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In this lesson, students explore the cosmic microwave background to understand why a completely smooth (isotropic) background poses problems for the Universe we see today. Students will participate in an engagement activity which demonstrates how... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: $1 - $5 per group of students

This is an educators guide to accompany the Journey to the Stars planetarium show. The materials for grades 9-12 include suggestions for activities to do before and after viewing the planetarium show, including class discussions about units of... (View More)

Students are introduced to the basic properties, behavior and detection of black holes through a brief discussion of common conceptions and misconceptions of these exciting objects. They "act out" a way black holes might be detected through their... (View More)

In this lesson, students simulate an experiment in which the discovery of dark energy can be made by plotting modern supernova distances on a Hubble Diagram. Data is provided in an Excel spreadsheet (see related resources). In order to complete this... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

This is an educators guide to accompany the Journey to the Stars planetarium show. The materials for grades 3-5 include suggestions for activities to do before and after viewing the planetarium show, including class discussions about the Sun's... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school, Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

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

In this lesson, students read the original paper written by Henrietta Leavitt in which she compared the apparent brightness and period of Cepheid variable stars. The students prepare graphs from numerical data, just as she did, and compare their... (View More)

In this lesson, students measure the size of several galaxies to reproduce a plot of Hubble's Law. The goal of this lesson is to give students the chance to simulate the process that led to the notion that the universe is expanding, provide insight... (View More)

Keywords: Data graphing

This is an activity about the size and scale of the Sun, Earth and Moon. Learners will collectively paint and label a model of the Sun and determine the comparative sizes of these three bodies. Learners can then complete a worksheet to further... (View More)

Keywords: NSTA2013
Audience: Elementary school

This is an activity exploring the concept that distance affects how we perceive an object's size, specifically pertaining to the size of the Sun and the Moon as seen from Earth. Learners will complete a hands on activity where two balls of differing... (View More)

Keywords: NSTA2013
Audience: Elementary school