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Stars, nebulae and galaxies  
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Role playing  
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SMD Forum - Primary:
Astrophysics  
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Using stickers created from the templates provided, students create a Venn diagram of objects in our solar system, our galaxy and the universe. This short activity can be used as a formative assessment.

Students will use the law of reflection to reflect a laser beam off multiple mirrors to hit a sticker in a shoebox. Since X-ray telescopes must use grazing angles to collect X-rays, students will design layouts with the largest possible angles of... (View More)

Students participate in a series of activities to discover how astronomers use computers to create images and understand data. No programming experience is required; students will use pencilcode.net to complete such activities as creating a color,... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school, Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

In this activity, children make a mobile of galaxies; patterns and instructions are included. It introduces the different shapes of galaxies and their nomenclature. Note that young children will need assistance from an adult or older child to safely... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: 1 cent - $1 per student

In this activity, students are reminded that the Universe is made up of elements and that the heavier elements are created inside of a star. They are then introduced to the life cycle of a star and how a star's mass affects its process of fusion and... (View More)

Students are introduced to the periodic table and the concept of atomic elements. The group discusses how all material in the Universe is composed of elements and that the atom is the smallest particle that still has the physical and chemical... (View More)

In this lesson, students will be introduced to how the Doppler effect changes our perception of wavelengths of sound (pitch) and light (color). Students will model how astronomers use the line spectra of stars to identify elements in the stars and... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Over $20 per group of students

In this lesson, students will investigate the Doppler Effect and discover how the same principle can be used to identify a possible tornado in storm clouds and investigate the rotation of distant galaxies. Students should be familiar with the... (View More)

In this activity, students compare two images of the Crab Nebula taken more than 40 years apart. By measuring the motion of some of the knots of glowing gas in the neubla, students will be able to determine the date of the supernova explosion that... (View More)

Students investigate magnetic fields in two and three dimensions, and compare the magnetic field of a pulsar to that of the Earth and other astronomical objects. This is Activity 3 of the Supernova Educator Guide developed by the XMM-Newton and... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: $1 - $5 per group of students
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