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Educational Level:
Grade 8  
Learning Time:
1 to 2 hours  
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Learners will investigate, discuss, and determine why humans have always explored the world (and now space) around them. Students determine these reasons for exploration through a class discussion. In the first activity, students use the Internet to... (View More)

In this lesson, students create a fictional narrative on the beginning of time. They use their scientific knowledge of the Big Bang Theory and go back into time to when it occurred so they can make observations about it. Students can select from... (View More)

In this lesson, students examine the idea of inflation in the Universe using rising raisin bread dough as a model for universal expansion. Students will read the Cosmic Times 1993 edition and use two articles: Pancake or Oatmeal Universe - What's... (View More)

In this lesson, students will explore the density of substances as a model for understanding the mass to light ratio as a predictor of dark matter. They will measure and calculate mass and volume to calculate the density of a foam ball. Students... (View More)

In this two-part investigation, students explore the concept of transits. In the first part, they discover that a transit is an event where one body crosses in front of another, like when a planet goes in front of a star. In the second part,... (View More)

Keywords: NSTA2013

This is a set of materials about spectroscopy, including a downloadable PowerPoint presentation and two demonstrations or activities. Learners will read and/or hear about the science of spectroscopy, what a spectrum is, and how spectroscopy is... (View More)

This lesson explores the relationship between the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere available for precipitation and actual precipitation levels. After accessing and graphing the satellite data on both water vapor and precipitation levels,... (View More)

Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

In this activity students are challenged to create a model of the universe in a single class period. This activity is designed to elicit student ideas and preconceptions about the contents and organization of the cosmos. Most students will be... (View More)

This is an activity about how the Sun can affect the Earth's atmosphere, specifically the ionosphere. Learners will use real data from a Sudden Ionosphere Disturbance Monitor, or SID Monitor, to identify the signatures in the graphed data that can... (View More)

This is an activity about identifying solar flares. Learners will cross-reference data collected from a Sudden Ionosphere Disturbance, or SID, Monitor, the GOES solar catalog, and SOHO spacecraft images of the Sun to identify solar flares coming... (View More)