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This is an activity during Solar Week, a twice-yearly event in March and October during which classrooms are able to interact with scientists studying the Sun. Outside of Solar Week, information, activities, and resources are archived and available... (View More)

This is an activity during Solar Week, a twice-yearly event in March and October during which classrooms are able to interact with scientists studying the Sun. Outside of Solar Week, information, activities, and resources are archived and available... (View More)

This is an activity during Solar Week, a twice-yearly event in March and October during which classrooms are able to interact with scientists studying the Sun. Outside of Solar Week, information, activities, and resources are archived and available... (View More)

This is an activity during Solar Week, a twice-yearly event in March and October during which classrooms are able to interact with scientists studying the Sun. Outside of Solar Week, information, activities, and resources are archived and available... (View More)

Learners will create a flip book that shows solar flares erupting from the Sun. This activity is from the DIY Sun Science app and is for ages 7 and up.

Learners will use hot and cold water to see how fluids at different temperature move around in convection currents. This activity is from the DIY Sun Science app and is for ages 10 and up.

Learners will build a magnetometer, an instrument that can measure slight changes in Earth’s magnetic field that are caused by solar storms. This activity is from the DIY Sun Science app and is for ages 13 and up.

Learners will build a solar oven and use it to bake s’mores. This activity is from the DIY Sun Science app and is for ages 10 and up. It requires a bright sunny day.

If you’ve ever seen a picture of a solar eclipse, you may have noticed that the Moon comes very close to covering the entire Sun. Learners will use a coin and a plate to investigate why the Sun and Moon look like they’re the same size, though... (View More)

Learners will use candy pieces and a cookie to make an accurate model of the Sun that they can eat. This activity is from the DIY Sun Science app and is for ages 7 and up.

Learners will make a Sun tracker to explore how ancient civilizations around the world studied the Sun. This activity is from the DIY Sun Science app and is for ages 7 and up. It requires a bright sunny day.

Learners will make scale models of the Sun and Earth out of paper mache. This activity is from the DIY Sun Science app and is for ages 10 and up.

Learners will use thermometers and a lamp to investigate why some places on Earth’s surface are much hotter than others. This activity is from the DIY Sun Science app and is for ages 10 and up.

On a bright, sunny day, learners will use tonic water to detect ultraviolet (UV) light from the Sun. This activity is from the DIY Sun Science app and is for ages 7 and up

Learners will use binoculars or a telescope to identify and track sunspots. This activity is from the DIY Sun Science app and is for ages 10 and up. It requires a bright sunny day.

Learners will make a pinhole viewer, and use it to measure the Sun’s size. This activity is from the DIY Sun Science app and is for ages 10 and up. It requires a bright sunny day.

Learners will make a prism to separate sunlight into different colors. This activity is from the DIY Sun Science app and is for ages 10 and up. It requires a bright sunny day.

In this activity, students create a scale model depicting the vertical distance from Earth’s surface to various features and objects, including Earth’s atmospheric layers, the Van Allen Radiation Belts, and geocentric satellites. Students also... (View More)

This is a make-it-yourself planisphere designed to show where Kepler is pointing. Learners can use it to locate exoplanets around stars in the night sky. It comes with two wheels: one with coordinate grid for plotting additional exoplanet stars and... (View More)

Using the 5E instructional model, students discover the value of using color maps to visualize data. The activity requires students to create a color map of the ozone hole from Dobson data values derived from the Aura satellite. Students then... (View More)

This paper model shows the orbit of Comet ISON (late 2013) with respect to the innermost planets of the solar system. After reading background information about comets - how they form and where they come from - students cut out and tape together the... (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)

Students will be introduced to the causes, locations, and hazards of landslides, as well as the role of satellite observations in predicting and studying them. To begin, students investigate the amount of precipitation sufficient to cause a... (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.

Through the use of the 5E instructional model, students discover the value of using color maps to visualize data. The activity requires students to create a color map of the ozone hole from Dobson data values derived from the Aura satellite.... (View More)

This is an activity about how much atmospheric pressure is needed on Mars to maintain surface water and why it does not have surface water today. Learners will use a computer interactive to learn about Mars past and present before exploring the... (View More)

Keywords: Triple Point; Climate

This is an activity about the way distance, albedo, and atmosphere affect the temperature of a planet. Learners will create a planet using a computer game and change features of the planet to increase or decrease the planet's temperature. They will... (View More)

This is an activity about the atmospheric conditions (greenhouse strength, atmospheric thickness) Mars needs to maintain surface water. Learners will use a computer interactive to learn about Mars past and present before exploring the pressure and... (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)

Students will explore how energy from the sun is absorbed, reflected and radiated back into space by Earth. By completing three short labs investigating the effects of surface color, type of material, or cloud cover on temperature change, students... (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)

These guides showcase education and public outreach resources from across more than 20 NASA astrophysics missions and programs. The twelve guides - one for each month - contain a science topic, an interpretive story, a sky object to view with... (View More)

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

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)

This article explains the monthly variations in the Moon's appearance as seen from Earth. Directions for using Oreo cookies to illustrate the four major phases of the Moon are provided. The article is targeted to children ages 10-12.

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

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... (View More)

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.

This is an activity about the way the moon interacts with sunlight. Learners consider a ball, wrapped in aluminum foil, and experiment with a flashlight to make it appear bright. The children compare the foil-wrapped ball to a Moon globe and... (View More)

Learners read or listen to a cultural story describing a shape identified in the Moon's surface features. Then, they consider how the features formed over the Moon's 4.5-billion-year history and investigate Earth rocks that are similar. Children may... (View More)

In this kinesthetic activity, students will demonstrate how two spacecraft are able to document a space weather event across the Van Allen radiation belts better than one spacecraft can. Students will graph the data collected by one spacecraft and... (View More)

This is an activity about the way distance, reflectivity, and atmosphere affect the temperature of a planet. Learners will create a planet using a computer game and change features of the planet to increase or decrease the planet's temperature. This... (View More)

Keywords: Water; Climate

Students begin by determining dew point using an aluminum can, stirring rod, ice and thermometer. Air temperature is also measured and recorded. Students then use those two data in conjunction with the Lifting Condensation Level approximation, to... (View More)

Learners will review what they have learned about scientific and engineering investigation, construct a valid scientific question that can be answered by data and/or modeling, and choose an appropriate mission for their rover that will answer their... (View More)

Learners will explore Jupiter's origins through three stories. First, they model their own lifetimes by tying knots in lengths of yarn to represent key events in their pasts. Then, children listen to and act out a cultural origins story, such as the... (View More)

Learners will brainstorm ideas to be developed into a team skit, work cooperatively to assign duties and write a team skit, and collaborate with team members to complete the Mars Rover Manual. The lesson uses the 5E instructional model and includes:... (View More)

In this inquiry activity, teams of students are challenged with engineering a greenhouse heat trap for use with exotic plants. The investigation requires thermometers, plastic wrap, and a shoebox for each team. Students graph data and determine the... (View More)

In this simulation activity, students experiment with a population of M&M candies or paper dot "beetles" to test how well each color is adapted to survive on a field of colorful wrapping paper or fabric. Students act as predators and see that... (View More)

This textbook chapter introduces the buffalo as a keystone species, and describes the environmental impacts of its near extinction, including today’s predominance of non-native species in the Great Plains. Human activities that contribute to... (View More)

This model demonstrates convection currents and uses water, food coloring, a cup of very hot water and a votive candle as heat sources. Movie clips of demonstration setup and convection in action are provided. This activity is supported by a... (View More)

In this guided research investigation, students investigate the process of science and build media literacy by studying the public debate about climate change. Students compare media articles from 1989-2010, and observe that statements differ... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: 1 cent - $1 per student

This is a lesson about the Moon's Copernicus Crater. Learners will use observation to make their own geologic map of the Crater. They then identify crater features in a photogeologic image and use those observations to color their map with the... (View More)

Keywords: Cratering

In this kinesthetic activity, students take on roles of either photons or gas molecules. Photons signal a change from visible light to infrared with a piece of folded construction paper, simulating absorption by the Earth's surface and reradiation... (View More)

Learners will construct a valid scientific question that can be answered by data and/or modeling and choose an appropriate mission for their rover that will answer their scientific question. The lesson uses the 5E instructional model and includes:... (View More)

In this engineering challenge, student teams are introduced to the engineering design process, and then construct and test an earthquake-resistant structure. The lesson plan includes teacher support, student worksheets, multimedia assets, and links... (View More)

This is an activity about constellations. Learners will make a "star finder" toy and play a game to find a constellation in the night sky.

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

This is an activity about how giant dish antennas work. Learners create a "sound cone" and use it to understand how the Deep Space Network antennas pick up radio communications from space.

This is an assessment activity for the The Cosmic Ray Telescope for the Effects of Radiation (CRaTER) educational kit. Learners will make a poster that explains possible origins of cosmic rays, how they affect people, and what protects us here on... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: 1 cent - $1 per student

Through an analysis of data sets on four parameters - sea ice totals, sea surface temperatures, near surface temperatures and surface type - students must decide whether the Arctic is experiencing climate change and predict any potential effects on... (View More)

This set of two activities are about Saturn's largest moon, Titan. Learners will listen to a narrative "told" by the Huygens probe, entitled Memoirs of a Spacecraft. Next, students will listen to some of the findngs and express those findings by... (View More)

Keywords: Saturn; Titan

This math problem determines the areas of simple and complex planar figures using measurement of mass and proportional constructs. Materials are inexpensive or easily found (poster board, scissors, ruler, sharp pencil, right angle), but also... (View More)

This kick-off activity sets the stage for further explorations and activities in Explore! To the Moon and Beyond! - a resource developed specifically for use in libraries. As a group, learners will discuss what they know about Earth's Moon. They... (View More)

Learners will work in teams to apply their knowledge about the Moon, its environment, and the LRO mission to match responses to Moon questions. With the correct responses, they build a picture of the Moon. This activity is part of Explore! To the... (View More)

Learners will create their own models of lunar orbiters out of edible or non-edible materials. They determine what tools would be necessary to help us better understand the Moon and plan for a future lunar outpost. Then they incorporate these... (View More)

This is an activity about impact craters. Learners will experiment to create impact craters and examine the associated features. Then they observe images of lunar craters and explore how the mass, shape, velocity, and angle of impactors affects the... (View More)

In this activity, learners draw conclusions about where on a planetary body scientists might look for ice and why. They use a clay ball, ice cubes, and a heat lamp to model the permanently-shadowed polar regions of planets and moons that may harbor... (View More)

In this activity, learners work in teams to assess environmental conditions, resources, and scientific relevance of different locations on the Moon using data collected from previous lunar missions. Each team selects the site they believe has the... (View More)

In this lesson, students create a timeline of world events from 1905 until 2006. Students locate key dates from the Cosmic Times poster series and determine world events that fit into the three story strands of Cosmic Times, as well as, the... (View More)

In this lesson, students consider observations and inferences to determine the support for each of two theories on the origin of the universe: Steady State and Big Bang. Working with partners, students draw from a set of Evidence cards (master... (View More)

In this lesson, students explore a discrepant event when they design an experiment to measure the rate that ice melts when in pure water versus salt water. It is designed to help students realize that a carefully-designed experiment may yield... (View More)

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)

This is a lesson about the electromagnetic spectrum. Learners will read two pages of information about the electromagnetic spectrum and answer questions in an accompanying worksheet. This activity is from the Stanford Solar Center's All About the... (View More)

In this lesson, students explore the cosmic microwave background to understand why it permeates the universe and why it peaks as microwave radiation. Students should be able to explain that the origin of the background radiation is the uniform... (View More)

With this lesson plan, students observe a demonstration of cloud formation that uses a 2L plastic beverage bottle and other simple ingredients to learn the three factors required for cloud formation. A test and a control experiment are conducted.... (View More)

In this lesson, students identify and describe unfamiliar scientist heroes who contributed to the field of science until the year 1929. Students create a T-square graphic organizer about a specific group of women scientists of the Harvard College... (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 plan, students participate in a hands-on activity using a plastic bottle and other simple ingredients to learn the three factors required for cloud formation. Detailed Procedure and materials, vocabulary linked to an on-line glossary,... (View More)

Keywords: Clouds

Students utilize two reading strategies that can be used to understand the Cosmic Times materials, and other readings that may be challenging to them. The first strategy, called Talking to the Text, is an independent strategy in which the students... (View More)

Cloud cover is a fundamental observation in the S'COOL project. The ability to reasonably estimate the percentage of cloud cover is introduced and practiced in this activity. The Students' Cloud Observations On-Line (S'COOL) project engages students... (View More)

In this lesson, students read the original paper written by Henrietta Leavitt in which she compared the apparent brightness and period of Cepheid variable stars. The students prepare graphs from numerical data, just as she did, and compare their... (View More)

In this lesson, students measure the size of several galaxies to reproduce a plot of Hubble's Law. The goal of this lesson is to give students the chance to simulate the process that led to the notion that the universe is expanding, provide insight... (View More)

Keywords: Data graphing

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 paper model of the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope includes three pages of parts that can be cut out and assembled using common household items. It also provides a short description of the scientific instruments on board Fermi, as well as links... (View More)

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

This is a story about space exploration. Learners will read about missions to asteroids and comets, consider the measurements and math required for the robotic spacecraft to visit these objects, and are invited to finish the story themselves. The... (View More)

In this activity, learners discover new perspectives on geothermal features, such as geysers, mudpots, hot springs, and hot spring terraces by exploring infrared images. Learners will gain an understanding of infrared light and infrared imaging, as... (View More)

This game is intended to be used at the end of a unit on weather, providing a review of cloud and weather-related concepts. A student worksheet and a list of questions for teacher use, as well as student notes and suggestions for assessment are... (View More)

In this laboratory activity, students observe what happens when a fluid of one density is placed in a fluid of a different density. The fluids are salt water and fresh water, cold water and warm water. They generalize their results to describe what... (View More)

Sea floor spreading is demonstrated using a model consisting of two classroom desks and an 8-foot strip of paper. Changes in polarity are indicated using a felt marker. The investigation supports material presented in chapter 3, "What Heats 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)

In this science literacy extension students read and analyze two different articles about XMM-Newton discoveries involving neutron stars and their magnetic fields. This is Activity 4 of the Supernova Guide developed by the XMM-Newton and GLAST E/PO... (View More)

In this lesson, students construct a rain gauge, collect and graph precipitation data, specifically the amount of rainfall at a locality, then compare their findings with other students' data.The resource includes teaching notes, a vocabulary list... (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 collection of activities presents learners with intriguing questions about the universe and provides an opportunity to explore topics related to the search for life beyond our own planet. The collection includes eight existing classroom... (View More)

In this activity, students will create their own travel brochure or poster inviting people to visit a place where they could see an aurora. It is recommended that the class complete Lesson 1 in this series - What I know about the Aurora - prior to... (View More)

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)

The front of this poster is a cartoon profile of the atmosphere, showing the "good and bad" roles of ozone in the stratosphere, high troposphere, mid-troposphere, and surface. On the back is an article for students, beginning with an explanation of... (View More)

Keywords: Ozone; Spectroscope
Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: 1 cent - $1 per student

This article discusses the differences between ozone in the stratosphere and troposphere, and how NASA is measuring ozone using a spectrometer on-board the Aura satellite. The article includes an activity: building a spectroscope using a DVD cover... (View More)

Keywords: Ozone
Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: 1 cent - $1 per student

This is an activity about challenges that humans face in future space travel as analyzed through news articles highlighting discoveries about the Sun. Learners will read and analyze a series of related articles and answer questions to determine the... (View More)

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