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This is a graphic novel history about NASA's search for life in the universe. It tells the story of some of the most important people and events that have shaped the NASA Exobiology and Astrobiology science.
Students are introduced to the periodic table and the concept of atomic elements. The group discusses how all material in the Universe is composed of elements and that the atom is the smallest particle that still has the physical and chemical... (View More) properties of any given element. As an exercise in statistics, the students participate in a counting experiment in which they sample a 'Universe bead mix' (where each bead color represents a different element present in the Universe) to estimate the overall composition of the Universe. They compare their findings of the Universe's overall composition with the composition of various different objects in the Universe that are represented by mixtures of rice, beans and other dried goods in jars. Finally, students are introduced to the idea that hydrogen fusion creates heavier elements inside a star. This activity is part of a series that has been designed specifically for use with Girl Scouts, but the activities can be used in other settings. Most of the materials are inexpensive; however, some portions of the preparation can be time intensive. It is recommended that a leader with astronomy knowledge lead the activities, or at least be available to answer questions, whenever possible. (View Less)
This online game allows players to choose any location on Earth and impact it with a variety of different sized asteroids and comets. They can see how big the blast radius will be, and determine what size object it would take to wipe out their town.... (View More) It is part of the Killer Asteroids Web Site. The site also features a background overview of the differences between asteroids and comets, information on different types of asteroids (rubble piles vs monoliths), a discussion of how at risk Earth really is to an asteroid or comet impact, and background information on light curves. (View Less)
This is an activity about comet composition. Learners will explore the physical characteristics of comets by reaching into a series of boxes and feeling the materials and structures within. They will describe what they observe and speculate on comet... (View More) characteristics being modeled in each box, opening the discussion about the nature of these icy bodies and begin to compare them to other members of our solar system. (View Less)
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 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 6-8 include suggestions for activities to do before and after viewing the planetarium show, including class discussions about our Solar... (View More) System, online activities to calculate planetary distances and explore magnetism, and a demonstration to show a scale model of the Earth-Sun distance. (View Less)
This is an educators guide to accompany the Journey to the Stars planetarium show. The materials for grades 3-5 include suggestions for activities to do before and after viewing the planetarium show, including class discussions about the Sun's... (View More) energy and food chains and online activities about food chains and decomposition. (View Less)
This Hubble Space Telescope image reveals a small region inside the massive globular cluster Omega Centauri, which boasts nearly 10 million stars. This colorful assortment of 100,000 stars residing in the crowded core of the cluster is one of the... (View More) first images taken by the new Wide Field Camera 3. In the accompanying educational activity, In Search of ... Stellar Evolution, students investigate stellar evolution through a level 1 inquiry activity using the images and text from the lithograph and other resources. A level 1 inquiry activity can help prepare students to become independent thinkers. (View Less)