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My Angle on Cooling: Effects of Distance and Inclination


Source Institutions

    NASA

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My Angle on Cooling: Effects of Distance and Inclination

In this activity, learners discover that one way to cool an object in the presence of a heat source is to increase the distance from it or change the angle at which it is faced. Learners perform an experiment that measures how the heat experienced by a test subject changes as the distance or the viewing angle changes. Learners distinguish which effect is more important for determining the seasons on Earth. Learners examine how NASA's MESSENGER mission to Mercury takes advantage of these passive cooling methods to keep the spacecraft comfortable in a high-temperature environment.

Quick Guide


Preparation Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Learning Time:
1 to 2 hours

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan

Language:
English

Materials List (per group of students)


  • Thermometers (with scale at least up to 50 ̊C, preferably up to 100 ̊C)
  • Sheets of black construction paper
  • Pieces of cardboard the same size as the construction paper
  • Bricks or blocks to prop up cardboard
  • Graphing paper
  • Desk lamp or flood lamp (without lampshade)
  • Meter sticks
  • Masking tape
  • Stopwatches
  • Chair and books or blocks to prop up the lamp (if needed)
  • Scissors or knives (to cut slit in paper)
  • Colored pencils
  • Blackboard or flipchart with markers
  • Distance and Inclination student sheets
  • Staying Cool with MESSENGER student sheets

Subjects


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Astronomy
      • Probes, Satellites and Spacecraft
    • Earth Processes
      • Weather and Climate
    • Earth, Moon and Sun
      • Days
      • Seasons
    • Solar System
      • The Sun
  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Aerospace Engineering
  • Mathematics
    • Data Analysis and Probability
      • Data Analysis
      • Data Collection
      • Data Representation
    • Geometry
      • Plane Geometry
    • Measurement
      • Circles
      • Rate
    • Problem Solving
    • Reasoning and Proof
    • Representation
  • Physical Sciences
    • Heat and Thermodynamics
      • Heat and Temperature
      • Heat Transfer
    • Energy
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Asking Questions
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results

Informal Categories


  • Nature and Environment
  • Outdoor Activity

Audience


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities

Other


Components that are part of this resource:

Includes alignment to state and/or national standards

Includes assesments for student learning

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access

By:

Rights:

  • All Rights Reserved, JHU/APL, ©2010

Funding Source:

  • Verizon Foundation Thinkfinity Program

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