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Solar system  
Learning Time:
1 to 2 hours  
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This is a lesson about how spacecraft use gravity assists to get where they are going. Learners will explore how engineers minimize the use of fuel by utilizing gravity. In Activity 1, students explore the physical conservation laws by observing the... (View More)

Audience: High school

This is an activity about mission planning. Learners will use the roles of a navigation team, spacecraft, comet, Earth, and Sun to simulate how mission planners design a spacecraft/comet rendezvous. This activity requires at least four active... (View More)

This is an educators guide to accompany the Journey to the Stars planetarium show. The materials for grades 3-5 include suggestions for activities to do before and after viewing the planetarium show, including class discussions about the Sun's... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school, Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

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)

Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

This is an activity about day and night as a result of the Earth's rotation. Learners will first identify what they already know about day, night, and rotation and will be asked to share any questions they may have. Then, a book is read out loud in... (View More)

This is an activity about how to model and label a solar eclipse. Learners will paint and label an illustration of the Sun and Moon as they appear during a solar eclipse. Learners will also use their illustrations of the Sun to write a descriptive... (View More)

Keywords: NSTA2013
Audience: Elementary school

This is an activity about solar flare activity. Learners will use whole-Sun maps of magnetic activity in order to identify possible future magnetic activity. They will take into account the rotation of the Sun and make day-to-day predictions of the... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school, Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

In this activity, learners construct a classroom-based Space Weather Action Center and use it to obtain, analyze, and record real solar data on a weekly basis. A set of sequential activities are also provided to engage the audience in making... (View More)

This is an activity about identifying patterns of change in shadows as an effect of the Sun's changing position. This activity also discusses how shadows can be used to determine the time of day. Learners will build sundials and collect data based... (View More)

Keywords: NSTA2013
Audience: Elementary school

This is a lesson which gives students the opportunity to imagine they are scientists, provides them with a basic understanding of aurora and helps them to use creative methods in their observations. First, students will study the scientific aspect... (View More)

Keywords: Language arts
Audience: Elementary school, Informal education
Materials Cost: Free