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This series of investigative activities for Cadette Girl Scouts begins with an overview of our inner solar system, emphasizes the planetary histories of Mars, Earth and Venus, then concludes with evidence for the greenhouse effect on Earth. The... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

This is an interactive, real-time display system of space science images and data designed for museums and schools. The program displays hundreds of images and movies from space science research, all documented, with web references of how to find... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

Explore the size relationship between the sun and Earth by using tape and stickers. Learners estimate, then place and count the number of one-inch diameter stickers (representing Earths) that would fit across the diameter of a nine-foot circle of... (View More)

Explore lunar phases as viewed from Earth using paper plates. While standing in the appropriate spot in the moon's orbit, students hold paper plates that depict the Moon's phase. This activity can be used to assess understanding of lunar phases or... (View More)

Using an online interactive platform, learners will explore our solar system from the perspective of the Sun. They will observe the motion of different worlds to determine their location in the solar system. Then they will launch probes to search... (View More)

This afterschool curriculum includes six lessons plus supplementary materials (e.g., videos, PowerPoint presentations, and images) that explore how light from the electromagnetic spectrum is used as a tool for learning about the Sun. The curriculum... (View More)

This software package displays movies and images of the aurora and the Sun in various wavelengths from the ground and from NASA spacecraft; a tutorial about what space weather is and how the aurora is formed; and more. Users will also find real-time... (View More)

Keywords: Space weather; Auroras
Audience: High school, Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

This is the first module in the Solar Dynamic Observatory (SDO) Project Suite curriculum. Activities are self-directed by students or student teams using online videos and data from the SDO satellite to explore, research and build knowledge about... (View More)

Keywords: Sunspots
Audience: Middle school, Informal education
Materials Cost: $1 - $5

This is the second module in the Solar Dynamic Observatory (SDO) Project Suite curriculum. Each activity is self-directed by students or student teams and uses online videos, data from the SDO satellite and hands-on activities to explore, research... (View More)

This is the third module in the Solar Dynamic Observatory (SDO) Project Suite curriculum. Each activity is self-directed by students or student teams and utilizes online videos, data from the SDO satellite and hands-on activities to explore,... (View More)

Microscopic meteorites routinely reach Earth's surface. While challenging to find and identify, this activity provides techniques for searching for them in the local environment.

This series of ten lessons has been developed to teach students about local and global water issues. They are based on NASA’s Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Mission. The activities are done largely outdoors and include scientific data... (View More)

Each lesson or activity in this toolkit is related to NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). The toolkit is designed so that each lesson can be done independently, or combined and taught in a sequence. The Teacher Implementation Guide provides... (View More)

This poster features NASA's Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission. The front features an image of the GPM Core Observatory satellite along with the constellation of satellites that will accompany it. Background information is provided on... (View More)

The total amount of water on Earth, the places in which it is found and the percentages of fresh vs. salt are examined in this lesson. A short demonstration allows students to visualize the percentage differences and a coloring exercise illustrates... (View More)

Intended for use prior to viewing the Science on a Sphere film "Water Falls," this lesson introduces students to Earth's water cycle and the importance of freshwater resources.

Intended for use after viewing the Science on a Sphere film "Water Falls," this lesson deepens student's understanding of global precipitation measurement. Students will explore NASA satellite data gathered during Hurricane Sandy to learn how that... (View More)

This is an activity about color. Participants will use scientific practices to investigate answers to questions involving the color of the sky, sunsets, the Sun, and oceans. This activity requires use of a clear acrylic or glass container to hold... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

In this activity, participants learn about the atmosphere by making observations and taking measurements. They will go outside and use scientific equipment to collect atmospheric moisture data (temperature, relative humidity, precipitation and cloud... (View More)

In this activity, participants learn about the geosphere by making observations and taking measurements. They will go outside and use scientific equipment to investigate water in the soil by measuring soil moisture, temperature, color and... (View More)

After making observations of their natural surroundings, students uncover the intricate relationships between the atmosphere, biosphere, geosphere and hydrosphere. This introductory lesson uses the 5E instructional model. All background information,... (View More)

This lesson was developed to give participants an understanding of Earth's water cycle. In this one-hour long activity, students participate in a webquest to learn about the water cycle, and then build a mini-model of the water cycle to observe how... (View More)

Water is essential to Earth's living system, the biosphere. In this lesson, students determine the types of living things within an outdoor study site, use a taxonomic key to determine the predominant land cover type of their site, then predict the... (View More)

In this activity, participants learn about the hydrosphere by making observations and taking measurements. They will go outside and use scientific equipment to investigate temperature, pH and transparency of a body of water. They will use this... (View More)

This activity was developed to get students thinking about the many ways that people use freshwater and how we can conserve this precious and fundamental natural resource. Students will watch a short documentary describing issues related to clean... (View More)

Students will design, build and then test a rain gauge to measure precipitation. By sharing their results, they will recognize the need for standardization and precision in scientific tools. All background information, student worksheets and... (View More)

This is an activity about scale. Participants will arrange imagery of Earth and many other space objects in order of their size from smallest to largest, their distance from Earth's surface, their temperature from coolest to hottest, and/or their... (View More)

Learners go outside on a clear evening and view the sky to see the Moon for themselves. Using sky charts, children navigate the Moon’s impact craters, flat plains (maria), and mountains with the naked eye and binoculars or telescopes. This outdoor... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

Learners use a Styrofoam ball, sunlight, and the motions of their bodies to model the Moon's phases outdoors. An extension is to have children predict future Moon phases. This activity is part of Explore! Marvel Moon, a series of activities... (View More)

This is an activity about the tides. Learners discover how the Moon's gravitational pull causes the level of the ocean to rise and fall twice a day along most coastlines. Six children represent the oceans, solid Earth, Moon, and Sun and move their... (View More)

Learners explore Earth's rotation and the Moon's role in our 24-hour day, using their bodies to explore and model the Earth's daily motions in this kinethetic exploration. They relate the motion of the Earth about its axis (rotation) to the... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

This is an activity about the Moon's formation, changes over time, gravitational connection to Earth, or influence on our culture and urban legends. Learners share their learning by creating zines: small, self-published magazines inexpensively... (View More)

This is an activity about Lunar samples. Learners will see snapshots of the Moon's history and hold an important artifact of American history with a Lunar Sample Disk. Earth rocks and soil of similar types as the lunar samples may be provided and... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

Learners model how Earth's tilt creates the seasons. They use their bodies to review the Earth's daily motions before investigating the reason for Earth's seasons in this kinesthetic exploration. The motion of the Earth about its axis (rotation) and... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

This lesson includes a demonstration to show why the sky is blue and why sunsets and sunrises are orange. Learners will use scientific practices to investigate answers to questions involving the color of the sky, sunsets, the Sun, and oceans.... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

This is an activity about the Moon's influence on Earth. Learners think like a scientist - with reasoning skills and a healthy amount of skepticism - to sort puzzle pieces containing statements about the Moon into two images. The "Far-out Far Side"... (View More)

Learners model how impacts throughout the Moon's history have broken rocks down into a mixture of dust, rocks, and boulders that covers the lunar surface. They consider how the dust will continue to hold a record of human exploration - in the form... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

Learners create art inspired by authentic NASA planetary image data while learning to recognize the geology on planetary surfaces, uniquely inspiring learner engagement. This presentation and accompanying activity use the elements of art - shape,... (View More)

This is a collection of outreach resources about the Sun that are meant to be used in informal education settings. This toolkit was originally designed for NASA Night Sky Network member clubs and the Astronomical Society of the Pacific's Astronomy... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

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)

Audience: Informal education

This is an activity about albedo, which is a measurement of the reflectance of a planetary surface. Learners will classify areas on an image in terms of albedo values and then sketch their own portion of an image from space. These sketches are... (View More)

Learners will create a physical timeline of comet appearances in art and literature throughout history. Participants use a set of photos depicting comets in art images and science missions and place the images in chronological order, while learning... (View More)

This is an activity about magnetism. In this activity, polystyrene spheres and several strong neodymium magnets are used to represent the Sun and Earth and their distinct magnetic fields. Participants construct and use a field detector to predict... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

This is a lesson about the Discovery Program's exploration of the solar system. Learners will identify and communicate to others the varied space science explorations carried out by the Discovery Program and dig into one mission in depth. They can... (View More)

Learners will explore the physical characteristics of comets by reaching into a series of boxes and feeling the materials and structures within. They will describe what they observe and speculate on comet characteristics being modeled in each box,... (View More)

This is an activity about boundaries. Participants will imagine they have taken a journey from Earth through the Solar System out into the Milky Way Galaxy. Using images on the front of the My Place in Space lithograph, they will write or draw on... (View More)

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

This is an activity about the states of matter. Learners will participate in a demonstration to reintroduce them to three states of matter: solid, liquid, and gas. The demonstration also introduces them to a fourth state of matter, plasma, through... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Over $20

This Hubble Space Telescope image of galaxies appears to form the number 10. The text describes the image and provides a brief explanation of why astronomer Halton Arp compiled his catalogue of odd-looking galaxies in the 1960s. In the accompanying... (View More)

Audience: High school, Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

In this lesson, students observe the surface of rotating potatoes to help them understand how astronomers can sometimes determine the shape of asteroids from variations in reflective brightness.

In this final lesson of the Dancing Lights curriculum, students will reflect on and discuss what they learned about the aurora. First, students will compare what they know now with what they knew at the beginning of the program, and discuss their... (View More)

This is an activity about the the functioning of the Interstellar Boundary Explorer, or IBEX, spacecraft. Learners will participate in an interactive demonstration to illustrate how the IBEX spacecraft uses its particle detectors to collect and sort... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

This is an engineering design challenge activity. Learners will use balloons to investigate how a multi-stage rocket, like that used to launch the Interstellar Boundary Explorer, or IBEX, spacecraft, can propel a satellite to a specific orbit.... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

This is a lesson about the states of matter. Learners will participate in a kinesthetic activity to reintroduce them to three states of matter, solid, liquid, and gas and introduce them to a fourth state of matter, plasma, its connection to the Sun,... (View More)

The Hubble Ultra Deep Field lithograph shows the deepest visible light observation of the early universe. In vibrant contrast to the image's rich harvest of classic spiral and elliptical galaxies, there is a zoo of oddball galaxies littering the... (View More)

This Hubble Space Telescope image shows the diversity of galaxies in the universe. A huge elliptical galaxy, designated ESO 325-G004, dominates the image. In addition to many elliptical and spiral galaxies, the image contains a few small irregular... (View More)

The lithograph contains a Hubble Space Telescope image that shows the colorful Planetary Nebula NGC 2440 with one of the hottest known white dwarf stars at its center. The text briefly explains the process of stellar death of sun-like stars and... (View More)

Audience: High school, Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

This resource complements a planetarium experience. However, the accompanying educator's guide and companion guides - with lessons on observing and investigating the Moon - are available to download for independent classroom use. The hands-on... (View More)

This is an activity about ultraviolet light. Learners will make ultraviolet light detector bracelets and use them to experiment with artificial light and sunlight. Then, they experiment with various sun-blocking materials to see how such materials... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: $5 - $10

This is an activity about modeling the apparent motion of the Sun as seen from Earth. Learners will use a flashlight, toothpick, and styrofoam model Sun to mimic the relative shadow motion produced by a sundial. The activity will help learners... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: $1 - $5

This is an activity about comparing images of the Sun in different wavelengths of light. Learners will examine solar images taken by the SOHO spacecraft to look for differences in the features that are visible in the various wavelengths of light.... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

This is an activity about light and shadow. Learners will make outdoor sundials. They will use the sundial and the length of the shadow that is cast to explore the relationship between the size and position of the shadows and the position of the Sun... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

This is an activity about light. Learners will make their own spectroscopes from easily obtainable materials and use prisms to observe different types of white light sources to see the colors that form the visible light spectrum. This is Activity 2... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: $5 - $10

This is an activity about comparing images of the Sun in different wavelengths of light. Learners will examine solar images taken by the SOHO spacecraft to look for differences in the features that are visible in the various wavelengths of light.... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

This is an activity about how light travels. Learners will perform two experiments. The first explores blocking light to create shadows. The second asks learners to use mirrors to figure out that light travels in a straight line. This is Activity 4... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: $5 - $10

This is an activity about what individuals already know about the Sun. Learners will brainstorm and share with the group their prior knowledge about the Sun. This is Activity 1 of the Sun As a Star afterschool curriculum.

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

In this activity, a three-part questionnaire launches students on discussions about where objects in space are located, and when they formed. By physically manipulating images of objects in space, students represent their own mental models of space... (View More)

This is an activity about measuring angular size and understanding the solar and lunar proportions that result in solar eclipses. Learners will use triangles and proportions to create a shoebox eclipse simulator. They will then apply what they learn... (View More)

This online activity introduces the importance of meteorites to the understanding of the origin of the Solar System. Learners will use a key to determine if samples are meteorites. Finding meteorites can be difficult because most meteorites look... (View More)

Learners will use trays of sand and cups of water to recreate surface features seen in images of Mars. This is activity 5 of 9 in Mars and Earth: Science Learning Activities for After School. Note: The Mars image set that is needed to do this... (View More)

Keywords: Mars

This is an activity about image analysis. Learners will create a map of the room and discuss the perspectives shown in their drawings and how this relates to satelite images. Participants brainstorm a list of features that might be recognizable in... (View More)

Learners will compare satellite images of Mars and Earth to look for similar features. Then they brainstorm a list of forces or events that could have caused some of these features to form on Mars. This is activity 3 of 9 in Mars and Earth: Science... (View More)

This is an activity about modeling the effect of wind on a sandy surface. Learners will use trays of sand and straws to recreate surface features of images of Mars. Participants test their ideas about how some of the features on Mars might have been... (View More)

Keywords: Mars

This is an activity about modeling and the scientific process. Learners will discuss the models they created in the previous three activities as models of forces that shape the surface of planets, and talk about the similarities and differences... (View More)

Keywords: Mars

Learners will use a variety of resources to conduct research to try to find answers to the questions they generated in previous activities. They continue to work the way scientists do by communicating what they learned from their research about Mars... (View More)

Keywords: Mars

Learners will compare images of planets and select one planet to visit and tell the tale of their visit through a comic strip. This is activity 9 of 9 in Mars and Earth: Science Learning Activities for After School. Note: The Solar System Litho... (View More)

Keywords: Mars

Learners will use trays of sand and a variety of solid objects to model the effects of "impactors" on the surface. This is activity 6 of 9 in Mars and Earth: Science Learning Activities for After School. Note: The Mars image set that is needed to... (View More)

Keywords: Mars; Craters

Learners will compare and contrast images of Earth and Mars and then experiment with lenses to understand more about the instruments used to make the pictures. This is activity 1 of 9 in Mars and Earth: Science Learning Activities for After School.

In this activity, students experiment to test the hypothesis that Mars was once hotter. The activity requires some advance preparation by the teacher: the day before the activity, need to place a plastic bottle filled with water in the freezer.... (View More)

In this activity, students solve exponential equations where the unknown is contained in the exponent. Students learn that taking base-10 or base-2 logs pulls down the exponent, allowing the unknown to be isolated and solved.  This activity is... (View More)

In this activity students convert antilogs to logs, and logs to antilogs using scientific notation as an intermediate step. They will thereby develop a look-up table for solving math problems by using logarithms. This is activity D2 in the "Far Out... (View More)

In this activity, students construct base-two slide rules that add and subtract base-2 exponents (log distances), in order to multiply and divide corresponding powers of two. Students use these slide rules to generate both log and antilog equations,... (View More)

In this activity students use log tapes and base-two slide rules as references to graph exponential functions and log functions in base-10 and base-2. Students discover that exponential and log functions are inverse, reflecting across the y = x axis... (View More)

In this activity students construct multiplying slide rules scaled in Base-10 exponents and use them to calculate products and quotients. They will come to appreciate that super numbers (exponents, orders of magnitude and logarithms) play by... (View More)

In this activity, students construct adding slide rules, scaled with linear calibrations like ordinary rulers. Students learn to move these scales relative to each other in ways that add and subtract distances, thus calculating sums and differences.... (View More)

In this activity students add and subtract log distances on their Log Tapes to discover that the corresponding numbers multiply and divide. This will lead them to an experiential understanding of the laws of logarithms. This is activity B2 in the... (View More)

In this activity students use their Log Tapes as a reference for ordered pairs, and graph positive numbers as a function of their base-10 logarithms. They extend each plotted point to the vertical axis, thereby generating a logarithmic scale that... (View More)

In this activity, students use base-two slide rules, log tapes, and calculators to practice raising exponents in base notation and pulling down exponents in log notation. Students will develop an understanding that antilog notation expresses the... (View More)

In this activity students construct Log Rulers, finely calibrated in base-10 exponents and numbers (logs and antilogs). They practice reading these scales as accurately as possible, listing all certain figures plus one uncertain figure.  This is... (View More)

In this activity students construct Log Tapes calibrated in base-ten exponents, then use them to derive relationships between base-ten logs (exponents) and antilogs (ordinary numbers).  This is activity B1 in the "Far Out Math" educator's guide.... (View More)

In this activity students develop a simplified log table using information from their Log Tapes. Then they use it to solve arithmetic problems by looking up and combining logs, and finding the antilog. Because these problems are extremely simple,... (View More)

In this activity, students construct classic slide rules and use them like calculators. Students use the slide rules to read scales, determine significant figures, and estimate decimal places.  This is activity D3 in the "Far Out Math" educator's... (View More)

This is an activity about the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights. Learners will plot the Auroral Oval in the northern hemisphere and determine the height of the northern lights using Carl Stormer's triangulation method. This activity corresponds to... (View More)

In this activity, students graph second and third order functions, discovering an inverse relationship between squares and square roots and between cubes and cube roots. Students graph these functions on both linear grid (evenly spaced numbers), and... (View More)

This lesson originally appeared in "The Technology Teacher" and introduces common weather concepts and terminology. Students learn about weather map symbols and are invited to show real weather scenarios by drawing symbols on a map. A base map of... (View More)

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