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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, students survey other people to find out their thoughts about life beyond Earth and compare their ideas with visitors to the Cosmic Questions exhibit. Students can also analyze their survey data to see whether there is any... (View More)

Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

In this activity, students examine the first line of evidence, galactic motion, for the notion of an expanding universe. By examining the spectrum of light from a galaxy, students can determine whether a galaxy is moving toward or away from us, and... (View More)

Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

This modular activity traces the history of telescope development and highlights the interplay between technological and scientific advances. Milestones in telescope development are highlighted in the ten sections called "eras," with specific... (View More)

Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

This interactive, online activity traces the history of the telescope from Galileo's first look at the stars to the work of modern observatories. Learners will read about the milestones in telescope development, witness the interplay between... (View More)

Keywords: History of science
Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

This modular activity introduces five major pre-requisite ideas: the electromagnetic spectrum, three ways to alter the path of light, refraction by lenses vs. reflection by mirrors, what telescopes do, and what makes a good telescope. Students can... (View More)

Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

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)

In this activity, students will model the time after the Big Bang when the first nuclei of hydrogen and helium were created. The students will move and display cards that show the elements that are formed. This activity requires a large area - e.g.,... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

In this activity, students estimate the size of the visible universe in relation to the size of the Milky Way Galaxy. To do so, students will get a sense of scale and will convert from centimeters to kilometers. This is activity one in the "Hidden... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

This activity is a kinesthetic exercise for students to experience rotation curves for themselves. The students are divided into two groups; one group will participate in the activity, while the other observes. The groups should switch for different... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free