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This activity models grazing incidence reflection by using students as the “sea of electrons” provided generally by metallic bonding on the surface of a metal. A tossed ball is used to represent a photon of light and the ball tosser represents... (View More) the object giving off the photon. This activity is designed to illustrate that different photons may be absorbed or reflected, depending upon their energy to illustrate how the telescope utilizes grazing optics to focus X-rays.The activity requires balls of various sizes (ping pong ball, golf ball, tennis ball, basketball or bowling ball). The activity guide includes discussion questions and instructions for using the video "Building the Coolest X-ray Satellite: Astro-E2" in the classroom. (View Less)

This is an activity about the basic properties of magnets and magnetism. Learners explore concepts such as magnetic fields and polarity, which form the basic ingredients of a study of Earth's magnetic field and the technology of magnetometers.... (View More) Materials needed include bar magnets and paper clips. This is Activity 1 of Exploring Magnetism: A Teacher's Magnetism Activity Guide. (View Less)

This is a resource that explains the rationale behind the multiple time zone divisions in the United States. Learners will work through a problem set to practice calculating the time in one time zone, given the time in another time zone. This is... (View More) activity 9 from the educator guide, Exploring Magnetism: Magnetic Mysteries of the Aurora. (View Less)

This is an activity about the movement, or "wandering," of our Earth's magnetic poles. The learner will explore this concept by measuring and calculating the distance the Earth's north magnetic pole has moved over the past 400 years and calculating... (View More) the rate at which the magnetic pole location has changed its position during that time. Finally, learners will use this information to extrapolate how the region for viewing aurorae may change over the next century at the present rate of polar wander. This is Activity 6 in the Exploring Magnetism on Earth teachers guide. (View Less)

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) like Earth rocks to the casual or untrained eye. (View Less)

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) students appreciate the logic of logarithms without getting bogged down in the arithmetic detail and error. This is activity B3 in the "Far Out Math" educator's guide. Lessons in the guide include activities in which students measure,compare quantities as orders of magnitude, become familiar with scientific notation, and develop an understanding of exponents and logarithms using examples from NASA's GLAST mission. These are skills needed to understand the very large and very small quantities characteristic of astronomical observations. Note: In 2008, GLAST was renamed Fermi, for the physicist Enrico Fermi. (View Less)

This is an activity about lunar magmatic differentiation, in which learners simulate the process of geological differentiation. The activity ends with an extension question that asks about the makeup of the highlands of the Moon. This activity is in... (View More) Unit 2 of the Exploring the Moon teacher's guide and is designed for use especially, but not exclusively, with the Lunar Sample Disk program. (View Less)

Materials Cost: 1 cent - $1 per group of students