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# S15.3.3

Uses appropriate tools (including computers) and techniques to gather, analyze and interpret scientific data.

### Studies of a Population of Stars: Mapping the Positions of Stars

Make observations and use available data and simple calculations to correlate observations and data in the characterization of stars. In this activity, students can discover that the positions of stars in the sky illuminates information about the Milky Way galaxy.

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### Studies of a Population of Stars: Distances and Motions

Make observations and use available data and simple calculations to correlate observations and data in the characterization of stars. In this activity, the distances of bright stars are calculated and their motions, in the plane of the sky and in three dimensions are illuminated.

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### Mapping Your State and Community

Detect patterns and uncover cause-and-effect relationships using the Mapping For Everyone web toolkit (http://www.esri.com/mappingforeveryone). By analyzing median age, home value, population change, household size, and other variables, you will be thinking critically and spatially while comparing differences between your neighborhood and others around the country.

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### When a Ruler Is Too Short

Surveyors are often seen in the middle of the street making careful measurements of angles with their transits, and distances with their steel tapes. For points than can be easily reached, such a survey is convenient. But when the target is inaccessible – a mountain summit or a distant star – known distances can be combined with measured angles to determine a distance or altitude. The method relies on parallax, the way an object appears to move, relative to a more distant background, when viewed from different angles.

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### The Fall of the Ruler

This activity teaches how an ordinary ruler can measure (human reaction) time.

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### Sand or Rock? Finding Out from 1,000 km

This activity quantifies an experience many students have had visiting a beach, or even playing in a sandbox. A summer afternoon walk, barefoot, across sand can burn one's feet. Often people take a few steps and then bury their feet in the cooler subsurface sand as they make their way across the beach. After sunset, the surface sand cools rapidly and buried feet are warmed by the deeper sand that has not cooled off yet. Stopping to rest on an empty fire ring, the beach walker notices how warm the concrete ring is long after the Sun has gone down.

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### Right Place, Wrong Time

It's important to check the results from an experiment. Does the result make sense? Does it follow from other facts that are known? From the standpoint of teaching High School science, checking if one's results are sensible adds an additional layer of safety that the results are correct. (From the standpoint of advancements in Science, a basic research tenet is that results must be repeatable and not just a fluke.

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