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Instructor guide/manual  
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The nature of science  
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This is a unit in 6 sessions about the seasons on earth. Learners will investigate the reason for seasons on earth. They will look at the circular orbit of earth, year-long temperature and daylight hours across different latitudes, compare models of... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

This is a unit of 8 sessions about the Sun-Earth system. Learners will construct a model to show the relative size and scale of the Sun-Earth system, investigate the visible and electromagnetic spectrums, discuss solar flares and solar weather,... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

This is a unit in 11 sessions about the solar system. Learners will explore the terms planet and moon, they will sort and classify various solar system bodies into categories, and use this context to discuss if Pluto is a planet. They will also... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

This is a unit in 7-8 sessions about objects outside of our solar system, including galaxies and the universe. Learners will investigate the contents of the universe, why light years are used to measure distances in space, the lifespan of a star,... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

This activity is designed to introduce students to planetary geologic features and processes. First, students will use NASA satellite images to identify geologic surface features on the "Blue Marble" (Earth), and will explore the connection between... (View More)

In this science literacy extension students read and analyze two different articles about XMM-Newton discoveries involving neutron stars and their magnetic fields. This is Activity 4 of the Supernova Guide developed by the XMM-Newton and GLAST E/PO... (View More)

This is a lesson about using analogues to look for life on other planets. Learners will use the results of previous lessons to write a scientific proposal to explore another planet or moon in our solar system for signs of life. This proposal should... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

Using weather data from both satellite and ground-based observations, this lesson challenges students to select a site location for a hypothetical mountain retreat. Students must determine and then justify a building site after gathering, graphing... (View More)

Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

This image sorting assessment activity stimulates a discussion about what students know and don't know about the relative ages of objects in the universe, and about how those ages can be determined. By physically manipulating objects and images of... (View More)

This is a series of hands-on activities comprised of fieldwork and lab work about the basics of soil science. Learners record soil context descriptions, measure soil moisture, describe soil color, structure, consistency, and texture and conduct... (View More)