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This lesson provides an overview of solar and lunar calendars, their history and lore and also, of the day and the month, and their relations to the rotation period of the Earth and the orbital period of the Moon. Students learn the differences between a solar day, sidereal day and mean solar day, and what each is used for as well as the differences between the solar year and the Julian and Gregorian ... Full description.
Grade level: High (9-12)
Resource type: Lesson plan
Subject: Mathematics, Space science
 
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National Science Education Standards (NSES): Read
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This lesson provides a brief study of the precession of the equinoxes and of its possible link to the occurrence of ice ages. The objectives are for the student to understand how Hipparchus, around 130 BC, used a shift in the predicted location of a lunar eclipse to detect a slight shift in the path of the Sun around the sky and to also understand the reason for that shift. The student will also learn ... Full description.
Grade level: High (9-12)
Resource type: Lesson plan
Subject: Climatology, Geologic time, Mathematics, Space science
 
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This lesson describes the calculation by which Aristarchus used the duration of a total lunar eclipse to deduce the distance of the Moon. Students will learn about eclipses of the Moon and a simple application of pre-trigonometry as they discover how Aristarchus, a Greek astronomer of 230 BC, used a simple observation of the eclipse of the Moon, plus clever reasoning, to deduce the distance of the ... Full description.
Grade level: High (9-12)
Resource type: Lesson plan
Subject: Mathematics, Space science
 
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National Science Education Standards (NSES): Read
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This lesson traces the beginning of the heliocentric theory of the solar system, the idea that the solar system revolves around the Sun, to an observation by Greek astronomer Aristarchus, which convinced him that the Sun was much bigger than the Earth. Students will learn how Aristarchus used the position of the half-full Moon to estimate the distance to the Sun, and the results he obtained by employing ... Full description.
Grade level: High (9-12)
Resource type: Lesson plan
Subject: Mathematics, Space science
 
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This lesson introduces the heliocentric theory of Copernicus, the ideas behind it and the explanations which it displaced. A discussion of retrograde motion of planets helps the students understand the logic underlying the ideas of both Ptolemy and Copernicus. It explains the observed motion of the planets and the concept of retrograde motion. Students will understand how Hipparchus and Ptolemy explained ... Full description.
Grade level: High (9-12)
Resource type: Lesson plan
Subject: History and philosophy of science, Space science
 
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In this lesson, students learn about the process of human evolution by interacting with a Web activity and examining possible hominid family trees. With this hands-on approach, students become responsible for their own learning and are better able to see connections between ideas and remember what they learn. In an activity called Fossil Finding, students will study four famous fossil groups and learn ... Full description.
Grade level: High (9-12)
Resource type: Guide for instructor, Lesson plan
Subject: Biology, History and philosophy of science
 
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This slide show will help provide the answer to an ancient riddle. For over a decade, archaeologists have been trying to unlock the mystery surrounding the collapse of the Classic Maya society. Did human-induced sociopolitical or ecological change cause the collapse of this highly advanced Mesoamerican civilization, or could natural climate variability of the Yucatan Peninsula have contributed to ... Full description.
Grade level: Middle (6-8), High (9-12), College (13-14)
Resource type: Presentation / Demo, Photograph
Subject: Climatology, Human geography
 
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This site describes what early civilizations knew about our solar system and how astronomy developed over the centuries. The early theories describing the movements of the planets, development of the first telescopes, and discoveries of the planets Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are some of the topics addressed in Discovery. Here you will find the Pluto discovery plate, the photographic plate taken the ... Full description.
Grade level: Middle (6-8), High (9-12)
Resource type: Ref. material
Subject: History and philosophy of science, Space science
 
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At this site, students will learn about the tools used for past, present and future exploration and about the Surveyor spacecraft, five of which landed on the Moon between 1966 and 1968. The Surveyor 3 television camera is on display at the National Air and Space Museum and can be seen in this virtual tour. Also on display are an Apollo 13 rock box used to carry samples back from the moon. This exhibit ... Full description.
Grade level: Middle (6-8), High (9-12), College (13-14)
Resource type: Ref. material
Subject: Space science, Technology
 
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This site describes an exhibit that traces the study of comets from the earliest historical observation to the massive international Halley's Comet Watch. The impact of Comet Shoemaker-levy with the planet Jupiter became the first collision between two objects ever observed. Find out what comets are made of and where they come from. Topics included in this site are Historical Records, Origin and Orbits ... Full description.
Grade level: Middle (6-8), High (9-12), College (13-14)
Resource type: Ref. material
Subject: Space science
 
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