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The discovery and characterization of exoplanets is one of the most exciting and fast-changing areas in modern astronomical research. This annotated guide includes a wide range of materials, both online and in print, that astronomy instructors and... (View More) their students can use to learn about the latest developments. Items were selected based on their level of difficulty (Astro 101 level and below), the likelihood of their being easily available for a college audience, and their usefulness for teaching and learning. (View Less)
This series of ten lessons has been developed to teach students about local and global water issues. They are based on NASA’s Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Mission. The activities are done largely outdoors and include scientific data... (View More) collection and analysis and integrate technology. Many of the lessons involve data collected based on protocols from the GLOBE Program. Each lesson is designed to take one hour; the lessons build on each other, but can also be used independently. Each lesson topic includes a lesson plan, PowerPoint presentation, student capture sheet and capture sheet answer guide. (View Less)
This set of three videos illustrates how math is used in satellite data analysis. The videos feature NASA senior climate scientist Claire Parkinson. Parkinson explains how the Arctic and Antarctic sea ice covers are measured from satellite data and... (View More) how math is used to determine trends in the data. In the first video, she leads viewers from satellite data collection through obtaining a time series of monthly average sea ice extents for November 1978 – December 2012, for the Arctic and Antarctic. In the second video, she begins with the time series from the first video, removes the seasonal cycle by calculating yearly averages, and proceeds to calculate the slopes of the lines to get trends in the data, revealing decreasing sea ice coverage in the Arctic and increasing sea ice coverage in the Antarctic. In the third video, she uses a more advanced technique to remove the seasonal cycle and shows that the trends are close to the same, whichever method is used. She emphasizes the power of math and that the techniques shown for satellite sea ice data can also be applied to a wide range of data sets. (View Less)
Learners will build a magnetometer, an instrument that can measure slight changes in Earth’s magnetic field that are caused by solar storms. This activity is from the DIY Sun Science app and is for ages 13 and up.
If you’ve ever seen a picture of a solar eclipse, you may have noticed that the Moon comes very close to covering the entire Sun. Learners will use a coin and a plate to investigate why the Sun and Moon look like they’re the same size, though... (View More) the Sun is much bigger. This activity is from the DIY Sun Science app and is for ages 7 and up. (View Less)
Learners will make a Sun tracker to explore how ancient civilizations around the world studied the Sun. This activity is from the DIY Sun Science app and is for ages 7 and up. It requires a bright sunny day.