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The nature of technology  
Light and optics  
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Become a crime scene investigator! Learners model Dawn Mission scientists, engineers, and technologists and how they use instrumentation to detect distant worlds. After a briefing to build context, students explore interactions between different... (View More)

In this activity about spectroscopy, learners build a spectroscope, learn about graphing spectra, and then identify elements in gas tubes using their spectra. The activity concludes as learners graph the spectra of different materials. Essential... (View More)

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 of the Sun and Earth. This activity requires... (View More)

In this lesson, students observe the surface of rotating potatoes to help them understand how astronomers can sometimes determine the shape of asteroids from variations in reflective brightness.

This is a lesson about detecting ice on the permanently shadowed craters of Mercury and the Moon. Learners will consider what might be in that ice and will examine why the polar regions of Earth, Mercury and the Moon are colder than elsewhere on the... (View More)

This is a lesson about ice worlds in the outer planetary regions and the role they play in understanding the Solar System. Learners will role-play stories connecting science-related literature to ice worlds, view and interpret space-based images of... (View More)

This is a lesson where learners explore how the creation and destruction of ozone protects us from ultraviolet radiation (UV). Learners will kinesthetically model the depletion of ozone caused by chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) molecules; use ultraviolet... (View More)

One of the greatest mysteries of all is what causes gamma ray bursts. These bursts are the most powerful explosions in the Universe and occur about once a day. Their origin is unknown, although there are several theories. Students learn about NASA's... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

In this inquiry investigation, students explore how light hits things of different shape and form. One real world application to this activity is understanding what we actually observe when we see a solar eclipse. Supplies needed for this lesson... (View More)

In this inquiry investigation, students study the motion and positions of the Earth and how they affect the path of sunlight we get in different places. They discover that the Earth must be curved to account for the different lengths of shadows at... (View More)

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