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Educational Level:
Middle school  
Learning Time:
30 to 45 minutes  
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This is a lesson about using the light from the star during an occultation event to identify the atmosphere of a planet. Learners will add and subtract light curves (presented as a series of geometrical shapes) to understand how this could occur.... (View More)

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 an activity about how the Earth's axial tilt causes its seasons. Learners will make a model using polystyrene spheres and a light bulb to represent the Earth-Sun system, showing why the tilt of the Earth’s spin axis causes its seasons due... (View More)

Keywords: NSTA2013
Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: $1 - $5 per student

This interactive, online activity introduces students to the electromagnetic spectrum. Students view the electromagnetic spectrum in its entirety and become familiar with the characteristics of waves. Images of the sun in different wavelengths of... (View More)

Keywords: Light and color
Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

This interactive, online activity introduces the idea that everything emits electromagnetic radiation, including students. Students discover how the light emitted from an object (a robot) changes as the object is heated. A graph shows the amount of... (View More)

Keywords: light and color
Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

In this lesson, students explore the visible light spectrum using a flashlight and red, blue and green theatrical gels or cellophane. They also record data on a worksheet, and learn about mixing wavelengths of light. A student worksheet, data sheet,... (View More)

This is an activity about the Doppler effect. Learners begin by simulating the noise made by a passing siren. After learning that the change in pitch results from movement, they investigate the definition of frequency, calculate change in frequency,... (View More)

This modular activity traces the history of telescope development and highlights the interplay between technological and scientific advances. Milestones in telescope development are highlighted in the ten sections called "eras," with specific... (View More)

Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

This modular activity introduces five major pre-requisite ideas: the electromagnetic spectrum, three ways to alter the path of light, refraction by lenses vs. reflection by mirrors, what telescopes do, and what makes a good telescope. Students can... (View More)

Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

This science news story highlights Hubble's infrared image of the Horsehead Nebula. Students will discover why astronomers are interested in this nebula and how they study the nebula using infrared light. Star Witness News is a series of articles,... (View More)

Keywords: Reading
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