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Topics/Subjects:
The nature of science  
SMD Forum - Primary:
Heliophysics  
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The images and information in the slide show presentation are designed to give learners a better understanding of how ancient cultures observed and interpreted the apparent motions of the Sun in the sky, as well as modern studies of the Sun using... (View More)

In this activity, students engage in an ongoing investigation to find patterns of sunlight and shadow in a classroom (or any room that gets sunlight) at different times of the day and different times of the year. Students look for repeating... (View More)

This is a lesson about the magnetic field of a bar magnet. The lesson begins with an introductory discussion with learners about magnetism to draw out any misconceptions that may be in their minds. Then, learners freely experiment with bar magnets... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

This activity enables students to better understand the motion of the Sun and how we use it to measure time. Students create a "horizon calendar" at their school by carefully observing and recording the horizon and the Sun at sunset (or sunrise, for... (View More)

This is a lesson to demonstrate magnetic field lines in 2- and 3-dimensions. In the first activity, learners sprinkle iron filings over a magnet underneath a paper and record their observations. The second activity involves building a 3-D magnetic... (View More)

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

This activity explores how ancient Sun observers made use of natural and built structures to mark solar alignments observed at different times of the year, particularly around the solstices and equinoxes. In Part 1, the teacher prepares a horizon... (View More)

In this activity, students begin learning about archaeoastronomy much as the first skywatchers began learning about the sky: by observing and wondering. Students observe photographs and drawings of petroglyphs, pictographs, and natural and... (View More)

This is a lesson about measuring magnetic field directions of Earth and in the environment. First, learners go outside, far away from buildings, power lines, or anything electrical or metal, and use compasses to identify magnetic North. Next, they... (View More)

Keywords: electromagnetism
Audience: Middle school

In this activity, students learn the basics of the horizon, direction and the rising and settings of the Sun and stars by making a schoolyard "medicine wheel" with sidewalk chalk on playground asphalt. Medicine wheels are stone rings constructed by... (View More)

In this activity, students engage in long-term systematic observation to learn about the apparent annual motion of the Sun caused by the Earth’s orbit around the Sun. Students put a dot on a window where sunlight enters the classroom (or any room... (View More)