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This series of laboratory lessons and activities uses authentic solar imagery and data to introduce students to solar science. Students are asked to explore details in imagery, including how to deal with the issues of noise and resolution, and... (View More) understand scale. They are introduced to the concept of space weather and how that affects both observing instruments and the Earth. Students learn about spectra, how helium and coronium were discovered, and go on to explore real spectra from the Sun. Most activities are mathematically based, and targeted for grades 9-10. Imagery is included from NASA/ESA's SOHO mission, NASA's SDO mission, and Japan's Hinode satellite. (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)
This is an activity about electromagnetism and the Sun. First, learners will do a KWL activity using six vocabulary words. Next, they will build an electromagnet and investigate how it works. Finally, learners will relate the workings of their... (View More) electromagnet to a Solar Dynamics Observatory magnetogram image of the Sun. Per group of learners, this activity requires materials such as a length of insulated wire, alligator clips, a 2-D-battery holder, two D-batteries, and a nail. (View Less)
This article describes the work being done by scientists to determine the origin of water found in Earth's oceans. A supplemental exploration of the Herschel Space Observatory is included. The article is targeted to children ages 10-12.
This is a make-it-yourself planisphere designed to show where Kepler is pointing. Learners can use it to locate exoplanets around stars in the night sky. It comes with two wheels: one with coordinate grid for plotting additional exoplanet stars and... (View More) one without grid that is easier to read; and two holders for varying latitudes (one for 30°-50° and one for 50°-70°). The product is updated approximately annually to incorporate improvements and any newly discovered planets orbiting naked eye stars. (View Less)
This activity focuses on the relationship between science of looking for life and the tools, on vehicles such as the Mars Rover, that make it possible. Learners will create their own models of a Mars rover. They determine what tools would be... (View More) necessary to help them better understand Mars (and something about life on Mars/its habitability). Then they work in teams to complete a design challenge where they incorporate these elements into their models, which must successfully complete a task. Teams may also work together to create a large-scale, lobby-sized version that may be put on display in the library to engage their community. The activity also includes specific tips for effectively engaging girls in STEM. This is activity 6 in Explore: Life on Mars? that was developed specifically for use in libraries. (View Less)
This is a poster about radiation in space. Learners can read about the Van Allen belts and how NASA's Van Allen Probes are investigating the influence of the Sun's energy on Earth. The activity version also includes math problems, a vocabulary... (View More) matching game, a communication research challenge, and a toolbox of web resources. (View Less)
This is an activity about similarities and differences between the Earth and Mars. Learners will investigate how Mars compares to the Earth, working together to create an Earth-Mars Comparison Poster to post in the program facility/library and share... (View More) with their community. Their poster will feature basic facts about Mars and the Earth, as well as a scale model using balloons to represent the two planets. It also includes specific tips for effectively engaging girls in STEM. This is activity 2 in Explore: Life on Mars? that was developed specifically for use in libraries. (View Less)
This is an activity about spacecraft design. Teams of learners will model how scientists and engineers design and build spacecraft to collect, store, and transmit data to earth. Teams will design a system to store and transmit topographic data of... (View More) the Moon and then analyze that data and compare it to data collected by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter . (View Less)
This is a lithograph about NASA's Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission, or MMS. Learners will cut out and assemble a colorful 3D model of an MMS spacecraft. Web links, additional facts, and QR codes are included for audiences to access more information.