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In this lesson, students observe the surface of rotating potatoes to help them understand how astronomers can sometimes determine the shape of asteroids from variations in reflective brightness.

Learners will use direct vocabulary instruction to learn the new definitions of planet, dwarf planet, and asteroid. The publicity generated by the International Astronomical Union's definition of Pluto as a dwarf planet in 2006 created a teachable... (View More)

This is an activity about motion in a frame of reference. Learners will develop an understanding that motion is relative by reading the text "Frames of Reference." As a follow-up to the reading, students engage in a writing-to-learn strategy that... (View More)

Audience: High school

Learners will study the essential components and variables of an ion propulsion system. Activities include an on-line ion propulsion engine simulation and design. Included are changes in energy and fuel consumption as a result of variable changes... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

This is a detailed lesson about space and how Earth fits in it. Learners will consider the essential question, "What is space?" Activities include small group miming, speaking, drawing, and/or writing about space and the evidence for ice in space.... (View More)

This is a lesson about ice worlds in the outer planetary regions and the role they play in understanding the Solar System. Learners will role-play stories connecting science-related literature to ice worlds, view and interpret space-based images of... (View More)

This is a lesson about the field of astrobiology, the study of life in the universe, and ice as a preservative for evidence of life. Learners will consider the relationship between ice and life as they investigate the conditions required for life to... (View More)

This is a lesson about infrared radiation. Learners will investigate invisible forms of light as they conduct William Herschel's experiment and subsequent discovery of infrared radiation. They will construct a device to measure the presence of... (View More)

This is a lesson about radiation and the various sources of radiation that a spacecraft may encounter in its journey. Learners will calculate their annual exposure to high-energy radiation, identify sources of high-energy radiation, and explain why... (View More)

Keywords: Radiation

Learners will consider the essential question, "How much energy does sunlight provide to the Earth and what is its role in the Earth’s energy resources?" Activities include building a device to measure the solar constant - the amount of energy in... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: $1 - $5 per group of students