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NASA Wavelength

NASA Wavelength is your pathway into a digital collection of Earth and space science resources for educators of all levels - from elementary to college, to out-of-school programs. These resources, developed through funding of the NASA Science Mission Directorate (SMD), have undergone a peer-review process through which educators and scientists ensure the content is accurate and useful in an educational setting. Use NASA Wavelength to quickly and easily locate resources, connect them to other websites using atom feeds, and even share the resources you discover with others through social media and email.

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Accessing and Downloading Images from NASA's WISE Mission
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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.

Subject:
Engineering
Technology
Chemistry
Geoscience
Physics
Space Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Data Set
Diagram/Illustration
Interactive
Provider:
NASA
Provider Set:
NASA Wavelength
Author:
Bryan Mendez
Date Added:
11/05/2014
Adding Slide Rule
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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.

Subject:
Mathematics
Physics
Space Science
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
NASA
Provider Set:
NASA Wavelength
Date Added:
11/05/2014
Afterschool Universe
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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.

Subject:
Physics
Space Science
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
NASA
Provider Set:
NASA Wavelength
Date Added:
11/05/2014
Amazing Space: Cat's Eye Nebula (NGC 6543) Lithograph
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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.

Subject:
Chemistry
Geoscience
Physics
Space Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Data Set
Diagram/Illustration
Interactive
Provider:
NASA
Provider Set:
NASA Wavelength
Author:
Bonnie Eisenhamer
Date Added:
11/05/2014
Amazing Space: Globular Cluster M80 Lithograph
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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.

Subject:
Chemistry
Geoscience
Physics
Space Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Data Set
Diagram/Illustration
Interactive
Provider:
NASA
Provider Set:
NASA Wavelength
Author:
Bonnie Eisenhamer
Date Added:
11/05/2014
Amazing Space: M82-The Case of an Odd-looking Galaxy Lithograph
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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.

Subject:
Chemistry
Geoscience
Physics
Space Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Diagram/Illustration
Interactive
Provider:
NASA
Provider Set:
NASA Wavelength
Author:
Bonnie Eisenhamer
Date Added:
11/05/2014
Amazing Space: Stellar Spire in the Eagle Nebula Lithograph
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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.

Subject:
Chemistry
Geoscience
Physics
Space Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Data Set
Diagram/Illustration
Interactive
Provider:
NASA
Provider Set:
NASA Wavelength
Author:
Bonnie Eisenhamer
Date Added:
11/05/2014
Analyze This!
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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.

Subject:
Physics
Space Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
NASA
Provider Set:
NASA Wavelength
Date Added:
11/05/2014
Anatomy of a CME
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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.

Subject:
Mathematics
Space Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Assessment
Diagram/Illustration
Lesson Plan
Provider:
NASA
Provider Set:
NASA Wavelength
Date Added:
11/05/2014
Anatomy of a Raindrop
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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.

Subject:
Mathematics
Geoscience
Physics
Material Type:
Lecture
Provider:
NASA
Provider Set:
NASA Wavelength
Date Added:
11/05/2014
Angle of Light Rays and Surface Distribution
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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.

Subject:
History, Law, Politics
Geoscience
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
NASA
Provider Set:
NASA Wavelength
Date Added:
11/05/2014
Ask a High-Energy Astronomer/Ask an Astrophysicist
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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.

Subject:
Chemistry
Geoscience
Physics
Space Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Interactive
Provider:
NASA
Provider Set:
NASA Wavelength
Author:
NASA GSFC/ HEASARC
Date Added:
11/05/2014
Astrobiology: Science Learning Activities for After School
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
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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.

Subject:
History, Law, Politics
Life Science
Chemistry
Geoscience
Physics
Space Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Interactive
Lesson Plan
Reading
Provider:
NASA
Provider Set:
NASA Wavelength
Date Added:
02/16/2011
Astronomy Foundations Through Art and Paper Plates (AFTPP)-Serving the Universe on a Paper Plate
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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.

Subject:
Chemistry
Geoscience
Physics
Space Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Interactive
Provider:
NASA
Provider Set:
NASA Wavelength
Date Added:
11/05/2014
Aurora Comparisons
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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.

Subject:
Space Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
NASA
Provider Set:
NASA Wavelength
Date Added:
11/05/2014
Aurora Poetry
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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.

Subject:
Space Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
NASA
Provider Set:
NASA Wavelength
Date Added:
11/05/2014
Barometer Basics
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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.

Subject:
History, Law, Politics
Geoscience
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
NASA
Provider Set:
NASA Wavelength
Date Added:
11/05/2014
Base-Two Slide Rule
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In this activity, students construct base-two slide rules that add and subtract base-2 exponents (log distances), in order to multiply and divide corresponding powers of two. Students use these slide rules to generate both log and antilog equations, learning to translate one in terms of the other. This is activity C1 in the "Far Out Math" educator's guide. Lessons in the guide include activities in which students measure,compare quantities as orders of magnitude, become familiar with 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, GLAST was renamed Fermi, for the physicist Enrico Fermi.

Subject:
Mathematics
Physics
Space Science
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
NASA
Provider Set:
NASA Wavelength
Date Added:
11/05/2014
Best of the Solar System
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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.

Subject:
Chemistry
Geoscience
Physics
Space Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Diagram/Illustration
Interactive
Simulation
Provider:
NASA
Provider Set:
NASA Wavelength
Date Added:
11/05/2014