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This slide set focuses on the discovery of an intermediate mass black hole in M83. It is one of a series meant to bring recent NASA discoveries to the college-level non-major introductory astronomy classroom. The slide sets compile short, topical... (View More) presentations on new developments from NASA astrophysics missions relevant to introductory astronomy (astronomy 101) topics. These resources are intended to help Astronomy 101 instructors include the latest developments (discoveries not yet in their textbooks) into the big-picture context of their courses. The slide sets are constructed to be included easily as a lecture supplement including synopsis, references, and graphics. (View Less)

This slide set focuses on the discovery of debris belts around Vega. It is one of a series meant to bring recent NASA discoveries to the college-level non-major introductory astronomy classroom. The slide sets compile short, topical presentations on... (View More) new developments from NASA astrophysics missions relevant to introductory astronomy (astronomy 101) topics. These resources are intended to help Astronomy 101 instructors include the latest developments (discoveries not yet in their textbooks) into the big-picture context of their courses. The slide sets are constructed to be included easily as a lecture supplement including synopsis, references, and graphics. (View Less)

The Cosmic Times Gallery Walk and Cosmic Times Jigsaw lessons serve as extensions to the Cosmic Times suite of curriculum support materials. They are intended to provide an introduction to Cosmic Times as a whole, giving students the larger picture... (View More) of how our understanding of the universe has changed over the last century. During the Gallery Walk lesson, students peruse the Cosmic Times posters to answer open-ended questions. During the Jigsaw lesson, students work in cooperative teams to understand the primary scientific advances over the past century that have contributed to our current understanding of the universe. (View Less)

Students will learn about black holes through reading a NASA press release and viewing a NASA eClips video segment. Then students will use tables and mathematical expressions to compare black hole sizes and temperatures. Common Core State Standards... (View More) for Mathematics and English Language Arts are identified. This activity is part of the Space Math multi-media modules that integrate NASA press releases, NASA archival video, and mathematics problems targeted at specific math standards commonly encountered in middle school textbooks. The modules cover specific math topics at multiple levels of difficulty with real-world data and use the 5E instructional sequence. (View Less)

Students use simple proportions and fractions to explore the number of stars in the Milky Way, and the relative sizes of some famous stars compared to our own Sun. By reading a NASA press release and viewing a NASA eClips video segment, students... (View More) will learn more about stars and the Milky Way galaxy. Common Core State Standards for Mathematics and English Language Art are identified. This activity is part of the Space Math multi-media modules that integrate NASA press releases, NASA archival video, and mathematics problems targeted at specific math standards commonly encountered in middle school textbooks. The modules cover specific math topics at multiple levels of difficulty with real-world data and use the 5E instructional sequence. (View Less)

Students will learn about NASA's Fermi satellite and gamma ray sources through reading a NASA press release. They will also learn about gamma rays and the electromagnetic spectrum by viewing a NASA eClips video segment. Then, students will use... (View More) percentages to explore the origins of mysterious gamma ray sources in the sky using NASA Fermi data. Common Core State Standards for Mathematics and English Language Art are identified. This activity is part of the Space Math multi-media modules that integrate NASA press releases, NASA archival video, and mathematics problems targeted at specific math standards commonly encountered in middle school textbooks. The modules cover specific math topics at multiple levels of difficulty with real-world data and use the 5E instructional sequence. (View Less)

Students will learn about the Spitzer Infrared Observatory and a recently observed dust ring around Saturn through reading a NASA press release and viewing a NASA video segment. Then students will use scientific notation to perform calculations to... (View More) understand the size, mass, and volume of dust and the new dust ring. Common Core State Standards for Mathematics and English Language Arts are identified. This activity is part of the Space Math multi-media modules that integrate NASA press releases, NASA archival video, and mathematics problems targeted at specific math standards commonly encountered in middle school textbooks. The modules cover specific math topics at multiple levels of difficulty with real-world data and use the 5E instructional sequence. (View Less)

Students will learn about the Big Bang theory of the universe through reading a NASA press release and viewing a NASA eClips video segment. They will use simple linear equations to analyze data that reveals the expansion and early history of the... (View More) universe after the Big Bang. Common Core State Standards for Mathematics and English Language Arts are identified. This activity is part of the Space Math multi-media modules that integrate NASA press releases, NASA archival video, and mathematics problems targeted at specific math standards commonly encountered in middle school textbooks. The modules cover specific math topics at multiple levels of difficulty with real-world data and use the 5E instructional sequence. (View Less)

This planetarium show is designed to engage visitors directly in activities and demonstrations, and is optimized for group sizes of 25 to 70 people. Show content includes general planet-finding techniques (Doppler, astrometric, etc.), an audience... (View More) activity about the transit method of extrasolar planet discovery, NASA Kepler mission, and Johannes Kepler's work. It is 50-minutes long, but modular, so that it can be adjusted for shorter lengths (suggestions for 30-minute and 40-minute versions are provided in the script). The script, images, movies and music are available for free download at the website provided. (View Less)

In this activity, students are reminded that the Universe is made up of elements and that the heavier elements are created inside of a star. They are then introduced to the life cycle of a star and how a star's mass affects its process of fusion and... (View More) eventual death. Students discuss the physical concept of equilibrium as a balancing of forces and observe an experiment to demonstrate what happens to a soda can when the interior and exterior forces are not in equilibrium. An analogy is made between this experiment and core collapse in stars, to show the importance of maintaining equilibrium in stars. Finally, students participate in an activity which demonstrates how mass is ejected from a collapsed star in a supernova explosion, thereby dispersing heavier elements throughout the Universe. This activity is part of a series that has been designed specifically for use with Girl Scouts, but the activities can be used in other settings. Most of the materials are inexpensive or easily found. It is recommended that a leader with astronomy knowledge lead the activities, or at least be available to answer questions, whenever possible. (View Less)