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This video explains albedo - the concept that the brightness of the Earth system (atmosphere, ocean, and land surfaces) determines how much incoming solar energy is immediately reflected back to space. Reflected shortwave energy and land albedo... (View More)

This series of posters illustrates the universality of physical laws by connecting the concepts of rotation, speed, distance, pressure, time, mass, density and acceleration to both Olympic competitions and cosmic phenomena. Each poster includes both... (View More)

Using new and recycled materials, learners construct a rocket car that moves by the use of a balloon and a straw system. Following trial runs, learners engineer revisions to the car design to improve the distance that it travels. Templates,... (View More)

Each of us is made from star stuff. But how are stars formed? Take a closer look at the life cycles of stars and learn where stars come from, how they've changed, and what happens to stars when their lives come to an end. Find out about your... (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)

The basic chemistry of water, along with a brief glimpse into water's origin on Earth, are discussed in this two page article. The article can be used as a "reading to be informed" activity in a stand-alone fashion or can be incorporated into a... (View More)

Keywords: Water chemistry
Audience: Middle school, High school, Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

This online repository includes captioned images designed to tell a story about the science of light. Developed for the United Nation's International Year of Light 2015 (IYL2015), the images showcase the incredible variety of light-based science... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

In this activity, children use common craft materials and ultraviolet (UV)-sensitive beads to construct a person (or dog or imaginary creature). They use sunscreen, foil, paper, and more to test materials that might protect UV Kid from being exposed... (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 multimedia ibook introduces the physical concepts related to plasma globes commonly seen in science museums. The characters Camilla Corona and Colours O'IRIS discuss the concepts of plasma, electric fields, and atom electron loss and recapture... (View More)

Keywords: Reading; Graphic novel
Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

Students are tasked with virtually designing a spacecraft to withstand the harsh environment of the Van Allen Radiation belts- the location of many communication, GPS and weather satellites. The details of the challenge, along with videos on... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

This Science On a Sphere video and docent show (script and playlist), explores factors that render Earth habitable and influence Earth's energy budget. The video gives an overview of NASA's Search for "Goldilocks Planets" - planets that are not too... (View More)

Audience: 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)

This is the fourth and culminating module in the Solar Dynamic Observatory (SDO) Project Suite curriculum. Student teams use information and resources from the other three modules in the project suite to create a 3D interactive solar exhibit to... (View More)

This video is narrated by NASA scientist Peter Griffith who explains fast and slow carbon cycling on Earth. A banana is an example of fast, young carbon. A chunk of coal is an example of old, slow carbon. Carbon dioxide and vegetation on land seen... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

This is an annotated, topical list of science fiction novels and stories based on more or less accurate astronomy and physics ideas. Learners can read fictional works that involve asteroids, astronomers, black holes, comets, space travel where... (View More)

This series of infographics was created to supplement the Here, There, Everywhere (HTE) exhibit and connects cross-cutting science content (Earth and planetary sciences and astrophysics) with everyday phenomena, helping to demonstrate the... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

This brief (1:46) video explains the stratospheric ozone layer and its role in absorbing harmful UV radiation from the sun. The visualization shows how the thickness of the ozone layer varies with air flow aloft and seasons, and where the biggest... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

This brief (2:04) video explains the ozone hole over Antarctica - the annual thinning of stratospheric ozone caused by manufactured chemicals. Twenty-five years after the Montreal Protocol limited the use of ozone depleting chemicals, scientists are... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

This video features NASA scientist Claire Parkinson explaining atmospheric carbon dioxide levels seen in measurements collected at the Mauna Loa observatory since 1958 and recent global model output. The seasonal cycle of plants on land and in the... (View More)

This brief (1:37) video explains the essential Earth science concept of solar radiation - the source of most energy on Earth. ClimateBits videos are designed for Science On a Sphere (SOS) and also available on YouTube. Links are provided to more... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

This brief (1:53) video describes the UV (Ultraviolet) index and presents a visual range of its monthly strength at Earth's surface. The factors that influence that range- the sun's angle, ozone thickness, clouds, air pollution, surface reflection,... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

This iOS app for iPhone, iPad and iTouch, allows families and educators to investigate and learn about the Sun at home, at school, or anywhere. It provides 13 free, easy to use, hands-on activities, plus live images of the Sun from NASA's SDO... (View More)

This game helps students understand how multiple remote sensing wave bands can be combined to reveal new information about the weather. SciJinks is a joint NASA/NOAA educational website targeting middle school-aged children and their educators. It... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

The bending and scattering of sunlight to create blue skies and red sunsets is explained and illustrated in this article. SciJinks is a joint NASA/NOAA educational website targeting middle school-aged children and their educators. It explores... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

This comic addresses the question "What is color?" Using the Sun as an example, the comic discusses how visible light (white light) contains all the colors of the rainbow. It goes on to describe why our Sun is white, our sky is blue, and why sunsets... (View More)

Two comic characters, Camilla Corona, a rubber chicken, and Colours O'IRIS, a peacock, explore spectrographs. This comic is part of the series Tales from Stanford Solar.

Emphasizing the synergies between science and engineering, these video clips highlight the research of professional ocean scientists and engineers in various disciplines. The clips are accompanied by additional relevant content including images,... (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 is a resource about the Sun and its effects on the rest of the Solar System. Learners will watch movie clips and read a guidebook of information about space weather, solar variability, the heliosphere, Earth’s magnetosphere and upper... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

This article explains how Earth's atmosphere scatters the light from the sun, thereby creating the blue color we typically associate with our sky. Supplementing this article is an explanation of the importance of scattering sunlight. The article is... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

This short video (~2 minutes) explains how a raindrop falls through the atmosphere and why a more accurate look at raindrops can improve estimates of global precipitation. This information is important to scientists working on the Global... (View More)

This series of 11 captioned images depict the harnessing of three types of alternative energy sources: tidal, wind and solar. In contrast, several images of fossil fuel usage are included. The Climate Kids website is a NASA education resource... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

Instructions are provided for making a solar oven, followed by directions for using the oven to make s'mores. A side column discusses the practicality of using solar ovens in places like western Africa. The Climate Kids website is a NASA education... (View More)

Following a brief introduction to tidal energy, this article discusses the use of tidal generators to convert that energy into electricity. The article also features a description and images of the Invergordon, Scotland tidal energy generator. This... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

The site features an online game in which participants keep recyclable items out of the trash by guiding them into proper bins. Accompanying the game is a list of three categories of items that can be recycled, along with the benefits of doing so.... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

The movement of Arctic air, known as the Arctic oscillation, can and will cause periodic extreme winter weather outside the Arctic region - the harsh winter experienced in many parts of the U.S. in 2010 is a recent example. This article explains the... (View More)

Keywords: Climate change
Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

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

Learners will read or listen to a story about two sisters, Marisol and Sofia, as they explore the Sun's role in the water cycle. Additionally, numerous extension resources are included in the accompanying educator guide, such as suggestions for... (View More)

This activity allows participants to build a paper model of the GPM Core Observatory and learn about the technology the satellite uses to measure precipitation from space. Directions explain how to cut, fold and glue the individual pieces together... (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)

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 is a paper model of the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) satellite.

This science news story highlights Hubble's infrared image of the Horsehead Nebula. Students will discover why astronomers are interested in this nebula and how they study the nebula using infrared light. Star Witness News is a series of articles,... (View More)

Keywords: Reading

Two comic characters, Camilla Corona, a rubber chicken, and Colours O'IRIS, a peacock, explore questions relating to colors of light from the Sun. This comic is part of the series Tales from Stanford Solar.

This is a mini comic book about cosmic rays. Learners will construct the comic book and then read about cosmic rays, their effect, and how the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter's Cosmic Ray Telescope for the Effects of Radiation (CRaTER) detects them.

This module focuses on ultraviolet radiation on Earth and in space and how it affects life. Learners will construct their own "martian" using craft materials and UV beads. They will explore how UV radiation from the Sun can affect living things,... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

This lithograph features an image from the Hubble Space Telescope, showcasing a colorful view of the star-forming nebula N90, located in the Small Magellanic Cloud. The accompanying activity, In Search of...the Electromagnetic Spectrum, is a... (View More)

Keywords: multiwavelength
Audience: Middle school, High school, 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

In this activity, learners will experiment with ultraviolet light sensitive plastic beads, which are generally white but turn colors when exposed to UV light. Participants are informed about the nature and risks of UV light and are asked to explore... (View More)

Water has some very unique properties, but what are they? What do they mean for us? Water, unlike other types of matter, is less dense as a solid than as a liquid. This means more than simply floating cubes in a cold drink. The various forms of... (View More)

Keywords: Cryosphere; Ice; ICESat-2
Audience: Elementary school, Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

Why is NASA interested in Earth's ice? The creation of ICESat-2 is allowing NASA's scientists to make accurate maps of polar ice sheets. These maps help them make informed predictions about weather patterns, climate change, and the effects of... (View More)

Keywords: Cryosphere; Ice
Audience: Elementary school, Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

This is a series of seven brief activities about Jupiter's atmosphere and weather. Learners will look at Jupiter's distinct banded appearance, violent storms, and clouds of many different colors. The activities are part of Explore! Jupiter's Family... (View More)

Keywords: Jupiter

This is an activity about magnetic fields. Learners will study magnetic fields at four separate stations: examining magnetic fields generated by everyday items, mapping out a magnetic field using a compass, creating models of Earth's and Jupiter's... (View More)

Learners will weigh themselves on scales modified to represent their weights on other worlds to explore the concept of gravity and its relationship to weight. They consider how their weights would be the highest of all the planets while standing on... (View More)

Keywords: Jupiter; Mass; Weight

This is a demonstration about the density of the planets. Learners will compare the relative sizes and masses of scale models of the planets as represented by fruits and other foods. They will then dunk the "planets" in water to highlight the fact... (View More)

Learners will model the gravitational fields of planets on a flexible surface. Children place and move balls of different sizes and densities on a plastic sheet to develop a mental picture of how the mass of an object influences how much effect it... (View More)

Keywords: Jupiter; Gravity

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

This series of visual presentations illustrates common physics principles across vastly different scales, using human-scale photographs, earth science and astrophysics imagery. The products look at such topics as shadows, wind, bow waves and... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

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)

This activity introduces the electromagnetic spectrum. A riddle is proposed and users stroll through an imaginary amusement park to identify the object being described. During the journey, they discover the different types of electromagnetic energy... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

This interactive, web-based activity allows children to see the universe in many different wavelengths of light - light our eyes can and cannot see. To use the viewer, first select a celestial object (planet, galaxy, etc.), then select an... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

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

These short leader guides are designed for a novice user to pick up and implement the activities with ease. They address a range of topics all related to asteroids - most especially Asteroid Vesta. Activities are tagged to quickly find ones that are... (View More)

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)

This interactive illustrates how images from space get to Earth and how we interpret the images. Users are encouraged to experiment with images to get a firm grasp of how scientists use color filters to interpret data. Click on the initial image at... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

This is an online sorting game that compares the lifetime risk of death from an asteroid impact to other threats. For example, are you more likely to be killed by an amusement park ride or an asteroid impact? It is part of the Killer Asteroids Web... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

This is a children's science story about gravity (title translated: The World of Copocuqu: Queen Gravity and King Mass). Learners will read about the force of gravity and how it relates to the mass of a body. The story takes place in an asteroid in... (View More)

Keywords: Graphic novel; Gravity
Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

This is a multi-level, physics-based game that asks players to save Earth by using their spaceship to deflect an incoming asteroid. It is designed to accurately reflect the physics of space and could be used to help confront preconceptions about... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

This is a game about light curves that will test your ability to figure out things about an asteroid from just a graph of its brightness. Astronomers use telescopes to collect light curves - measurements of the brightness of distant asteroids over... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

This is a game which focuses on the challenge of moving a "rubble pile" asteroid. Players have the option of using bombs, impactors, or "pusher" ships. It is a simpler version of Rubble! and part of the Killer Asteroids Web Site. The site also... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

This is a website about asteroids and comets. Learners can play a physics-based asteroid game, learn about how backyard astronomers are contributing to asteroid research, or simulate an asteroid impact using a Google Earth Impact simulation.... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

This online game allows players to choose any location on Earth and impact it with a variety of different sized asteroids and comets. They can see how big the blast radius will be, and determine what size object it would take to wipe out their town.... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

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)

Students are introduced to the scientific tool of spectroscopy. They each build a simple spectroscope to examine the light from different light sources, particularly the Sun (Warning: Do not look directly at the Sun) and artificial lights (e.g.,... (View More)

Students are introduced to the basic properties, behavior and detection of black holes through a brief discussion of common conceptions and misconceptions of these exciting objects. They "act out" a way black holes might be detected through their... (View More)

This booklet introduces electromagnetic waves, their behaviors, and how scientists visualize these data. Each region of the spectrum is described and illustrated with examples of NASA science. It is a companion piece to the video series under the... (View More)

The main scientific instrument on the Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope (GLAST) is the Large Area Telescope (LAT). This interactive computer-based educational activity allows students and web users to see the results when gamma-ray photons of... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

This six-page, illustrated brochure answers the eight most frequently asked questions about black holes.

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

This website has gathered images taken at different wavelengths by a variety of ground-based and space-borne observatories, including selected astronomical objects in the famous Messier catalog, as well as for some non-Messier objects. An online... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

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

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.

These short videos introduce learners to the electromagnetic spectrum though eight animations including an introduction to electromagnetic waves and one animation for each wavelength of the EM spectrum (Radio, Microwave, Infrared, Visible,... (View More)

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)

This 28-page coloring and activity book includes general information on X-ray astronomy, Chandra and the STS-93 mission. It also looks at black holes, supernovas, galaxy clusters and more. Each image is accompanied by a summary of information.... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

This is an episode of the Space Place Live talk show. Learners will watch NASA astrophysicist Merav Opher as she talks about her job studying the Sun, heliosphere, space weather, and solar wind. She also discusses NASA's Voyager missions and how... (View More)

Keywords: Careers
Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

This is an episode of the Space Place Live talk show. Learners will watch NASA space mission architect Linda Herrell as she talks about her job in designing and testing new technology for the New Millennia Program, as well as engineering the... (View More)

Keywords: Careers
Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

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 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 board game challenges players (ages 10+) to build a spaceship and fly to a black hole. The game provides opportunities for understanding phenomena based on current black hole research. During the game, players will experience the dangers and... (View More)

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

The Global Telescope Network (GTN) is an informal association of scientists, students, individuals and observatories interested in supporting the NASA Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope (formerly GLAST), Swift, and XMM-Newton missions by obtaining and... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

In this short demo/activity, a balloon with baking soda in it is stretched over the mouth of a flask or bottle containing vinegar. The balloon is tipped so that the baking soda falls into the vinegar, and the reaction creates carbon dioxide, which... (View More)

This is a lithograph about a scientific observation by the Reuven Ramaty High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager, or RHESSI, spacecraft. Learners will read about a chance observation of a gamma-ray burst in 2002 that has shed new light on the... (View More)

This article contains a series of kinesthetic activities, explaining and demonstrating why stars twinkle and what astronomers can do to minimize it. The activities can be used to demonstrate how Earth's atmosphere distorts starlight and how advanced... (View More)

Audience: Middle school, Informal education
Materials Cost: Free
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