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This is an activity during Solar Week, a twice-yearly event in March and October during which classrooms are able to interact with scientists studying the Sun. Outside of Solar Week, information, activities, and resources are archived and available... (View More) online at any time. This is an activity about telling time using the Sun. Learners will create a solar shadow tool and use it to chart changes in the Sun's altitude through the seasons. This activity is scheduled to occur during Thursday of Solar Week. The activity requires access to a sunny outdoor location over the course of several days, weeks, or months, as well as materials and equipment such as pine board, dowel rod piece, drill and drill bit, saw, bulls-eye level, small nails, and either wood glue or hot glue. (View Less)

Materials Cost: Over $20 per group of students

This collection of 160 math problems covers the 20 science topic themes presented by the NASA/JPL Year of the Solar System (YOSS) website, covering the solar system, planets, the search for life, and robotics. Examples of topics included are: scale... (View More) of the solar system; asteroids; comets; moons and rings; volcanism in the solar system; ice in the solar system; water in the solar system; the Sun, transits and eclipses; astrobiology; magnetosphers and more. It is intended as a mathematics supplement for the science content presented at the YOSS website, and features grade-appropriate and Common Core State Standards-based math problems based on science content for grades 3-12. (View Less)

In this data analysis activity, students compare near surface temperature at the time of the solstices in two different hemispheres, and see how the tilt of the Earth's axis in relationship to the Sun contributes to temperature differences across... (View More) the planet. Step-by-step instructions for use of the MY NASA DATA Live Access Server (LAS) guide students through selecting a data set, importing the data into a spreadsheet, creating graphs, and analyzing data plots. The lesson provides detailed procedures, related links and sample graphs, follow-up questions, extensions, and teacher notes. Designed for student use, MY NASA DATA LAS samples micro datasets from large scientific data archives, and provides structured investigations engaging students in exploration of real data to answer real world questions. (View Less)

This is an online set of information about astronomical alignments of ancient structures and buildings. Learners will read background information about the alignments to the Sun in such structures as the Great Pyramid, Chichen Itza, and others.... (View More) Next, the site contains 10 short problem sets that involve a variety of math skills, including determining the scale of a photo, measuring and drawing angles, plotting data on a graph, and creating an equation to match a set of data. Each set of problems is contained on one page and all of the sets utilize real-world problems relating to astronomical alignments of ancient structures. Each problem set is flexible and can be used on its own, together with other sets, or together with related lessons and materials selected by the educator. This was originally included as a folder insert for the 2010 Sun-Earth Day. (View Less)

In this activity, students use mathematics to understand tides and gravitation and how gravity works across astronomical distances, using an apparatus made from a slinky, meter stick, and a hook. A description of the mathematical relationships seen... (View More) in the demonstration is included. The resource is from PUMAS - Practical Uses of Math and Science - a collection of brief examples created by scientists and engineers showing how math and science topics taught in K-12 classes have real world applications. (View Less)

How effective would solar cells be in any particular area of the United States? In this activity, students answer that question by analyzing graphs of incoming solar radiation. Students will download two solar radiation graphs, one based on latitude... (View More) and one based on cloud cover. After transferring that data to the accompanying worksheet, students will determine the areas in the United States best suited for the use of solar cells. Using both an overlay graph and a difference graph, students will determine the practicality of solar cell power for a home in various U.S. locations. This lesson uses student- and citizen science-friendly microsets of authentic NASA Earth system science data from the MY NASA DATA project. It also includes related links, extensions, an online glossary, and a list of related AP Environmental Science topics. (View Less)

In this problem set, learners will compare actual versus computer track of a solar eclipse in Babylonian times to calculate the rate at which the day is lengthening over time. Answer key is provided. This is part of "Earth Math: A Brief Mathematical... (View More) Guide to Earth Science and Climate Change." (View Less)

This activity, effective outdoors or indoors, demonstrates how insolation is affected by latitude by using a pair of thermometers, each taped to some cardboard, placed outside on a sunny day. A globe can also be used, outdoors or indoors. Students... (View More) learn that seasonal variations in temperature are the result of the heating of the Sun as a function of its peak angle and length of the day. A template for a folded paper structure to explore the effects of the angle of illumination on heating is included. The resource is from PUMAS - Practical Uses of Math and Science - a collection of brief examples created by scientists and engineers showing how math and science topics taught in K-12 classes have real world applications. (View Less)

This resource complements a planetarium experience. However, the accompanying educator's guide and companion guides - with lessons on observing and investigating the Moon - are available to download for independent classroom use. The hands-on... (View More) activities, which take up where the show leaves off, motivate students to use their cooperative learning skills to design a self-sufficient lunar station. Working in teams, students develop critical thinking skills, problem-solving techniques, and an understanding of complex systems as they discuss solutions to the essential questions they are presented. (View Less)

This web page features a short essay about the equinox solar alignments of the pyramid of Kulkulkan at Chichen Itza. It can be used by educators as background information or as a reading assignment for learners.