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Using stickers created from the templates provided, students create a Venn diagram of objects in our solar system, our galaxy and the universe. This short activity can be used as a formative assessment.
In this hands-on activity, learners begin by estimating the size of each planet in our Solar System and Pluto and making each out of playdough or a similar material. Then, learners follow specific instructions to divide a mass of playdough into the... (View More) size of each planet and Pluto and compare the actual modeled sizes to the students' own predictions. This activity requires a large amount of playdough material per group of learners. Three pounds is the minimum amount required for each group. (View Less)
Learners will construct a pinhole camera and, using the projected image of the Sun, calculate its diameter. After calculating the diameter of the Sun, learners will create a classroom sized scale model of the Sun and Earth. This activity requires... (View More) use of a sunny outdoor location to be able to use the pinhole cameras. (View Less)
In this activity students develop a simplified log table using information from their Log Tapes. Then they use it to solve arithmetic problems by looking up and combining logs, and finding the antilog. Because these problems are extremely simple,... (View More) students appreciate the logic of logarithms without getting bogged down in the arithmetic detail and error. This is activity B3 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)