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Topics/Subjects:
The nature of science  
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1 to 2 hours  
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This series of curriculum support materials explores how our understanding of the nature of the universe has changed during the past 100 years. Students examine the process of science through the stories of the people and the discoveries that caused... (View More)

Keywords: History of science
Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

In this lesson, students read the original paper written by Henrietta Leavitt in which she compared the apparent brightness and period of Cepheid variable stars. The students prepare graphs from numerical data, just as she did, and compare their... (View More)

The goal of this lesson is for two groups of students to exchange information (e.g., through poster presentations, Podcasts, debates, or PowerPoint presentations) about how two different theories explain a natural phenomenon: Newton's Law of... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

Learners will investigate, discuss, and determine why humans have always explored the world (and now space) around them. Students determine these reasons for exploration through a class discussion. In the first activity, students use the Internet to... (View More)

Learners will investigate, compare, and describe patterns in Solar System data. They will then hypothesize about the formation of the Solar System based on data and explain how extrasolar planets can be discovered. In the first activity, the... (View More)

Audience: High school

This activity has two purposes: challenge the learner to develop a procedure for investigating a research question and to learn more about factors affecting the dynamics of air in motion. It demonstrates that warm air and cold air differ in weight... (View More)

This is a lesson about the science supporting the design and operation of an ion propulsion engine. Learners will study the concepts of formation and discharge of charged particles, attractive and repulsive forces between charged particles, and the... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

The purpose of this investigation is to understand how the amount of water vapor in the air at various temperatures affects the way the human body responds. This is an important basic concept for understanding why one might feel either comfortable... (View More)

This chapter provides teachers with instructions to install a school weather station, and to build simple instruments to monitor weather conditions. Materials need to create a homemade weathervane include a two-liter soft drink bottle, a shallow... (View More)

This is a lesson about the path of one xenon ion through an ion propulsion engine. Learners will focus on what a single xenon ion sees and does as it goes through the reactions and processes that provide the ion jet propulsion engine's thrust. They... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free