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In this activity, students are introduced to the concept of remote sensing. In the course of this experiment, students will investigate heat conduction on two surfaces and understand the application of these techniques to spacecraft investigations... (View More) of surfaces in the solar system. Materials required for the outdoor demonstration include a cement step, sand, laboratory thermometers, foam rubber, and a meter stick. An optional indoor experimental set up uses twin desk lamps with equal-wattage tungsten bulbs and an infrared thermometer. A student datasheet accompanies the activity. This 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 is a lesson about detecting ice on the permanently shadowed craters of Mercury and the Moon. Learners will consider what might be in that ice and will examine why the polar regions of Earth, Mercury and the Moon are colder than elsewhere on the... (View More) planets. Activities include small group miming, speaking, drawing, and/or writing. This is the lesson 12 of 12 in the unit, Exploring Ice in the Solar System. (View Less)
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) ice worlds, and investigate surface and interior features of outer planetary ice worlds. Photometry and spectroscopy will be used as background. Activities include small group miming, speaking, drawing, and/or writing. This is the lesson 11 of 12 in the unit, Exploring Ice in the Solar System. (View Less)
This is a lesson about phase changes. Learners will observe ice melting and freezing under a variety of conditions and relate that to the Messenger mission. This is lesson 1 of 12 in Exploring Ice in the Solar System.
This is a series of three activities about light and spectra. First, learners will construct their own spectroscope, observe common light sources, record the observed spectra, and compare their findings. Next, learners will use their spectroscopes... (View More) to observe the spectra from different gas tubes and compare each observed spectrum to known spectra. Finally, they will observe a solar spectrum created by a prism, view a solar spectrum on paper, and attempt to determine the elements present in the Sun. This activity requires spectroscope posters and gratings available from the Stanford Solar Center (http://solar-center.stanford.edu/posters/), fluorescent and incandescent light sources, and emission lamps and power sources. This activity is from the Stanford Solar Center's All About the Sun: Sun and Stars activity guide for Grades 5-8 and can also accompany the Stanford Solar Center's Build Your Own Spectroscope activity. (View Less)
This is an activity about the differences in thermal behavior between similar materials having different physical properties. Learners will measure temperature of two different surfaces; sand and stone; on a sunny day, make a series of temperature... (View More) measurements, and plot the results. Extensions include experimenting with different materials, using temperature sensors and noncontact infrared thermometers. The activity is analogous with remote sensing of thermal properties in the Saturn system measured by Cassini. (Note: a separate version of this activity was developed in 2008 for PUMAS - Practical Uses of Math and Science). (View Less)