)

Students identify the actual colors of objects bathed in monochromatic light and learn how three colors of light can be combined to produce colors ranging from black to white. Students see how space observatories make use of monochromatic filters to... (View More)

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)

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)

In this activity, students demonstrate the relationship between wave frequency and energy in the electromagnetic spectrum by shaking a rope to identify the relationships. This activity is part of Unit 2 in the Space Based Astronomy guide that... (View More)

In this activity, students construct an analytical spectroscope and analyze the spectrum produced when various substances are heated or excited with electricity. This activity is part of Unit 2 in the Space Based Astronomy guide that contains... (View More)

Using a paper and tape device, students experience how atoms and molecules of gas in Earth’s atmosphere absorb electromagnetic energy through resonance. This activity is part of Unit 2 in the Space Based Astronomy guide that contains background... (View More)

In this activity, students simulate how light collected from a space object converts into binary data and reconverts into an image of the object. A pencil and paper activity demonstrates how astronomical spacecraft and computers create images of... (View More)

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