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This is a reading strategy guide in a series of guides that utilizes articles from the Great Explorations in Math and Science (GEMS) program. These strategy guides provide teachers of middle school students with a reading strategy (in this case,... (View More) Teaching Vocabulary Awareness) and supplemental resources, background information on that strategy, connections to standards, classroom implementation techniques, tips for utilizing this strategy with students with dyslexia, and a two-page reading based on a particular space science concept. The reading incorporated into this strategy guide, "Observing Stars," describes the process scientists use to observe and collect evidence about the life cycle of a star. Students will encounter the following challenging terms in this article: remnants, nebula, nebulae, supernova, and neutron star. This strategy guide is also mapped to the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts Literacy in Science & Technical Subjects, Grades 6-8. (View Less)

This is a reading strategy guide in a series of guides that utilizes articles from the Great Explorations in Math and Science (GEMS) program. These strategy guides provide teachers of middle school students with a reading strategy (in this case,... (View More) Teaching Scientific Comparison Writing) and supplemental resources, background information on that strategy, connections to standards, classroom implementation techniques, tips for utilizing this strategy with students with dyslexia, and a two-page reading based on a particular space science concept. The reading incorporated into this strategy guide, "Pluto and Charon," compares the dwarf planet P PLUTO AND CHARONluto with its relatively large moon Charon. Like other moons in our Solar System, Charon orbits Pluto. Unlike other moons, however, the size and mass of Charon make it orbit Pluto in an unusual way. Because Charon is so large compared to Pluto, the two Solar System objects are described as orbiting a spot between them, rather than around a spot in the center of the planet. In contrast, most planets are more massive than their moons, so the orbital center is the center of the planet. This strategy guide is also mapped to the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts Literacy in Science & Technical Subjects, Grades 6-8. (View Less)

Students will learn about NASA's Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RBSP), Earth's van Allen Radiation Belts, and space weather through reading a NASA press release and viewing a NASA eClips™ video segment. Then students will use simple linear functions... (View More) to examine the scale of the radiation belts and the strength of Earth's magnetic field. This activity is part of the Space Math multimedia modules that integrate NASA press releases, NASA archival video, and mathematics problems targeted at specific math standards commonly encountered in middle school textbooks. The modules cover specific math topics at multiple levels of difficulty with real-world data and use the 5E instructional sequence. (View Less)

Students will learn about the twin STEREO spacecraft and how they are being used to track solar storms through reading a NASA press release and viewing a NASA eClips™ video segment. Then students will examine data to learn more about the frequency... (View More) and speed of solar storms traveling from the Sun to Earth. This activity is part of the Space Math multimedia modules that integrate NASA press releases, NASA archival video, and mathematics problems targeted at specific math standards commonly encountered in middle school textbooks. The modules cover specific math topics at multiple levels of difficulty with real-world data and use the 5E instructional sequence. (View Less)

Students will learn about the Transit of Venus through reading a NASA press release and viewing a NASA eClips™ video that describes several ways to observe transits. Then students will study angular measurement by learning about parallax and how... (View More) astronomers use this geometric effect to determine the distance to Venus during a Transit of Venus. This activity is part of the Space Math multimedia modules that integrate NASA press releases, NASA archival video, and mathematics problems targeted at specific math standards commonly encountered in middle school textbooks. The modules cover specific math topics at multiple levels of difficulty with real-world data and use the 5E instructional sequence. (View Less)

During the last sunspot cycle between 1996-2008, over 21,000 flares and 13,000 clouds of plasma exploded from the Sun's magnetically active surface. Students will learn more about space weather through reading a NASA press release and viewing a NASA... (View More) eClips™ video segment. Then students will explore the statistics of various types of space weather storms by determining the mean, median and mode of different samples of storm events. This activity is part of the Space Math multimedia modules that integrate NASA press releases, NASA archival video, and mathematics problems targeted at specific math standards commonly encountered in middle school textbooks. The modules cover specific math topics at multiple levels of difficulty with real-world data and use the 5E instructional sequence. (View Less)

During the last sunspot cycle between 1996-2008, over 21,000 flares and 13,000 clouds of plasma exploded from the Sun's magnetically active surface. These events create space weather. Students will learn more about space weather and how it affects... (View More) Earth through reading a NASA press release and viewing a NASA eClips™ video segment. Then students will explore the statistics of various types of space weather storms by determining the mean, median and mode of a sample of storm events. This activity is part of the Space Math multimedia modules that integrate NASA press releases, NASA archival video, and mathematics problems targeted at specific math standards commonly encountered in middle school textbooks. The modules cover specific math topics at multiple levels of difficulty with real-world data and use the 5E instructional sequence. (View Less)

In this engineering challenge, student teams are introduced to the engineering design process, and then construct and test an earthquake-resistant structure. The lesson plan includes teacher support, student worksheets, multimedia assets, and links... (View More) for students to conduct Web-based investigations. Authentic assessments, a multiple choice test, and rubrics are included. This is an optional extension activity associated with the resource, Flight Mission Challenge: Improving Earthquake Monitoring, a 3 part, multiple-day Earth science and engineering investigation. (View Less)

Materials Cost: 1 cent - $1 per group of students

Through an analysis of data sets on four parameters - sea ice totals, sea surface temperatures, near surface temperatures and surface type - students must decide whether the Arctic is experiencing climate change and predict any potential effects on... (View More) the rest of the planet. The activity in this lesson involves card sorting, a technique in which index cards, each containing content or diagrams, are grouped according to unifying concepts. The cards in this lesson contain graphs that students have downloaded, summaries they have written, and questions they have derived from the lesson. The graphs used in this activity show satellite data sets for a location above the Arctic Circle. Students will analyze and group the cards and will then write a conclusion in which they explain the connection between the four parameters, and relate them back to climate change. This lesson uses student- and citizen science-friendly microsets of authentic NASA Earth system science data from the MY NASA DATA project. It also includes related links, extensions, an online glossary, and a list of related AP Environmental Science topics. (View Less)

This is a lesson about the electromagnetic spectrum. Learners will read two pages of information about the electromagnetic spectrum and answer questions in an accompanying worksheet. This activity is from the Stanford Solar Center's All About the... (View More) Sun: Sun and Stars activity guide for Grades 5-8 and can also accompany the Stanford Solar Center's Build Your Own Spectroscope activity. (View Less)