This website provides instructions on how to find and download images directly from the WISE archive. Anyone with an internet connection now has free access to high-resolution infrared images from the WISE mission. These instructions explain how to get the images you want, without using complex terminology and options that may be difficult for the layperson to navigate.
This astronomy program is designed for middle school children in out-of-school-time settings. The program explores basic astronomy concepts (like invisible light, telescopes) and focuses on the universe outside the solar system (stars, galaxies, black holes). The program is structured for use in a variety of settings, including astronomy days, summer camps, or year-long afterschool programs. Although session activities build concepts sequentially, each session activity is designed to be freestanding as not all participants may attend every session. A manual provides background information and descriptions of how to conduct each activity. A companion website provides additional information and resources for the program leader.
This lithograph features Hubble Space Telescope images and includes text that describes and explains the images. There is also an accompanying inquiry-based classroom activity entitled “In Search of the Complex Structures of Planetary Nebulae.” This activity is designed to encourage the development of research skills and independent thinking. Available online as well as hardcopy. Educators can access the lithograph PDF files on the Web site and print the materials for use in their classrooms.
This lithograph features Hubble Space Telescope images and includes text that describes and explains the images. There is also an accompanying inquiry-based classroom activity entitled “In Search of Star Clusters.” This activity is designed to encourage the development of research skills and independent thinking. Available online as well as hardcopy. Educators can access the lithograph PDF files on the Web site and print the materials for use in their classrooms.
The lithograph contains a Hubble Space Telescope image that shows M82, an edge-on galaxy, undergoing a frenzy of star formation. The text explains the possible causes of the galaxy’s unusual appearance and star-birth activity. The accompanying classroom activity is a curriculum support tool designed for use as an introductory inquiry activity. It can be incorporated into a unit that has a scientific inquiry and/or a galaxy evolution theme. During the classroom activity, In Search of … Starburst Galaxies, students use the lithograph images and text to generate questions about the cause of the starburst, a rapid rate of star formation, in M82. They also conduct research to answer their questions. Students then identify the galaxy they think is responsible for igniting the star formation in M82, and must provide evidence to support their choice.
This lithograph features Hubble Space Telescope images and includes text that describes and explains the images. There is also an accompanying inquiry-based classroom activity entitled “In Search of Star Formation.” This activity is designed to encourage the development of research skills and independent thinking. Available online as well as hardcopy. Educators can access the lithograph PDF files on the Web site and print the materials for use in their classrooms.
Traditionally, spectral images are two dimensional, and related to text. This kinesthetic activity has groups of students position themselves along a printed spectrum to make spectral patterns and model various elements. Includes photos, teachers notes and instructions, related resources (e.g., color pdf of a visible light spectra image that can be projected onto a white board or wall to do the activity), and alternative suggestions.
This is an activity about graph interpretation. Learners will compare, interpret, and discuss four graphs of the speed, temperature, magnetic field strength, and density of a coronal mass ejection as it swept past Earth in 1997. This is the third activity in the Solar Storms and You: Exploring the Wind from the Sun educator guide.
This short video (~2 minutes) explains how a raindrop falls through the atmosphere and why a more accurate look at raindrops can improve estimates of global precipitation. This information is important to scientists working on the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission - understanding the micro world of raindrops provides insight to scientists about the macro world of storms.
This experimental activity is designed to develop basic understanding of the relationship between the angle of light rays and the area over which the light rays are distributed, and the potential to affect changes in the temperature of materials. Resources needed to conduct this activity include a flashlight, cardboard, protractor and ruler. The resource includes background information, a pre-activity inquiry exploration for students, teaching tips and questions to guide student discussion. This is chapter 4 of Meteorology: An Educator's Resource for Inquiry-Based Learning for Grades 5-9. The guide includes a discussion of learning science, the use of inquiry in the classroom, instructions for making simple weather instruments, and more than 20 weather investigations ranging from teacher-centered to guided and open inquiry investigations.
This is an activity about determining the distance of a solar flare from the center of the Sun's disk. Learners will use transparency grids overlaid on images of the Sun in order to calculate the distance of a solar flare, similar to a signal detection method used by scientists. This is the second activity in the lesson titled, How Does HESSI Take a Picture?
This service answers users questions on a wide variety of topics in high-energy astronomy. Questions are answered by scientists within the Lab for High-Energy Astrophysics at NASA/GSFC. An archive of questions and answers are categorized by topic for users to browse. Suggestions for additional information resources are also provided.
The science of astrobiology is concerned with the question of whether or not life exists on other planets. These activities were adapted for use in afterschool programs with ages 5-12. Astrobiology consists of eight activities, each of which may be completed in about one hour. Astrobiology: Science Learning Activities for Afterschool was produced by the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) as a part of a 18 month study and demonstration project funded by NASA.
This resource includes over 88 paper plate activities, where scientists put their research into laymen’s terms and develop paper plate activities that illustrate their respective pursuits. Paper Plate Education asserts that anything worth teaching ought be reducible to a paper plate. This is also known as Paper Plate Reduction. There are lessons in space science, music theory, archeology, celestial navigation, African-American history, geometry, and art.
This is a lesson which gives students the opportunity to imagine they are scientists, provides them with a basic understanding of aurora and helps them to use creative methods in their observations. First, students will study the scientific aspect of the aurora. They will also look at images of the aurora (both pictures and illustrations) and describe what they think of when they see them. These descriptions can be stored in the student portfolios as they will be useful in future lessons. Includes teacher notes and instructions, student workshops and an online, animated story, and related teacher resources on aurora. This is lesson three of a collection of five activities that can be used individually or as a sequence; concludes with a KWL (Know/Want-to-know/Learned) assessment activity.
In this lesson, students will demonstrate their understanding of the aurora by writing their own poems. Teachers can decide which form(s) of poetry to use from their worksheets or allow students to create their own. Examples of styles include: Acrostic, List, Haiku, Like and As, and May and Could. To help students get inspired, the class will read a poem on the aurora, and they can also look through their portfolios to help form ideas. Includes teacher notes and instructions, student workshops and an online, animated story, and related teacher resources on aurora. This is lesson five of a collection of five activities that can be used individually or as a sequence; concludes with a KWL (Know/Want-to-know/Learned) assessment activity.
This experimental activity is designed to develop a basic understanding of the interrelationship between temperature and pressure and the structure of a device made to examine this relationship. Resources needed to conduct this activity include two canning jars, two large rubber balloons, a heat lamp or lamp with 150 watt bulb, and access to freezer or water and ice. The resource includes background information, teaching tips and questions to guide student discussion. This is chapter 5 of Meteorology: An Educator's Resource for Inquiry-Based Learning for Grades 5-9. The guide includes a discussion of learning science, the use of inquiry in the classroom, instructions for making simple weather instruments, and more than 20 weather investigations ranging from teacher-centered to guided and open inquiry investigations.
This activity introduces students to planetary research. Students learn to focus on details by studying and writing descriptions of uncaptioned images of the Solar System. They then increase their knowledge of the planets and their features by comparing their descriptions to those of real researchers. Students organize their findings to infer a key difference between inner and outer planets.
The purpose of this resource is to quantitatively evaluate the accuracy of a classification system. Students sort birds into three possible classes based on each bird's beak: carnivores, herbivores, and omnivores. Students compare their answers with a given set of validation data.
- History, Law, Politics
- Life Science
- Forestry and Agriculture
- Space Science
- Material Type:
- Data Set
- Lesson Plan
- Student Guide
- Teaching/Learning Strategy
- Provider Set:
- NASA Wavelength
- The GLOBE Program, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR)
- Date Added:
This lithograph shows the break-off of a large iceberg from the Pine Island Glacier in West Antarctica. This event occurred between November 4th and 12th, 2001, and provides powerful evidence of rapid changes underway in this area of Antarctica. The images were acquired by the MISR instrument onboard NASA's Terra spacecraft.
This board game challenges players (ages 10+) to build a spaceship and fly to a black hole. The game provides opportunities for understanding phenomena based on current black hole research. During the game, players will experience the dangers and excitement of a real space mission, and learn about the nature of black holes by launching scientific probes. The game can be played competitively or as a team (instructions are also provided for playing in large groups. Black Hole Explorer consists of: Game Board, Game Rules, Spacecraft Data sheets, Science Briefing Room document, Event cards (28), Probe result cards (12), Energy tokens (140). Game components are available as PDF downloads; dice and game pieces must be provided by the user. NOTE: tokens and cards need to be cut to size from letter-size cardstock.
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 metal pie pan, a plastic drinking straw, and a compass. Building an anemometer requires plastic cups, soda straws, a pencil with an unused new eraser on the end, a paper punch, and a thumbtack. Thermometers and a rain gauge must be purchased. A data table is included for estimating windspeed using the anemometer. The chapter includes research ideas that allow students to validate their instruments and test the predictive capability of resources such as the Farmer's Almanac. This resource is chapter 15 of Meteorology: An Educator's Resource for Inquiry-Based Learning for Grades 5-9. The resource includes background information, teaching tips and questions to guide student discussion. This is chapter 15 of Meteorology: An Educator's Resource for Inquiry-Based Learning for Grades 5-9. The guide includes a discussion of learning science, the use of inquiry in the classroom, instructions for making simple weather instruments, and more than 20 weather investigations ranging from teacher-centered to guided and open inquiry investigations.
"Build It Yourself: Satellite!" is an online Flash game hosted on the James Webb Space Telescope website. The goal of the game is to explain the decision-making process of satellite design. The user can choose to build a "small," "medium," or "large" astronomy satellite. The user then selects science goals, wavelength, instruments, and optics. The satellite is then launched on the appropriate rocket (shown via an animation). Finally, the user is shown what their satellite might look like, as well as what kind of data it might collect, via examples from similar real-life satellites. Satellites range from small X-ray missions without optics (like the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer) to large missions with segmented mirrors (like the James Webb Space Telescope).
In this activity, learners consider the requirements for human life beyond Earth's protection: air to breathe, plentiful food, shielding from ultraviolet light, power, etc. They then work in teams to design and construct a model of a space colony out of craft materials that would allow humans to survive the harsh environments of the Moon or Mars. Teams present their modules and colonies to one another and create a display for the library. This activity is part of Explore! To the Moon and Beyond! - developed specifically for use in libraries.
This is an activity about the moon. Learners will create their own models of lunar orbiters out of edible or non-edible materials. They determine what tools would be necessary to help us better understand the Moon and plan for a future lunar outpost. Then they incorporate these elements into their models. NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter is used as an example of a spacecraft armed with "eyes," "ears," and other tools for exploration. This activity is part of Explore! To the Moon and Beyond! - a resource developed specifically for use in libraries.
This is an lesson about spectrographs. Learners will build and decorate their own spectrographs using simple materials and holographic diffraction gratings. After building the spectrographs, they observe the spectra of different light sources. Requires advance preparation to spray-paint the inside of the containers black the day before construction. The activity is part of Project Spectra, a science and engineering program for middle-high school students, focusing on how light is used to explore the Solar System.
This is an activity about the movement of a coronal mass ejection. Learners will plot the path of two coronal mass ejections (CMEs), both the distance traveled and the increasing angular width, as they leave the Sun and travel outward through the Solar System. Then, they will sketch the path of the CMEs and identify the location on the Sun from which a CME would need to leave in order for it to hit Earth. This is the first activity in the Solar Storms and You: Exploring the Wind from the Sun educator guide.
This is an assessment activity for the The Cosmic Ray Telescope for the Effects of Radiation (CRaTER) educational kit. Learners will make a poster that explains possible origins of cosmic rays, how they affect people, and what protects us here on Earth. Alternately, they will make a poster describing CRaTER’s goal and how it works.
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 and this difference affects air's vertical movement in the atmospheric column. Resources provided to students for this challenge include a homemade balance beam made of wood, two paper bags, a desk lamp, paper clips, tape and a thermometer. The resource includes background information, teaching tips and questions to guide student discussion. This is the chapter 8 of Meteorology: An Educator's Resource for Inquiry-Based Learning for Grades 5-9. The guide includes a discussion of learning science, the use of inquiry in the classroom, instructions for making simple weather instruments, and more than 20 weather investigations ranging from teacher-centered to guided and open inquiry investigations.
This online lab exercise focuses on the processes involved in the Carbon cycle and the influences of human activity on those processes- especially as they relate to Earth's weather and climate. The fourth in a 10-part lab series on weather and climate, this lab exercise is designed for first and second year college geoscience students (majors and non-majors) as well as pre-service STEM teachers.
This is a lesson about the Genesis mission. Learners are provided background information about the Genesis mission and the three basic types of solar wind that are being detected by the Genesis Ion Monitor (GIM) and Genesis Electron Monitor (GEM).
This booklet contains information on the Swift Gamma-ray Burst Explorer mission, its scientific objectives and its detectors and other hardware. The booklet includes multiple pages of printed parts and instructions for assembling them into a paper model.
With this game, students explore the connection between climate, genetic variation and the transmission of hantavirus. A board and game pieces are provided. The resource is supported by teacher background information, assessments, and a scoring rubric. This is Activity 1 of the learning module, Human Health, Climate and Disease: A Critical Connection, part of the lesson series, Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change.
This product provides basic information about topics pertaining to the Chandra X-Ray Observatory. The site offers information and links for those who wish to investigate further.
This is a collection of questions relevant to the science and mission of the Chandra X-Ray Observatory, submitted by students and the general public, posted with answers by experts in the field. Questions are organized in categories such as cosmology, black holes, normal stars, dark matter, etc.
This collection features images taken by the Chandra X-ray Observatory, including image descriptions and comparison with optical images. Includes Cycle 1 Science Images, Chandra's First Images, Images by category, Chronological Listing, and a sky map. Printable handouts of images with captions.
This is an activity about image comparison. Learners will analyze and compare two sets of images of the Sun taken by instruments on the Solar Dynamics Observatory spacecraft. With Set 1, they will observe the Sun in both a highly active and a minimally active state, and be able to detect active regions and loops on the Sun by comparing the two images. With Set 2, they will identify areas of high magnetic activity on a magnetogram image and recognize that these areas correspond to highly active regions on the Sun.
Students are presented with a graph of atmospheric becomes CO² values from Mauna Loa Observatory, and are asked to explore the data by creating a trend line using the linear equation, and then use the equation to predict future becomes CO² levels. Students are asked to describe qualitatively what they have determined mathematically, and suggest reasons for the patterns they observe in the data. A clue to the reason for the data patterning can be deduced by students by following up this activity with the resource, Seasonal Vegetation Changes. The data graph and a student worksheet is included with this activity. This is an activity from Space Update, a collection of resources and activities provided to teach about Earth and space. Summary background information, data and images supporting the activity are available on the Earth Update data site.
This activity requires construction of a simple salinity tester. Students will create their own calibration scale during this experiment, and look at the change in salinity that would arise if freshwater was suddenly dumped into the ocean. Materials needed for this investigation include a DC mill ampere meter, 2 D-cell batteries and holder, bronze sheeting, #18 solid wire, salt, deionized water, and a stream table or pan apparatus to create a hydrologic model of ice-ocean interaction. Included is a student worksheet to guide interpretation of data. The resource is supported by teacher background information, assessment suggestions, and a scoring rubric. This is Activity 3 of the learning module, Water: Here, There, and Everywhere, part of the lesson series, The Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change.