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  • The Exploratorium
Angle Hunting
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In this activity, learners use a hand-made protractor to measure angles they find in playground equipment. Learners will observe that angle measurements do not change with distance, because they are distance invariant, or constant. Note: The "Pocket Protractor" activity should be done ahead as a separate activity (see related resource), but a standard protractor can be used as a substitute.

Subject:
Geometry
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Author:
Exploratorium
Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
National Science Foundation
The Exploratorium
Date Added:
08/05/2020
Anti-Gravity Mirror
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CC BY-NC-SA
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In this demonstration, amaze learners by performing simple tricks using mirrors. These tricks take advantage of how a mirror can reflect your right side so it appears to be your left side. To make the effect more dramatic, cover the mirror with a cloth, climb onto the table, straddle the mirror, and then drop the cloth as you appear to "take off." This resource contains information about how this trick was applied during the making of the movie "Star Wars."

Subject:
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
Exploratorium
Provider Set:
Science Snacks
Author:
California Department of Education
National Science Foundation
NEC Foundation of America
The Exploratorium
Date Added:
09/04/2019
"Baseketball"
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This trick from Exploratorium physicist Paul Doherty lets you add together the bounces of two balls and send one ball flying. When we tried this trick on the Exploratorium's exhibit floor, we gathered a crowd of visitors who wanted to know what we were doing. We explained that we were engaged in serious scientific experimentation related to energy transfer. Some of them may have believed us. If you'd like to go into the physical calculations of this phenomenam, see the related resource "Bouncing Balls" - it's the same activity but with the math explained.

Subject:
Education
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Author:
Paul Doherty
The Exploratorium
Date Added:
07/22/2020
Benham's Disk
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In this optics activity, learners discover that when they rotate a special black and white pattern called a Benham's Disk, it produces the illusion of colored rings. Learners experiment with the speed of rotation and direction of rotation to observe varying patterns. Use this activity to explain to learners how our eyes detect color and how different color receptors in the eye respond at different rates.

Subject:
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
Exploratorium
Provider Set:
Science Snacks
Author:
California Department of Education
Don Rathjen
National Science Foundation
NEC Foundation of America
The Exploratorium
Date Added:
09/04/2019
Playground Patterns of Cracks
Conditional Remix & Share Permitted
CC BY-NC-SA
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In this math activity, learners observe and sketch cracking patterns in pavement. Learners use a protractor to measure and label the angles of their sketches and conclude if some angles are more common than others.

Subject:
Geometry
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
Exploratorium
Author:
Exploratorium
Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
National Science Foundation
The Exploratorium
Date Added:
12/07/2010
Pocket Protractor
Conditional Remix & Share Permitted
CC BY-NC-SA
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In this activity, learners create angle-measuring devices--protractors--out of paper. Learners follow a series of steps to fold a square sheet of paper into a triangular Pocket Protractor. Learners will practice measuring and identifying the angles of a triangle.

Subject:
Geometry
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Author:
Exploratorium
Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
National Science Foundation
The Exploratorium
Date Added:
08/05/2020
Pocket Protractor
Conditional Remix & Share Permitted
CC BY-NC-SA
Rating

In this activity, learners create angle-measuring devices--protractors--out of paper. Learners follow a series of steps to fold a square sheet of paper into a triangular Pocket Protractor. Learners will practice measuring and identifying the angles of a triangle.

Subject:
Geometry
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
Exploratorium
Author:
Exploratorium
Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
National Science Foundation
The Exploratorium
Date Added:
11/07/2010
Whirling Watcher
Conditional Remix & Share Permitted
CC BY-NC-SA
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In this activity, learners make a stroboscope--a spinning disk with slits around the edge that you look through. Brief but frequent glimpses of images seen through the slits lead to a surprising result, which teaches learners about vision and the human nervous system. The activity includes three short online videos: Introduction, Step-by-Step Instructions, and What's Going On. Also available: a concept map and a "Going Further" document that suggests variations on this activity.

Subject:
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
Exploratorium
Provider Set:
Science Snacks
Author:
National Science Foundation
The Exploratorium
Date Added:
12/07/2007