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Learners will explore aspects of the Sun and solar activity by modeling them as solar cupcakes. Information and imagery are supplied to learn about the Sun, solar activity, eclipses, transits, observing the Sun, and the color of the Sun at different... (View More) times of the day. Links to resources are also provided that highlight NASA's solar missions and where to learn more about the Sun. (View Less)
The tilt of Earth's axis as the cause of Earth's seasons is explained in text and illustrations. SciJinks is a joint NASA/NOAA educational website targeting middle school-aged children and their educators. It explores weather and Earth science... (View More) through articles, videos, images, and games. (View Less)
This article explains the causes of the summer and winter solstice. It also includes notes about the historical importance of solstices. SciJinks is a joint NASA/NOAA educational website targeting middle school-aged children and their educators. It... (View More) explores weather and Earth science through articles, videos, images, and games. (View Less)
This article explains the role of the tilt of Earth's axis on seasonal changes. An accompanying exploration dispels the commonly held misconception that distances between the sun and Earth are a factor. The article is targeted to children ages 10-12.
This is a set of instructions for building a physical model. The model simulates the Sun's paths across the sky at summer solstice, winter solstice, and the spring and fall equinoxes. A bead simulates the Sun, moving along a cord, from rising along... (View More) the eastern horizon to setting on the western. The bead can be moved from path to path to demonstrate solar alignments, the solstices, and equinoxes. The model is created to be unique to the user's latitude, and is useful for including in lessons that teach about the seasons or archaeoastronomy. (View Less)
This is a mini comic book about cosmic rays. Learners will construct the comic book and then read about cosmic rays, their effect, and how the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter's Cosmic Ray Telescope for the Effects of Radiation (CRaTER) detects them.
Learners will visit a sequence of stations to discover how the dark and light areas and craters we see on the Moon's face today record major events of its lifetime. While they may visit the stations in any order, the stations trace the Moon's... (View More) 4.5-billion-year history from "infancy" to the imagined future. The children tie together major events in the Moon's geologic history as a series of comic panels in their Marvel Moon comic books. At each station, the children identify the lunar features that were produced during that era on a Moon map. This activity is part of Explore! Marvel Moon, a series of activities developed specifically for use in libraries. (View Less)
Learners go outside on a clear evening and view the sky to see the Moon for themselves. Using sky charts, children navigate the Moon’s impact craters, flat plains (maria), and mountains with the naked eye and binoculars or telescopes. This outdoor... (View More) night viewing can be combined with the indoor stations activity, Growing Up Moon, or the outdoor activity, Mirror Moon. This activity is part of Explore! Marvel Moon, a series of activities developed specifically for use in libraries. (View Less)
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) Side" has incorrect statements about the Moon (urban myths), and "True-Blue Blue Moon" has true facts about the Moon’s influence on Earth and life. This activity is part of Explore! Marvel Moon, a series of activities developed specifically for use in libraries. (View Less)
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) examine the types of Earth rocks (named anorthosite, basalt, and breccia) that are also found on the Moon and that would have been shaped by the processes explored here. Finally, they draw their own object or character that they see when they look at the Moon. This activity is part of Explore! Marvel Moon, a series of activities developed specifically for use in libraries. (View Less)