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SOFIA is a very powerful astronomical observatory but it also has a very strong education section. 

There are many educational materials that teachers from New Zealand can also use in their classroom. For instance, on SOFIA's page there are presentation that have been used for Educators and Students in the past and also classroom activities to learn about infrared light. You can download a great NASA Poster about the invisible light and literature and promotional materials.

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Melanie Newfield, Haritina Mogosanu, Eric Becklin

SOFIA Presentations to Educators and Students

Active Astronomy: Classroom Activities for Learning About Infrared Light 
A set of five 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 class periods.

Get details and files to download Grade Level - Middle/High School

Exploring Invisible Light Activity

  1. Exploring Invisible Light PDF
  2. Science Behind the Scenes PDF

The temperature sensitive film (stock #72-373) is available online at Edmund Optics

The Electromagnetic Spectrumimage of electromagetic spectrum posterA poster about the electromagnetic spectrum was designed by the NASA Origins Forum missions' E/PO personnel. 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 Science Education brochure
Infrared Astronomy: More Than Our Eyes Can See
Orion's M42 Region
Signs of Recent Starbursts in the Milky Way Galaxy’s Center
Infrared Comparison of Jupiter
SOFIA Technical flyer
SOFIA self-guided tour
SOFIA Bookmark
SOFIA sticker
SOFIA Shareables/Infographics


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Click the link 4th ESO Astronomy for detailed information.

Teachers invited to join the STEAM Team

STEAMThe Planetary Society is developing a youth education program with the goal to help teachers educate and engage students around the world in Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, and the Arts.

The STEAM Team is an advisory network of educators from around the world who will help to create the most effective education program possible. We want to bring your educational expertise to bear on a widespread program to enhance STEAM education around the world.

By joining this team, you will become part of a global advisory council of educators. We will reach out to you for feedback on the educational resources we develop, and on the direction of our youth education program as a whole. We’ll send you surveys, questions, and opportunities to share your ideas.

Read more here

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Watch it here.

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