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Educational Level:
Informal education  
High school  
Learning Time:
2 to 4 hours  
Instructional Strategies:
Hands-on learning  
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Students analyze and interpret the accompanying large-format images of Mars taken by NASA’s Mars Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) camera. The analysis involves identifying geologic features, calibrating the size of those features, and... (View More)

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)

In this game, students use the accompanying "playing cards" to plan a mission to Mars. The mission must produce significant science returns while also meeting several constraints such as budget, mass and power. The lesson is part of the Mars... (View More)

In conjunction with discussions on atmospheric CO2, timescales, and proxy data, students will make, dissect, and analyze an ice core. The activity allows students to study changes in Earth’s atmospheric composition and temperature on millennial to... (View More)

This is a math-science integrated unit about spectrographs. Learners will find and calculate the angle that light is transmitted through a holographic diffraction grating using trigonometry. After finding this angle, the students will build their... (View More)

Audience: High school

This lesson provides a way for students to determine the relationship between the distance from a light source and its brightness. Once students discover the relationship, they can begin to understand how astronomers use this knowledge to determine... (View More)

In this lesson, students will read the 1919 edition of the Cosmic Times (see related resources) and respond by raising questions to be answered with further research. They will make a model of curved space to view the motion of spheres as explained... (View More)

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

In this activity, learners replicate the scientific processes of observing, forming an explanation, revising and communicating about a model of a comet. Learners construct a model of features of a comet using an assortment of common craft supplies.... (View More)

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.

Navigational tools and methods of early voyagers provide the background and contrast to the satellite images and models used today. Students complete mapping activities based on historical data from Columbus and Blith. Students will also use a... (View More)

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