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Educational Level:
Middle school  
Instructional Strategies:
Nonlinguistic representations  
Topics/Subjects:
Astronomy  
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This lesson provides a way for students to determine the relationship between the distance from a light source and its brightness. Once students discover the relationship, they can begin to understand how astronomers use this knowledge to determine... (View More)

In this hands-on activity, learners begin by estimating the size of each planet in our Solar System and Pluto and making each out of playdough or a similar material. Then, learners follow specific instructions to divide a mass of playdough into the... (View More)

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)

Audience: Middle school, Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

This is an activity about the size of the Sun. Learners will construct a pinhole camera and, using the projected image of the Sun, calculate its diameter. After calculating the diameter of the Sun, learners will create a classroom sized scale model... (View More)

This is a unit in 7-8 sessions about objects outside of our solar system, including galaxies and the universe. Learners will investigate the contents of the universe, why light years are used to measure distances in space, the lifespan of a star,... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

This is an activity about the Hubble Deep Field image, an observation of one small area of sky that contained no previously-detected objects. The long time exposure of this image allows us to detect some of the most distant objects seen in our... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school, Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

This is an activity about identifying constellations. Learners will look for constellations in the Sky Tonight online program, draw images of these constellations, and attempt to find them in the night sky. Learners will also be asked to make... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school, Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

This is an activity about the relative sizes of the Earth and the Moon and the distance between them. Learners will inflate a balloon to the approximate size of the moon in relation to a standard globe. They will then hypothesize as to the correct... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school, Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

This is an activity about the Venus Transit and how it helped astronomers determine the scale of the solar system. Learners will use measurement, ratios, and graphing to construct a model of the solar system and determine the relationship of each... (View More)

Audience: Middle school, Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

This is an activity about angular measurement. Learners will explore the relationship between angular size, actual size, and distance by using their finger, thumb and fist as a unit of angular measurement. Includes teacher background, student data... (View More)

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