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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)

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)

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)

This is an activity about the use of light to learn about space. Learners will use colored filters to examine slides of stars and nebulae. These filters show how astronomers distinguish stars of different temperatures and nebulae with different... (View More) compositions. (View Less)

This is an activity about the size and scale of the Sun-Earth system. Learners will take an imaginary trip to the Sun by comparing images of the Sun and Earth at different points in altitude above the Earth. This is to ultimately conceptualize the... (View More) spherical shape of the Earth, which is key to understanding the cause of the seasons. They will then produce a scale model of the Sun and Earth to reinforce the idea that the distance to the Sun is enormous compared with the size of the Earth. Finally, learners reflect on Question 3 of the Sun-Earth Survey, which is the prior activity in this set. This is Activity 3 in the Great Explorations in Math and Science (GEMS) guide titled Real Reasons for Seasons: Sun-Earth Connections. An additional related activity, entitled Scale Models of the Earth-Moon System and the Solar System, is included in the CD-ROM enclosed with the resource guide. The resource guide is available for purchase from the Lawrence Hall of Science. This activity recommends use of an overhead projector, and requires use of a small scale model toy, such as a car or any other toy made to scale, and a rigid globe or large ball like a soccer ball or basketball. (View Less)

Gamma-ray bursts are distant explosions that briefly outshine the rest of the gamma-ray universe. In this lesson, students will follow the same procedures used by today's astronomers to determine two basic facts about gamma-ray bursts: their... (View More) distance from Earth and their power. (View Less)