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This is a lesson about designing and building an effective sunshade for a model MESSENGER craft. Learners will build a model of MESSENGER. They will use a scientific approach to solve problems and work as a cooperative team. They will discover their... (View More)

This is a detailed lesson about heat transfer and distance. Learners will design and conduct experiments to answer the question, "how does distance and inclination affect the amount of heat received from a heat source?" They will measure heat change... (View More)

This is a lesson about infrared radiation. Learners will investigate invisible forms of light as they conduct William Herschel’s experiment and subsequent discovery of infrared radiation. They will construct a device to measure the presence of... (View More)

This is a lesson about the energy output of the Sun. Learners will consider the essential question, "How much energy does sunlight provide to the Earth and what is its role in the Earth’s energy resources?" Activities include building a device to... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: $1 - $5 per group of students

This is an activity about spectroscopy. Learners will build a spectroscope and use it to observe various types of lights. This activity requires spectroscope kits and diffraction gratings available from the Stanford Solar Center... (View More)

In this activity, students become familiar with the orientation of shadows, their size in relation to the object casting them, and how the alignment of the Sun, the object, and the shadow tells us much about how shadows work. Supplies needed for... (View More)

Keywords: Angle

This introductory lesson introduces the tool of scientific inquiry, beginning with observations inside and outside of the classroom, looking for changes, perspectives, and patterns. Measuring tools as simple as feet and fists are employed initially,... (View More)

In this inquiry investigation, students study the motion and positions of the Earth and how they affect the path of sunlight we get in different places. They discover that the Earth must be curved to account for the different lengths of shadows at... (View More)

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)

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)