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**Earth and space science**

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Learners will build an open spectrograph to calculate the angle the light is transmitted through a holographic diffraction grating. After finding the desired angles, the students will design their own spectrograph using the information learned. The... (View More) activity is part of Project Spectra, a science and engineering program for middle-high school students, focusing on how light is used to explore the Solar System. (View Less)

Learners will be introduced to the concepts of error analysis, including standard deviation. They will apply the knowledge of averages (means), standard deviation from the mean, and error analysis to their own classroom distribution of heights. They... (View More) will then apply this knowledge to data from the Student Dust Counter (SDC) onboard the New Horizons mission to determine the issues associated with taking data, including error and noise. **Note:** Updated links to the Student Dust Counter Data Viewer and website are provided under Related & Supplemental Resources (right). (View Less)

This lesson provides a way for students to determine the relationship between the distance from a light source and its brightness. Once students discover the relationship, they can begin to understand how astronomers use this knowledge to determine... (View More) the distances to stars and far away galaxies. (View Less)

In this activity, learners draw a circle with a single focus, an ellipse with two foci close together, and an ellipse with two foci far apart, and compare the shapes. Learners then measure the Sun in four images each taken in a different season,... (View More) comparing the apparent size of the Sun in each image to determine when Earth is closest to the Sun. This is the second activity in the SDO Secondary Learning Unit. The activity is reprinted with permission from the Great Explorations in Math and Science (GEMS). (View Less)

Activities in this lesson promote a fundamental understanding of relationships between graphed data. Sample graphs allow students to become familiar with interpreting data and to recognize relationships between variables. Additional microsets of... (View More) atmospheric data (gases, clouds, pressures, temperatures, precipitation) are included. Students will use that data to predict the appearance of a graph, plot the data points, study the data pattern and draw a conclusion. In addition, students will determine if a relationship exists between two variables; leading to an understanding that relationships between variables can be more complicated than simple linear ones. This lesson uses student- and citizen science-friendly microsets of authentic NASA Earth system science data from the MY NASA DATA project. It also includes sample graphs, related links, extensions, and an online glossary. (View Less)

Math skills are applied throughout this investigation of windows. Starting with basic window shapes, students determine area and complete a cost analysis, then do the same for windows of unconventional shapes. Students will examine photographs taken... (View More) by astronauts through windows on the Space Shuttle and International Space Station to explore the inverse relationship between lens size and area covered. This lesson is part of the Expedition Earth and Beyond Education Program. (View Less)

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) participants and a large open space. Includes mathematics extensions. (View Less)

Learners will use data from the Student Dust Counter (SDC) Data Viewer to establish any trends in the distribution of dust in the solar system. Students record the number of dust particles, or hits, recorded by the instrument and the average mass of... (View More) the particles in a given region. **Note:** Updated links to the Student Dust Counter Data Viewer and website are provided under Related & Supplemental Resources (right). (View Less)

Learners will relate the concept of density to the density of dust in space. They will use mission data from the Student Dust Counter (SDC) data viewer to determine the density of dust grains in a volume of space in order to answer questions... (View More) concerning the distribution of dust in the solar system. They will discover that space is much more sparsely populated with dust than they may have thought. Students discuss their findings with the class. **Note:** Updated links to the Student Dust Counter Data Viewer and website are provided under Related & Supplemental Resources (right). (View Less)

In this lesson, students measure the size of several galaxies to reproduce a plot of Hubble's Law. The goal of this lesson is to give students the chance to simulate the process that led to the notion that the universe is expanding, provide insight... (View More) into how this idea was reached, and inform students about the nature of our universe. This lesson is part of the Cosmic Times teacher's guide and is intended to be used in conjunction with the 1929 Cosmic Times Poster. (View Less)