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Measuring Distances in the Universe

These activities are produced by the European Southern Observatory (ESO) and the European Space Agency. They are a series of excercises in which students use real data to measure astronomical distances, one of the most basic problems in modern astrophysics.

The students apply different methods to determine...

Martian Death Rays

Could there be life on Mars? Perhaps so, although the high intensity of UV light means that it is unlikely to be found on the surface. The experiment demonstrates how bacteria grown on agar plates can be killed off by UV exposure. Curriculum areas covered: • Microbiology • Cell biology • Aseptic technique The video...

Magnetic Math

This series of activities from NASA take a mathematical approach to looking at magnetism. They are intended as supplementary problems for students looking for additional challenges in mathematics and physical science from age 14 to 19 years.

The problems were created to be authentic glimpses of modern...

Lift Off!

This resource, from the European Space Agency, contains exercises in physics and chemistry based on real space data, designed for secondary schools. The exercises and data were developed and checked by ESA space scientists and engineers. They are most appropriate for students at Post 16 level. There are a total of...

Kingswinford School

The activities within this resource focus on three topics: Cepheid variable stars; a power system for the Mars Science Laboratory; and locating celestial objects using the Stellarium software. The Cepheid variable activity is suitable for GCSE or Post-16 physics and astronomy. Students need to be able to interpret...

Is There Life In There?

All life forms on Earth are based on organic biochemistry. This activity requires students to analyse an unknown soil sample (just recovered from a space mission to another planet!) and look for signs of possible indicators for life. Curriculum areas covered: • Cell biology • Food tests, including starch, sugar,...

Ice Cores

In this practical activity students analyse ice cores extracted from the icy worlds of Enceladus or Europa. This resource provides information about Enceladus and worksheets for both qualitative and quantitative analyses. In the video, Steve Althorpe explains how ice cores containing minerals can be made and then...

I Am a Star

This resource is based around the chemical composition of the human body and the origin of elements in the universe. Students can input a mass in the spreadsheet to see what proportion of their mass is from elements created in the Big Bang, in stars and in supernovae. Graphs are also shown for the relative...

Gold Award: Future Travel

These materials look at three possible projects that relate to space exploration:

* Communications project - students gather information about space exploration before making a presentation on the problems to be overcome with past and possible future benefits of space travel

* Practical project -...

Getting Started with Astro Pi

 

Astro Pi is the name of a small computer developed by the Raspberry Pi Foundation, in collaboration with the UK Space Agency and the European Space Agency (ESA).

There are two very special Astro Pi’s. Their names are Ed and Izzy, and they have been qualified for spaceflight. They are now onboard...

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