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The SOFIA E/PO team is continuing to develop classroom
activities related to SOFIA science and technology.
These activities and modules are consistent with
national science education standards, are age and grade-appropriate,
and have been thoroughly tested and evaluated by
SOFIA Presentations to Educators and Students
Astronomy: Classroom Activities for Learning
About Infrared Light
A set of four activities that focus on improving student understanding
of infrared light.
Most students are familiar with the rainbow
of colors that make up visible light. They're
often less comfortable dealing with light from
the other portions of the electromagnetic spectrum gamma
rays, x-rays, ultraviolet light, visible light,
infrared light, microwaves, and radio waves.
Students may not realize the important role
played by non-visible light in their everyday
lives. For example, TV remote controls, car-locking
systems, and some grocery store check-out scanners
use infrared light to signal between devices
or read bar-codes. Computers use infrared light
to read CD-ROMs. Night-vision goggles register
infrared light (also known as heat radiation),
as do search-and-rescue monitors that look
for the heat given off by someone lost in the
wilderness at night.
These hands-on and demonstration activities
are designed to complement instruction on the
electromagnetic spectrum for middle and high
school students; they are not a complete curriculum.
Each activity has been designed to take 1-2
details and files to download
Grade Level - Middle/High School
A poster about the electromagnetic spectrum designed by the NASA
Origins Forum missions' E/PO personnel has been included in recent
issues of national science teacher magazines with an accompanying
article co-authored by Denise Smith of Space Telescope and Edna DeVore
of SETI/SOFIA. The front of the poster is a visual-wavelength image
of the Whirlpool Galaxy (Messier 51) from the Hubble Space Telescope
compared with a row of images of the same galaxy at a range of wavelengths
from X-ray to radio. The back of the poster is covered by text containing
background information and some classroom activities to teach the
properties of electromagnetic waves.
Grade Level - Middle-High School
If you would like a copy of this poster, please contact us.
Download a pdf file of the back of the poster, tiled into 8.5 x 11 pages for printing.
SOFIA Literature and Promotional Materials
SOFIA: Exploring the Infrared Universe
Partners in Scienc Education brochure
Infrared Astronomy: More Than Our Eyes Can See
Orion's M42 Region
Infrared Comparison of Jupiter
SOFIA Technical Brochure
SOFIA self-guided tour
SOFIA Presentation Folder