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Upper elementary  
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This activity explores how ancient Sun observers made use of natural and built structures to mark solar alignments observed at different times of the year, particularly around the solstices and equinoxes. In Part 1, the teacher prepares a horizon... (View More)

In this activity, students begin learning about archaeoastronomy much as the first skywatchers began learning about the sky: by observing and wondering. Students observe photographs and drawings of petroglyphs, pictographs, and natural and... (View More)

In this activity, students learn about the motion of the Sun in relation to the Earth, and how geographic directions are defined. Students use a tetherball pole (or an alternative) as a gnomon and the shadow the Sun casts to determine the exact... (View More)

This is a lesson plan for an activity about the nature of the Sun's apparent motion throughout the day. Learners will follow detailed instructions to construct a sundial using everyday materials and make measurements of the shadow cast by the... (View More)

This is an activity about observing the Sun. Learners will construct a pinhole projector to project an image of the Sun, observe and record the size of the projected image, and calculate the diameter of the Sun using the measurements and a known... (View More)

In this activity, learners will explore the properties of color filters and filter bandpass by observing light sources using diffraction grating and color filters and create a graph of percent transmission versus wavelength to characterize the... (View More)

This is an activity about spectroscopy. Learners will build a spectroscope with a scale for measuring wavelength and use it to observe various light sources. They will identify spectral lines in more than one light source and analyze the collected... (View More)

In this activity, learners will build a structure using a shoebox, aluminum foil, paper, rubber bands, glue, tape, and other common materials that will meet the following criteria when tested: 1) protect an ice cube from melting under a hot lamp or... (View More)

In this activity, learners build a sextant to measure the altitude, or height above the horizon, of an object. The activity was originally designed to accompany a previous NASA-funded educational program, entitled The Sun in Time.

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