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This activity is a short engineering design challenge to be completed by individual students or small teams. A real-world problem is presented, designing buildings for hurricane-prone areas, but in a simulated way that works in a classroom, after... (View More) school club, or informal education setting. Students are given simple materials and design requirements, and must plan and build a tower as tall as possible that will hold up a tennis ball while resisting the force of wind from a fan. After the towers are built, the group comes together to test them. If there is time after testing, which can be observational or framed as a contest between teams, students can redesign their towers to improve their performance, or simply discuss what worked well and what didn’t in their designs. (View Less)
This is an educators guide to accompany the Journey to the Stars planetarium show. The materials include a section, titled Teaching With the Show, containing guiding questions to encourage class discussions about the life cycle of stars.
This is an educators guide to accompany the Journey to the Stars planetarium show. The materials for grades 9-12 include suggestions for activities to do before and after viewing the planetarium show, including class discussions about units of... (View More) measure and units of distance that astronomers use, discussions about stars and star formation, and activities involving magnetism and building a spectroscope. (View Less)
This manual provides simple demonstrations to show how lenses and mirrors are used to create telescopes. It was created for use by the Night Sky Network of astronomy clubs.
This is a lesson about the shape of objects in space. Learners will observe the surface of rotating potatoes to help them understand how astronomers use variations in reflective brightness to determine the shape of asteroids.
This is an activity about bar magnets and their invisible magnetic fields. Learners will experiment with magnets and a compass to detect and draw magnetic fields. This is Activity 1 of a larger resource, entitled Exploring the Sun. The NASA... (View More) spacecraft missions represented by this material include SOHO, TRACE, STEREO, Hinode, and SDO. (View Less)
This manual provides an overview of how telescopes have changed our understanding of the universe and contains simple demonstrations to use at star parties to get across basic ideas of optics. This manual will also help explain why the images that... (View More) folks see at the eyepiece of a telescope at an outreach star party is so different from images published in magazines. The manual was produced to accompany an outreach toolkit developed for the NASA Night Sky Network. The toolkit is no longer being manufactured, but the activities are available through the manual, which can be freely downloaded. (View Less)
This is an activity about measuring angular size and understanding the solar and lunar proportions that result in solar eclipses. Learners will use triangles and proportions to create a shoebox eclipse simulator. They will then apply what they learn... (View More) about angular size to predict the diameter and distance of one object that can be eclipsed by another. They will also complete three journal assignments to record observations and conceptual understanding. This activity derives from those demonstrated in the NASA CONNECT television series episode, titled Path of Totality. (View Less)
In this activity, a three-part questionnaire launches students on discussions about where objects in space are located, and when they formed. By physically manipulating images of objects in space, students represent their own mental models of space... (View More) and time, which lays the foundation for thinking about the size and scale of the universe. This actvity can be used to assess students? understanding and introduce concepts before proceeding to other activities that follow this one. This activity is part of the "Cosmic Questions: Our Place in Space and Time" educators guide that developed to support the Cosmic Questions exhibit. This activity can be used in conjunction with, or independently of, the exhibit. (View Less)