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This activity introduces students to the visible light spectrum, and demonstrates what happens to the appearance of an image when certain wavelengths of light are blocked by filters or made visible using special tools. Students are lead through... (View More)

This manual provides an overview of how telescopes have changed our understanding of the universe and contains simple demonstrations to use at star parties to get across basic ideas of optics. This manual will also help explain why the images that... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

In this activity, students explore images taken with telescopes sensitive to several different wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum. Students compare the images to determine that light carries information about physical features in the... (View More)

Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

This is an activity about the relative sizes of the Earth and the Moon and the distance between them. Learners will inflate a balloon to the approximate size of the moon in relation to a standard globe. They will then hypothesize as to the correct... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school, Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

In this activity, a three-part questionnaire launches students on discussions about where objects in space are located, and when they formed. By physically manipulating images of objects in space, students represent their own mental models of space... (View More)

This science news story explains how an area in the constellation, Orion, called the Orion Nebula is a stellar nursery, where more than 3,000 stars are being born. Students read about why astronomers are interested in this region of space and how... (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 detailed historical lesson about comets, distant icy worlds often visible to observers on Earth. Learners will consider the essential question, "What are comets?" They will practice observation and "noticing" skills as they enact a story... (View More)

This is a lesson about finding habitable planets. Learners will use an online, multimedia module to simulate the techniques that scientists might use to find a star system and planet that meet the astronomical conditions required for human... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

In this activity, students work in groups to create a presentation that illustrates the meaning of the statement "To make an apple pie from scratch you must first invent the universe." Students pick an element that can be found in apple pie and... (View More)