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Middle school  
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This is an activity about the shape of the Earth’s orbit. Learners will first use elements of the orbit of Earth and Pluto and an apparatus using string, a pencil, and pushpins to accurately draw an ellipse, showing the nearly circular shape of... (View More)

This is an activity about the size and scale of the Sun-Earth system. Learners will take an imaginary trip to the Sun by comparing images of the Sun and Earth at different points in altitude above the Earth. This is to ultimately conceptualize the... (View More)

This is an activity about how the Earth's axial tilt causes its seasons. Learners will make a model using polystyrene spheres and a light bulb to represent the Earth-Sun system, showing why the tilt of the Earth’s spin axis causes its seasons due... (View More)

Keywords: NSTA2013
Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: $1 - $5 per student

This is an activity about the position of the Moon and the Sun in the sky. Learners will use styrofoam balls to model the interactions between the Earth, Sun, and phases of the Moon. This is Activity A-5 of Universe at Your Fingertips 2.0: A... (View More)

This is a lesson about using craters to indicate the age of a planetary surface. Learners will simulate the process of cratering by using falling water drops to make craters in fine silica sand. Then, they will compare the cratered surfaces they... (View More)

This is an activity about scale model building. Learners will use mathematics to determine the scale model size, construct a pattern, and build a one-fourth size scale model of the IMAGE (Imager for Magnetopause-to-Aurora Global Exploration)... (View More)

This is an activity about scale model building. Learners will use mathematics to determine the scale model size, construct a pattern, and build a paper scale model of the IMAGE (Imager for Magnetopause-to-Aurora Global Exploration) satellite, the... (View More)

This is an activity about solar and lunar eclipses. Learners will use Styrofoam balls and a single light source to model and observe how both types of eclipses occur. This is Activity A-4 of Universe at Your Fingertips 2.0: A Collection of... (View More)

This is an activity about size and scale. Learners will construct accurate size models of the Earth and Moon out of clay and use them to model the Earth-Moon distance. This is Actividad 4.1 as part of El Universo a Sus Pies, a Spanish-language... (View More)

This is an activity about comets. Depending on the grade level of learners, either the instructor or the learners will construct a model comet using dry ice, ammonia, dirt, corn syrup, and water. This is Actividad 5.3 as part of El Universo a Sus... (View More)