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In this activity students are challenged to create a model of the universe in a single class period. This activity is designed to elicit student ideas and preconceptions about the contents and organization of the cosmos. Most students will be... (View More) somewhat familiar with solar system objects, but may be confused about the relationship of stars to planets, and about their relative distances. This activity is part of the "Cosmic Questions Educator's Guide" developed to support the Cosmic Questions exhibit. The activites in the guide can be used in conjunction with or independently of the exhibit. (View Less)

In this activity, students will use a simulator of an orbiting X-ray observatory to observe a supernova remnant, the expanding gas from an exploded star. They will take X-ray spectral data, analyze them, and answer questions based on that data. This... (View More) resource consists of a manual and software for the Introductory Astronomy Lab Exercise, from CLEA (Contemporary Laboratory Experiments in Astronomy). The manual includes introductory activities for students, background information, an instructor's guide, a student handout, an answer key, a software user's guide, and a glossary. The student section of the activity starts on page 13. See Related & Supplemental Resources for a link to download the software. Note: the software is only available for Windows. (View Less)

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) and time, which lays the foundation for thinking about the size and scale of the universe. This actvity can be used to assess students? understanding and introduce concepts before proceeding to other activities that follow this one. This activity is part of the "Cosmic Questions: Our Place in Space and Time" educators guide that developed to support the Cosmic Questions exhibit. This activity can be used in conjunction with, or independently of, the exhibit. (View Less)

This is an activity about angular measurement. Learners will explore the relationship between angular size, actual size, and distance by using their finger, thumb and fist as a unit of angular measurement. Includes teacher background, student data... (View More) sheet, and extensions. (View Less)

In this activity, students determine the direction to a gamma ray burst using the times it is detected by three different spacecraft located somewhere in the solar system. We assume that all the spacecraft are in the plane of the Earth's orbit... (View More) around the Sun; that is, there is no third dimension and that we are only concerned with two dimensions, x and y. We also assume the burst is billions of light years away, so the incoming gamma rays are traveling along parallel lines. This activity uses Gamma-ray Bursts as an engagement tool to teach selected topics in physical science and mathematics. In addition to the activities, the guide features background information, assessment information, student worksheets, extension and transfer activities, and detailed information about the physical science and mathematics content standards for grades 9-12. This is Activity 2 of 4 in the guide which accompanies the educational wall sheet titled Angling For Gamma-ray Bursts. (View Less)

In this activity students convert antilogs to logs, and logs to antilogs using scientific notation as an intermediate step. They will thereby develop a look-up table for solving math problems by using logarithms. This is activity D2 in the "Far Out... (View More) Math" educator's guide. Lessons in the guide include activities in which students measure,compare quantities as orders of magnitude, become familiar with scientific notation, and develop an understanding of exponents and logarithms using examples from NASA's GLAST mission. These are skills needed to understand the very large and very small quantities characteristic of astronomical observations. Note: In 2008, GLAST was renamed Fermi, for the physicist Enrico Fermi. (View Less)

In this activity, a three-part questionnaire launches students into discussions about where objects in space are located, and when they formed - an introduction to the concepts of structure and evolution of the universe. By physically manipulating... (View More) images of objects in space, students represent their own mental models of space and time. This survey can serve as a pre-unit assessment activity to determine what students think about the universe, and can help inform the development of follow-up activities. (View Less)

In this activity students construct multiplying slide rules scaled in Base-10 exponents and use them to calculate products and quotients. They will come to appreciate that super numbers (exponents, orders of magnitude and logarithms) play by... (View More) different rules of arithmetic than ordinary numbers (numbers, powers of ten and antilogs). This is activity A2 in the "Far Out Math" educator's guide. Lessons in the guide include activities in which students measure,compare quantities as orders of magnitude, become familiar with scientific notation, and develop an understanding of exponents and logarithms using examples from NASA's GLAST mission. These are skills needed to understand the very large and very small quantities characteristic of astronomical observations. Note: In 2008, GLAST was renamed Fermi, for the physicist Enrico Fermi. (View Less)

In this activity students construct Log Tapes calibrated in base-ten exponents, then use them to derive relationships between base-ten logs (exponents) and antilogs (ordinary numbers). This is activity B1 in the "Far Out Math" educator's guide.... (View More) Lessons in the guide include activities in which students measure,compare quantities as orders of magnitude, become familiar with scientific notation, and develop an understanding of exponents and logarithms using examples from NASA's GLAST mission. These are skills needed to understand the very large and very small quantities characteristic of astronomical observations. Note: In 2008, GLAST was renamed Fermi, for the physicist Enrico Fermi. (View Less)

This activity is one of several in which students are required to access and analyze actual data from NASA missions, including video "interviews" with real NASA scientists, to solve a mystery. In this mystery, students learn about the force of... (View More) gravity and how scientists analyze data by studying the properties of different objects in space. Live! From 2-Alpha can be used to support instruction about forces and motion, origin and evolution of the universe, and the interaction of energy and matter. This activity is one of several in "Space Mysteries," a series of inquiry-driven, interactive Web explorations. Each Mystery in "Space Mysteries" is designed to teach at least one physical science concept (e.g. interactions of energy and matter, structures and properties of matter, energy, motion, or forces), and is accompanied by materials to be used by classroom teachers. (View Less)