This animation highlighting the phases of the Moon was released by the Scientific Visualization Studio at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.
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.
The Active Galaxies pop-up book is a very large rectangular pop-up book with foldouts that was developed for use in classrooms for grades 5 and up and for special needs audiences. Active galaxies, a major scientific target for the GLAST mission, contain super-massive black holes at their cores, and sometimes emit jets of particles and light. When opened, a model of an active galaxy with jets pops up out of the center. One foldout contains explanatory information for the parts of the galaxy depicted in the central pop-up as well as a glossary, while the other contains a well-tested classroom activity: Tasty Active Galaxy. The back of the book features a cartoon story -How the Galaxy Got Its Jets.
In this activity, students construct adding slide rules, scaled with linear calibrations like ordinary rulers. Students learn to move these scales relative to each other in ways that add and subtract distances, thus calculating sums and differences. This is Activity A1 in the "Far Out Math" educator's guide. Lessons within the guide include activities in which students measure, compare quantities as orders of magnitude, use scientific notation, and develop an understanding of exponents and logarithms using examples from NASA's GLAST mission. These are skills needed to understand the very large and very small quantities characteristic of astronomical observations. Note: In 2008, the GLAST mission was renamed Fermi, for the physicist Enrico Fermi.
This is an activity about the motion of the Sun, Earth and Moon, specifically rotation and revolution. After identifying what they already know about the Sun, Earth and Moon, learners will observe and manipulate a styrofoam ball model of the Sun, Earth, and Moon system. This activity requires a location with an open space approximately ten feet by ten feet in area, and is Activity 9 of a larger resource entitled Eye on the Sky.
This is an activity about the rotation of the Earth and its revolution around the Sun, as well as the rotation of the Moon and its revolution around the Earth. Outside, in chalk, learners will draw the Sun and Earth system complete with Earth's orbit. Learners will then add to the chalk drawing the placement of the Moon and the path of its orbit around the Earth. Volunteers will then act out the rotation and revolution of a yearly cycle of the Moon, Earth and Sun. Learners will also complete a worksheet to reinforce visual understanding of this model. This activity requires an outdoor location with ample room and is Activity 8 of a larger resource entitled Eye on the Sky.
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 resource provides an explanation of two number/magic puzzles that can be demystified and explained by using algebra. This resource is from PUMAS - Practical Uses of Math and Science - a collection of brief examples created by scientists and engineers showing how math and science topics taught in K-12 classes have real world applications.
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.
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- Material Type:
- Lesson Plan
- UCAR Staff
- University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
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- NASA Wavelength
- NASA Earth and Space Science Reviewed Collection
- DLESE Community Collection
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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.