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Educational Level:
High school  
Instructional Strategies:
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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 hands-on experiment, students will investigate the basic principle of photosynthesis and learn how light intensity diminishes as a function of distance from the light source. Questions help learners connect these two ideas to determine if... (View More)

Learners will look at various light sources (including glow sticks and Christmas lights) and make conjectures about their composition. The activity is part of Project Spectra, a science and engineering program for middle-high school students,... (View More)

Learners will build and decorate their own spectrographs using simple materials and holographic diffraction gratings. After building the spectrographs, they observe the spectra of different light sources. Requires advance preparation to spray-paint... (View More)

This is a math-science integrated unit about spectrographs. Learners will find and calculate the angle that light is transmitted through a holographic diffraction grating using trigonometry. After finding this angle, the students will build their... (View More)

Audience: High school

This is a lesson about determining planetary composition. Learners will use a reflectometer to determine which minerals are present (from a set of knowns) in a sample of Mars soil simulant. Requires the use of ALTA II spectrometers (which may be... (View More)

This is an online lesson associated with activities during Solar Week, a twice-yearly event in March and October during which classrooms are able to interact with scientists studying the Sun. This activity is scheduled to occur during Monday of... (View More)

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 observe the surface of rotating potatoes to help them understand how astronomers can sometimes determine the shape of asteroids from variations in reflective brightness.

In this activity, students learn that infrared light is reflected in the same manner as visible light. Students align a series of mirrors so that they can turn on a TV with a remote control when the remote is not in a direct line with the TV. As a... (View More)

Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free
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