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Learners will use balloons to construct a scale model of the Earth, Earth's Moon and Mars in relation to each other. They will use this model to predict distances and reflect on how scientists use models to construct explanations through the... (View More)

Learners will create a model of the solar system using colored beads and string. In addition, learners will compare planetary sizes using common types of fruits and seeds(either actual fruits or the accompanying drawings of fruits). The lesson... (View More)

This is an activity about seasonal variations in day length. Learners will graph the number of daylight hours in each month in cities around the world and compare results. They will also gain an understanding of the meaning of the term equinox... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free per student

This is an activity about satellite size. Learners will calculate the volume of the IMAGE (Imager for Magnetopause-to-Aurora Global Exploration) satellite, the first satellite mission to image the Earth's magnetosphere. They will then determine the... (View More)

This is an activity about scale model building. Learners will use mathematics to determine the scale model size, construct a pattern, and build a one-fourth size scale model of the IMAGE (Imager for Magnetopause-to-Aurora Global Exploration)... (View More)

This is an activity about the solar activity cycle. Learners will construct a graph to identify a pattern of the number of observed sunspots and the number of coronal mass ejections emitted by the Sun over a fifteen year time span. A graphing... (View More)

Gamma-ray bursts are distant explosions that briefly outshine the rest of the gamma-ray universe. In this lesson, students will follow the same procedures used by today's astronomers to determine two basic facts about gamma-ray bursts: their... (View More)

In this inquiry investigation, students explore how light hits things of different shape and form. One real world application to this activity is understanding what we actually observe when we see a solar eclipse. Supplies needed for this lesson... (View More)

This inquiry activity supports student understanding of the cause of light, heat and shadow, how to measure the passage of time, and how to use rules and other measuring tools. Students make observations using shadows, a meter stick, and a homemade... (View More)

Keywords: Angle; Sphere; Model

In this inquiry investigation, students conclude that the motion of the Earth is linked to the changes we observe such as the length of the day. Students learn about the reason behind the Earth's time zones. An optional water clock and sand clock... (View More)

Keywords: Time; Orbit; Time zones