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 is a book containing over 200 problems spanning over 70 specific topic areas covered in a typical Algebra II course. Learners can encounter a selection of application problems featuring astronomy, earth science and space exploration, often with more than one example in a specific category. Learners will use mathematics to explore science topics related to a wide variety of NASA science and space exploration endeavors. Each problem or problem set is introduced with a brief paragraph about the underlying science, written in a simplified, non-technical jargon where possible. Problems are often presented as a multi-step or multi-part activities. This book can be found on the Space Math@NASA website.
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.
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.
Students compare real-time Earth and Mars measurements for temperature, wind speed, humidity and atmospheric pressure by accessing Internet-data resources from NASA.
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.
Students will learn about the Transit of Venus through reading a NASA press release and viewing a NASA eClips video that describes several ways to observe transits. Then students will study angular measurement by learning about parallax and how astronomers use this geometric effect to determine the distance to Venus during a Transit of Venus. This activity is part of the Space Math multimedia 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
- Environmental Science
- Life Science
- Forestry and Agriculture
- Material Type:
- Data Set
- Lesson Plan
- Student Guide
- Teaching/Learning Strategy
- The GLOBE Program
- UCAR Staff
- Provider Set:
- NASA Wavelength
- Globe Program
- GLOBE Teacher's Guide
- 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 collection of activities is based on a weekly series of space science problems distributed to thousands of teachers during the 2009-2010 school year. They were intended for students looking for additional challenges in the math and physical science curriculum in grades 9 through 12. The problems were created to be authentic glimpses of modern science and engineering issues, often involving actual research data. The problems were designed to be one-pagers with a Teachers Guide and Answer Key as a second page. This compact form was deemed very popular by participating teachers.
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.
In this activity, students build a model of an active galaxy. From this, they will learn about the geometry of the components of an active galaxy and develop an understanding that different viewing angles can lead to dramatically different interpretations of a galaxy's appearance. The activity includes background information, glossary, essential questions, extension activities, transfer activities, adaptations for visually-impaired students, and an answer key. Additional materials needed to do this activity include a compass. This is activity one of three in the Active Galaxies education unit.
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 math example explains what celestial objects a person can see with the unaided eye from the vantage points of Earth and Mars, using simple math, algebra and astronomical distance information. 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 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 activity has students create a Cartesian diver, which will act in some ways like a submarine. Students will adjust the amount of air and water in an inverted test tube (the "diver") so that it at first barely floats in a water-filled bottle. Then, they will squeeze the closed bottle to create higher water pressure, causing the diver to sink. Releasing the bottle allows the diver to float again. Written instructions, a list of materials, and illustrations are included.
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.
This lesson attempts to correct the common misconception that the Earth is closer to the Sun during the summer in the Northern Hemisphere. Proceeding from student preconceptions, small groups participate in an exploration of the cause of the seasons using a basketball, small globes and a lamp. 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.