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**Earth and space science**

**Astronomy**

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Cosmology is an enormous field and the number of educational resources can be a bit overwhelming. This annotated guide includes a sampling of non-technical materials – online and in print - that Astronomy 101 instructors around the U.S. have been... (View More) using. Items were selected based on their level of difficulty (Astro 101 level and below), the likelihood of their being easily available for a college audience, and their potential usefulness for teaching and learning. (View Less)

This collection of math problems is based on a weekly series of space and Earth science problems distributed to teachers during the 2013-2014 school year. The problems were intended for students looking for additional challenges in the math and... (View More) physical science curriculum and were created to be authentic glimpses of modern science and engineering issues, often involving actual research data. Includes information for teachers and answer key. (View Less)

Using three images from the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission, students measure and analyze infrared light from objects to identify Brown Dwarfs and Ultra-Luminous Infrared Galaxies (ULIRGs). The lesson includes a teacher’s guide,... (View More) student worksheet and PowerPoint presentation (which contains the three images to be analyzed). (View Less)

As science extension activities, this book of problems introduces students to mapping the shape of the Milky Way galaxy, and how to identify the various kinds of galaxies in our universe. Students also learn about the shapes and sizes of other... (View More) galaxies in our universe as they learn how to classify them. The math problems cover basic scientific notation skills and how they apply to working with astronomically large numbers. It also provides exercises in plotting points on a Cartesian plane to map the various features of our Milky Way. (View Less)

The Cosmic Times Gallery Walk and Cosmic Times Jigsaw lessons serve as extensions to the Cosmic Times suite of curriculum support materials. They are intended to provide an introduction to Cosmic Times as a whole, giving students the larger picture... (View More) of how our understanding of the universe has changed over the last century. During the Gallery Walk lesson, students peruse the Cosmic Times posters to answer open-ended questions. During the Jigsaw lesson, students work in cooperative teams to understand the primary scientific advances over the past century that have contributed to our current understanding of the universe. (View Less)

In this hands-on activity, students learn about the different realms of the Universe and explore their sizes and relative scales. They will be guided through a process that uncovers the immense sizes of the Sun, Solar System, Solar Neighborhood,... (View More) Milky Way, Local Group, Supercluster, and the observable Universe. The full version of this activity involves students doing simple math computations, however it can also be done without the math. There are some inexpensive materials involved, as well as a powerpoint presentation. It is intended for grades 8-12, but can be adapted down for lower grade levels. (View Less)

Students will learn about the Spitzer Infrared Observatory and a recently observed dust ring around Saturn through reading a NASA press release and viewing a NASA video segment. Then students will use scientific notation to perform calculations to... (View More) understand the size, mass, and volume of dust and the new dust ring. Common Core State Standards for Mathematics and English Language Arts are identified. This activity is part of the Space Math multi-media 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)

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) the distances to stars and far away galaxies. (View Less)

Materials Cost: $10 - $20 per group of students

This resource gives an impression of how immense our Universe is by employing a method used many times in "Power of 10" films - that is, starting with an image of the Earth and then zooming out towards the furthest visible reaches of our Universe.... (View More) This is not, however, an exercise in "powers of 10" - on the contrary, the goal is to show astronomical distances without scientific notation. It focuses on the large number of zeros that are in astronomical distances which are then measured with a familiar unit like the kilometer. The number of zeros increase with each zoom, though not at a constant rate. This resource was written because many people do not realize how spectacularly far away the "nearest" astronomical objects are. (View Less)

In this investigation, students use "point-source" light, light meters, and graphing software to quantify the reduction in light over distance. Through careful measurement of light received at several distances, students discover the best fit of the... (View More) data is the inverse square rule. Using this rule, students then calculate the distance between the light source and the light meter at random placements. Finally, students extend this principle to model the manner in which distances to Cepheid variable stars are measured. The distance between the Cepheid (here the light source) and the Earth (the light meter) can be determined by comparing the output of the source to the amount of light received. An historic scientific breakthrough occurred when the period-luminosity relationship of Cepheids was quantified throughout the early 1900s. This breakthrough allowed astronomers to gain a more correct understanding of the dimensions of our galaxy and the universe beyond. This activity is part of the "Cosmic Times" teacher's guide and is intended to be used in conjunction with the 1929 Cosmic Times Poster. (View Less)