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Exploring Magnetism - Grades 6-9

"Exploring Magnetism" provides the basics of magnetism and electromagnetism using scripted activities for the teacher. The guide covers magnetic materials, mapping magnetic fields around bar magnets, electromagnets using circuits and coils, and generating electricity with a magnet and coil.

In the Solar Wind - Grades 6-9

"In the Solar Wind" takes students through basic background about the Sun, and features an inquiry-based engineering activity that has the students develop a spacecraft design to measure the solar wind magnetic field.

In Solar Flares - Grades 6-9

"In Solar Flares" teaches students about solar flares through a magnetism mapping activity, a solar magnetism lecture, an essay about conservation of energy and solar flares, and several mathematical activities using solar data. The lessons culminate with students reporting their work through a scientific conference.

Magnetism and Electromagnetism - Grades 8-12

"Magnetism and Electromagnetism" provides the basics of magnetism and electromagnetism through high school-level activities: mapping magnetic fields around bar magnets, electromagnets and paper clips, using Earth's magnetic field to generate electricity, and an activity on Lenz's law.

Exploring Magnetism on Earth - Grades 8-12

"Exploring Magnetism on Earth" primarily features math-based activities about Earth's magnetic field and its changes over long timescales. Students first learn how to use a magnetic compass to navigate and then has students answer questions using data about Earth's magnetic field either as graphs or numbers.

Magnetic Mysteries of the Aurora - Grades 9-14

"Magnetic Mysteries of the Aurora" provides background knowledge for the next guide in the sequence. It covers Earth’s magnetosphere, a Sun-Earth connection lecture, time zones and Universal Time, the evolution of auroras, and space weather forecasting using geomagnetic indices.

Earth's Magnetic Personality - Grades 9-14

"Earth's Magnetic personality" covers vectors, x-y-z magnetometer plots, predicting aurora using magnetometer data, calculating total magnetic field strength and observing it over months, and waves in Earth’s magnetic field caused by large magnetic storms.

Background/Sequencing Information

These seven NASA-funded magnetism guides contain activity- or math-based lessons on magnetic fields. The science and mathematics education standards these activities cover are in the beginning of the guides. Hover over each guide for more information.

We recommend the following sequencing:

For grades 6-8: Exploring Magnetism, Exploring Magnetism in the Solar Wind, Exploring Magnetism in Solar Flares (for advanced students).

For grades 9-12: Magnetism and Electromagnetism, Exploring Magnetism on Earth, Exploring Magnetism in Solar Flares, Space Weather, and Earth's Magnetic Personality.

These guides were developed as part of the Education and Public Outreach programs of the following NASA science missions: STEREO-IMPACT, RHESSI, THEMIS, and FAST.

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