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**Earth and space science**

**Astronomy**

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Learners will shrink the scale of the solar system to the size of their neighborhood and compare the relative sizes of scale models of the planets, two dwarf planets, and a comet as represented by fruits and other foods. This activity requires... (View More) access to a large indoor or outdoor space (measuring at least 190 feet wide) where the children can model the orbit of Mercury around the Sun. It is part of Explore! Jupiter's Family Secrets, a series designed to engage children in space and planetary science in libraries and informal learning environments. (View Less)

In this hands-on activity, students learn about the different realms of the Universe and explore their sizes and relative scales. They will be guided through a process that uncovers the immense sizes of the Sun, Solar System, Solar Neighborhood,... (View More) Milky Way, Local Group, Supercluster, and the observable Universe. The full version of this activity involves students doing simple math computations, however it can also be done without the math. There are some inexpensive materials involved, as well as a powerpoint presentation. It is intended for grades 8-12, but can be adapted down for lower grade levels. (View Less)

Students will learn about the Spitzer Infrared Observatory and a recently observed dust ring around Saturn through reading a NASA press release and viewing a NASA video segment. Then students will use scientific notation to perform calculations to... (View More) understand the size, mass, and volume of dust and the new dust ring. Common Core State Standards for Mathematics and English Language Arts are identified. This activity is part of the Space Math multi-media modules that integrate NASA press releases, NASA archival video, and mathematics problems targeted at specific math standards commonly encountered in middle school textbooks. The modules cover specific math topics at multiple levels of difficulty with real-world data and use the 5E instructional sequence. (View Less)

This is a reading strategy guide in a series of guides that utilizes articles from the Great Explorations in Math and Science (GEMS) program. These strategy guides provide teachers of middle school students with a reading strategy (in this case,... (View More) Teaching How Scientists Use Models) and supplemental resources, background information on that strategy, connections to standards, classroom implementation techniques, tips for utilizing this strategy with students with dyslexia, and a two-page reading based on a particular space science concept. The reading incorporated into this strategy guide, WHAT MAKES UP MOST OF THE SOLAR SYSTEM, introduces students to the idea that most of the Solar System is made up of empty space. This strategy guide is also mapped to the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts Literacy in Science & Technical Subjects, Grades 6-8. (View Less)

This is a reading strategy guide in a series of guides that utilizes articles from the Great Explorations in Math and Science (GEMS) program. These strategy guides provide teachers of middle school students with a reading strategy (in this case,... (View More) Teaching Time-Order Text Structure) and supplemental resources, background information on that strategy, connections to standards, classroom implementation techniques, tips for utilizing this strategy with students with dyslexia, and a two-page reading based on a particular space science concept. The reading incorporated into this strategy guide, "Understanding the Scale of the Universe," reports key historical points in the development of scientists' expanding ideas of the vastness of space. This strategy guide is also mapped to the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts Literacy in Science & Technical Subjects, Grades 6-8. (View Less)

The 9-session NASA Family Science Night program emables middle school children and their families to discover the wide variety of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics being performed at NASA and in everyday life. Family Science Night... (View More) programs explore various themes on the Sun, the Moon, the Stars, and the Universe through fun, hands-on activities, including at-home experiments. Instructions for obtaining the facilitator's guide are available on the Family Science Night site. (View Less)

This lesson provides a way for students to determine the relationship between the distance from a light source and its brightness. Once students discover the relationship, they can begin to understand how astronomers use this knowledge to determine... (View More) the distances to stars and far away galaxies. (View Less)

This is a lesson about the electromagnetic spectrum. Learners begin by arranging a set of picture cards; in the discussion afterwards, this activity is related to the electromagnetic spectrum as an arrangement of energy waves. Next, using a... (View More) clothesline to model a logarithmic scale, they add in the electromagnetic spectrum. Finally, learners conduct several simple tests to detect other types of radiation. This activity requires access to a sunny outdoor location and the use of ultraviolet light-sensitive beads. (View Less)

This is an activity about perspective. Learners will examine pictures of objects up close and far away to try and figure out what they are. Then, given an image of a star and the Sun and through discussion about the differences and similarities of... (View More) seeing objects up close, learners will use the concept of perspective to relate our nearby Sun to the stars that appear as small points of light in our sky. (View Less)

This resource gives an impression of how immense our Universe is by employing a method used many times in "Power of 10" films - that is, starting with an image of the Earth and then zooming out towards the furthest visible reaches of our Universe.... (View More) This is not, however, an exercise in "powers of 10" - on the contrary, the goal is to show astronomical distances without scientific notation. It focuses on the large number of zeros that are in astronomical distances which are then measured with a familiar unit like the kilometer. The number of zeros increase with each zoom, though not at a constant rate. This resource was written because many people do not realize how spectacularly far away the "nearest" astronomical objects are. (View Less)