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Students read and analyze four different articles about the NuSTAR mission discoveries regarding black holes. This activity is from the NuSTAR Educators Guide: X-Rays on Earth and from Space, which focuses on the science and engineering design of... (View More) NASA's NuSTAR mission. The guide includes a standards matrix, assessment rubrics, instructor background materials, and student handouts. (View Less)

This slide set focuses on the discovery of an intermediate mass black hole in M83. It is one of a series meant to bring recent NASA discoveries to the college-level non-major introductory astronomy classroom. The slide sets compile short, topical... (View More) presentations on new developments from NASA astrophysics missions relevant to introductory astronomy (astronomy 101) topics. These resources are intended to help Astronomy 101 instructors include the latest developments (discoveries not yet in their textbooks) into the big-picture context of their courses. The slide sets are constructed to be included easily as a lecture supplement including synopsis, references, and graphics. (View Less)

Students will learn about the Big Bang theory of the universe through reading a NASA press release and viewing a NASA eClips™ video segment. They will use simple linear equations to analyze data that reveals the expansion and early history of the... (View More) universe after the Big Bang. Common Core State Standards for Mathematics and English Language Arts are identified. This activity is part of the Space Math multi-media modules that integrate NASA press releases, NASA archival video, and mathematics problems targeted at specific math standards commonly encountered in middle school textbooks. The modules cover specific math topics at multiple levels of difficulty with real-world data and use the 5E instructional sequence. (View Less)

Students will learn about black holes through reading a NASA press release and viewing a NASA eClips™ video segment. Then students will use tables and mathematical expressions to compare black hole sizes and temperatures. Common Core State... (View More) Standards for Mathematics and English Language Arts are identified. This activity is part of the Space Math multi-media modules that integrate NASA press releases, NASA archival video, and mathematics problems targeted at specific math standards commonly encountered in middle school textbooks. The modules cover specific math topics at multiple levels of difficulty with real-world data and use the 5E instructional sequence. (View Less)

Students use simple proportions and fractions to explore the number of stars in the Milky Way, and the relative sizes of some famous stars compared to our own Sun. By reading a NASA press release and viewing a NASA eClips™ video segment, students... (View More) will learn more about stars and the Milky Way galaxy. Common Core State Standards for Mathematics and English Language Art are identified. This activity is part of the Space Math multi-media modules that integrate NASA press releases, NASA archival video, and mathematics problems targeted at specific math standards commonly encountered in middle school textbooks. The modules cover specific math topics at multiple levels of difficulty with real-world data and use the 5E instructional sequence. (View Less)

Students will learn about NASA's Fermi satellite and gamma ray sources through reading a NASA press release. They will also learn about gamma rays and the electromagnetic spectrum by viewing a NASA eClips™ video segment. Then, students will use... (View More) percentages to explore the origins of mysterious gamma ray sources in the sky using NASA Fermi data. Common Core State Standards for Mathematics and English Language Art are identified. This activity is part of the Space Math multi-media modules that integrate NASA press releases, NASA archival video, and mathematics problems targeted at specific math standards commonly encountered in middle school textbooks. The modules cover specific math topics at multiple levels of difficulty with real-world data and use the 5E instructional sequence. (View Less)

In this activity, students are reminded that the Universe is made up of elements and that the heavier elements are created inside of a star. They are then introduced to the life cycle of a star and how a star's mass affects its process of fusion and... (View More) eventual death. Students discuss the physical concept of equilibrium as a balancing of forces and observe an experiment to demonstrate what happens to a soda can when the interior and exterior forces are not in equilibrium. An analogy is made between this experiment and core collapse in stars, to show the importance of maintaining equilibrium in stars. Finally, students participate in an activity which demonstrates how mass is ejected from a collapsed star in a supernova explosion, thereby dispersing heavier elements throughout the Universe. This activity is part of a series that has been designed specifically for use with Girl Scouts, but the activities can be used in other settings. Most of the materials are inexpensive or easily found. It is recommended that a leader with astronomy knowledge lead the activities, or at least be available to answer questions, whenever possible. (View Less)

In this lesson, students will investigate the Doppler Effect and discover how the same principle can be used to identify a possible tornado in storm clouds and investigate the rotation of distant galaxies. Students should be familiar with the... (View More) electromagnetic spectrum and the concept of Doppler Shift (links to background information are provided). Materials required for every group of 2-4 students include: a Slinky toy, safety glasses, meter stick, and colored pencils. This lesson is part of the Cosmic Times teachers guide and is intended to be used in conjunction with the 1965 Cosmic Times Poster. (View Less)

This is an educators guide to accompany the Journey to the Stars planetarium show. The materials include a section, titled Teaching With the Show, containing guiding questions to encourage class discussions about the life cycle of stars.

Students are introduced to the periodic table and the concept of atomic elements. The group discusses how all material in the Universe is composed of elements and that the atom is the smallest particle that still has the physical and chemical... (View More) properties of any given element. As an exercise in statistics, the students participate in a counting experiment in which they sample a 'Universe bead mix' (where each bead color represents a different element present in the Universe) to estimate the overall composition of the Universe. They compare their findings of the Universe's overall composition with the composition of various different objects in the Universe that are represented by mixtures of rice, beans and other dried goods in jars. Finally, students are introduced to the idea that hydrogen fusion creates heavier elements inside a star. This activity is part of a series that has been designed specifically for use with Girl Scouts, but the activities can be used in other settings. Most of the materials are inexpensive; however, some portions of the preparation can be time intensive. It is recommended that a leader with astronomy knowledge lead the activities, or at least be available to answer questions, whenever possible. (View Less)