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This resource highlights a few of the many women who have impacted STEM fields- through important explorations, discoveries and/or contributions. It includes first-hand stories, a resource guide, and downloadable posters and postcards.
The PlanetQuest Observing Cards are designed to give telescope operators and other interpreters a new way of explaining the night sky. Relating common observing objects to our search for exoplanets makes these spectacular sights more understandable.... (View More) These cards are a great resource for use at observing night events, providing new stories to tell about commonly viewed celestial objects. (View Less)
These guides showcase education and public outreach resources from across more than 20 NASA astrophysics missions and programs. The twelve guides - one for each month - contain a science topic, an interpretive story, a sky object to view with... (View More) finding charts, hands-on activities, and connections to NASA science. The guides are modular, so that educators can use the portions that are the most useful for their audiences/events. Following is the theme for each month: January - Betelgeuse, February - Orion Nebula, March - Pleiades, April - Pollux; May - Hubble Deep Field, June - Hercules Cluster, July - Ring Nebula & Veil Nebula, August - The Search for Habitable Worlds, September - Milky Way Galaxy, October - Upsilon Andromedae, November - Andromeda Galaxy, and December - Crab Nebula. (View Less)
In this activity, students use multiwavelength images of stars in different stages of evolution to investigate how the initial masses of the protostars determines their evolutionary paths. Images include stellar nurseries, protostars, supernova... (View More) remnants, planetary nebulae, white dwarfs, neutron stars, pulsars and black holes. The activity includes a teacher guide with background information, a card set of 24 images, student task description and worksheets, online tutorials, and a Web quest version. Suggestions for using the activity in the classroom as well as related URLs are included in the Web-based teacher guide. (View Less)
This is a PDF guide on how to use ImageJ image processing software to understand and manipulate astronomical images. The guide begins with instructions on how to download ImageJ, plus some additional astronomy-related plugins, followed by directions... (View More) on how to install everything correctly. There are three lessons that will help the user get oriented with some of the most basic image processing skills needed for analyzing astronomical images. There are questions throughout the lesson to help guide thinking. After the lessons is an explanation for how to create a color picture using three different gray scale images. (View Less)
In this activity, students are reminded that the Universe is made up of elements and that the heavier elements are created inside of a star. They are then introduced to the life cycle of a star and how a star's mass affects its process of fusion and... (View More) eventual death. Students discuss the physical concept of equilibrium as a balancing of forces and observe an experiment to demonstrate what happens to a soda can when the interior and exterior forces are not in equilibrium. An analogy is made between this experiment and core collapse in stars, to show the importance of maintaining equilibrium in stars. Finally, students participate in an activity which demonstrates how mass is ejected from a collapsed star in a supernova explosion, thereby dispersing heavier elements throughout the Universe. 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 or easily found. It is recommended that a leader with astronomy knowledge lead the activities, or at least be available to answer questions, whenever possible. (View Less)
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)
Students are introduced to the scientific tool of spectroscopy. They each build a simple spectroscope to examine the light from different light sources, particularly the Sun (Warning: Do not look directly at the Sun) and artificial lights (e.g.,... (View More) fluorescent or sodium lamps). Students compare the continuous spectrum of incandescent lights and the solar spectrum with the clear spectral lines of the fluorescent or sodium room lights and discharge lamps. They learn how the spectral "fingerprints" of each particular element help astronomers recognize the presence of specific elements in distant astronomical objects. Students are also introduced to the broader electromagnetic spectrum beyond what is visible with our eyes and how scientists observe distant objects using multiple wavelength bands. 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. (View Less)
Students are introduced to the basic properties, behavior and detection of black holes through a brief discussion of common conceptions and misconceptions of these exciting objects. They "act out" a way black holes might be detected through their... (View More) interaction with other objects. In this activity, girls represent binary star systems in pairs, walking slowly around one another in a darkened room with each pair holding loops of wire to simulate the gravitational interaction. Most of the students are wearing glow-in-the-dark headbands to simulate stars, some are without headbands to represent black holes, and a small set of the black holes have flashlights to simulate X-ray emission. 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 or easily found. 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 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.