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Educational Level:
High school  
Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes  
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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)

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)

Learners will compare known elemental spectra with spectra of Titan and Saturn’s rings from a spectrometer aboard the NASA Cassini spacecraft. They identify the elements visible in the planetary and lunar spectra. The activity is part of Project... (View More)

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

In this experiment, students replicate a version of the 1800 experiment in which a form of radiation other than visible light was discovered by the famous astronomer Sir Frederick William Herschel. Students use glass prisms, thermometers, and... (View More)

In this activity, learners will explore the properties of color filters and filter bandpass by observing light sources using diffraction grating and color filters and create a graph of percent transmission versus wavelength to characterize the... (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 is an activity about polarized light. Learners will use a polarizing filter to build and calibrate a simple polarimeter, use the constructed polarimeter to find sources of polarized light, and measure the angle of polarization of polarized... (View More)

In this activity, students explore images taken with telescopes sensitive to several different wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum. Students compare the images to determine that light carries information about physical features in the... (View More)

Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free
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