Scale Model of the Solar System

Discipline:

This activity introduces students to the scale model and how it is used in science. Students collaborate (or compete!) to construct a scale model of the solar system using colored cards. This task works especially well as a warm-up in the first meeting of a small class, and may be useful in any class—not just one on astronomy—where scale models are introduced.

Discussing a Science Article from the Popular Press

Discipline:

This activity engages students as critical readers of popular science writing. Any recent article will do, as students will seek out the methods, assumptions, and evidence in the piece. This task works especially well as a warm-up in the first meeting of a small class, but suggestions for an expanded assignment are given.

Divider

Discipline:

This activity introduces students to experimental design, data collection, data analysis, and interpretation of findings. Students gather data on people's sensitivity to touch. This task works especially well as a warm-up in the first meeting of a small class.

Back-of-the-Envelope Calculations: National Debt

Discipline:

This brief activity acquaints students with rough estimation through problem solving and discussion. This task works especially well as a warm-up in the first meeting of a small class. Though the task is written around the case of national debt, a list of alternative cases is provided.