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In this activity, students will use a simulator of an orbiting X-ray observatory to observe a supernova remnant, the expanding gas from an exploded star. They will take X-ray spectral data, analyze them, and answer questions based on that data. This... (View More)

In this learning activity, students compare changes in insolation with changes in surface temperature in the polar regions using scientific visualizations of global data sets. Links to readings related to the shrinking ice cap and albedo are... (View More)

In this learning activity, students compare polar data from the Arctic and Antarctic, explore Earth’s albedo and its effect on arctic sea ice, and examine graphed data and scientific visualizations of remotely-sensed satellite data. Readings... (View More)

In this activity, students analyze regions of sea ice using data and ImageJ software. They measure ice mass and calculate effective albedo, and plot changes in solar energy and water/ice cover percentages. This is part 4 of a four-part activity on... (View More)

Learners will explore the concept of parallax (the apparent displacement of an object caused by a change in the viewer's position) and then simulate the discovery of Pluto with a Blink Comparator via an online interactive.

Audience: Elementary school, Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

In this activity, student teams design small-scale physical models of hot and cold planets, (Venus and Mars), and learn that small scale models allow researchers to determine how much larger systems function. There is both a team challenge and... (View More)

In this activity, students build a simple computer model to determine the black body surface temperature of planets in our solar system: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. Experiments altering the luminosity and... (View More)

Students explore how mathematical descriptions of the physical environment can be fine-tuned through testing using data. In this activity, student teams obtain satellite data measuring the Earth's albedo, and then input this data into a... (View More)

In this activity, students explore the importance of adequate sampling strategies when conducting a scientific investigation. They are tasked with determining the average temperature of the Earth, using data sets easily found on the Internet, and... (View More)

This online, interactive activity challenges students to use image and text-based clues to identify solar system objects. This activity has a game-like format during which students collect cards that depict solar system objects such as planets,... (View More)