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High school  
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Learners will explore different ways of displaying visual spectra, including colored "barcode" spectra, like those produced by a diffraction grating, and line plots displaying intensity versus color, or wavelength. Students learn that a diffraction... (View More)

This is a set of materials about spectroscopy, including a downloadable PowerPoint presentation and two demonstrations or activities. Learners will read and/or hear about the science of spectroscopy, what a spectrum is, and how spectroscopy is... (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)

This demonstration shows that similar-appearing lights can be distinctly different, suggesting that the light emitted is generated in different ways. It requires some advance preparation/setup by the teacher and three recommended sources of orange... (View More)

This textbook chapter traces the historical development of the modern scientific understanding of light, and reviews the electromagnetic spectrum and the Earth's atmospheric shield. The resource includes links to current news articles, and a suite... (View More)

In this activity, students experience a demonstration of light scattering that explains the blue colors in the Intersetllar Medium (ISM) nebulae, and the reddening of stars viewed through the ISM. It also explains the blue appearance of the sky on... (View More)

Audience: High school, Higher education
Materials Cost: $1 - $5

Traditionally, spectral images are two dimensional, and related to text. This kinesthetic activity has groups of students position themselves along a printed spectrum to make spectral patterns and model various elements. Includes photos, teachers... (View More)

This is a lesson about detecting atmospheres of planets. Learners will explore stellar occultation events (by interpreting light curves) to determine if an imaginary dwarf planet "Snorkzat" has an atmosphere. The activity is part of Project Spectra,... (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

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)

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