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Scaling the world’s largest telescope

The Giant Magellan Telescope could reveal signs of life on faraway planets — mainly because of the telescope’s massive mirrors. But just how big are they? Use this article to investigate the benefits of using scale and relative values in writing. Then solve a related word problem and devise your own useful examples of scale.

Prepare Your Community for the Eclipse

This activity will help students learn more about eclipses and how to communicate scientific information through the creation of a video about the upcoming total eclipse on April 8, 2024. Students will practice summarizing information from a variety of Science News Media Group articles and will use their writing skills to create an informative script for their video. For those in the solar eclipse’s path, the video will also discuss where to watch the eclipse and how to get involved in community education projects.

Why doesn’t this dwarf planet follow the rules about rings?

Students will answer questions about the online Science News article “The Kuiper Belt’s dwarf planet Quaoar hosts an impossible ring,” which describes a recent astronomical discovery that is completely counter to what scientists expected to see. A version of the article, “This dwarf planet hosts an odd ring,” appears in the March 11, 2023 issue of Science News.

Defining and defying Roche limits

Students will review force diagrams and gravitational force and discuss planetary ring and moon formation using the concept of the Roche limit. Learning Outcomes: Applying gravitational forces and interactions in space to understand ring and moon formation.

What’s the deal with DART?

In this quick activity, students will create a TikTok video about the outcome of a NASA mission to knock an asteroid off course.

NASA’s DART Mission Is a Success

Did you hear about the spacecraft that crashed into an asteroid — on purpose?! In this guide, students will learn about NASA’s DART mission and discuss the core physics principles behind it.

Bumping asteroids off course

Students will answer questions about a NASA mission to smash a spacecraft into an asteroid after reading a Science News article and watching a Science News TikTok video about the mission. A version of the article, “NASA’s DART mission is a success,” appears in the November 5, 2022 issue of Science News.

Postcards From a New Space Telescope

Have you heard about the James Webb Space Telescope’s stunning first images of deep space? Use this guide to help students explore the science behind pictures of exploding stars, dancing galaxies, cosmic cliffs and more, and discuss how images can be thought of as data.

Pushing the boundaries of outer space

Students will answer questions about the Science News article “Here are the James Webb Space Telescope’s stunning first pictures,” which highlights dazzling cosmic wonders seen in farthest and clearest views yet of deep space. A version of the article, “Postcards from a new space telescope,” appears in the August 13, 2022 issue of Science News.

New space images dazzle with data

Share a universal celebration in science with images of deep space from the James Webb Space Telescope. Have students collaborate to think about the science shown in the images and the implications of images as data. Learning Outcomes: Observe, interpret and compare data in images; explore universal questions about science.

The Origami Satellite

In this guide, students will learn about NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope and discuss how scientific advances have shaped the telescope’s mission.

Unlocking universal questions

Students will discuss the mission of the James Webb Space Telescope and explore how scientific discoveries over the last few decades have shaped the telescope’s to-do list.