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De-Coding Starlight: From Pixels to Images - Middle School

Alignment of Performance Activity with National Standards

Author's Note: These standards are for middle school level. This page will need to be revised to reflect the middle school level. This page serves as a reminder to alter these standards as appropriate.

Specific skills and knowledge demonstrated by the activity Alignment with Project 2061 Benchmarks for Scientific Literacy Alignment with National Science Education Standards
The student will use data collected from the Chandra X-ray Observatory to calculate the average pixel intensity of X-ray emissions from a supernova remnant. 3: The Nature of Technology (6-8) A: Technology and Science#2: Technology is essential to science for such purposes as access to outer space and other remote locations, sample collection and treatment, measurement, data collection and storage, computation, and communication of information. Content Standard B-Physical Science: Transfer of Energy#1: Energy is a property of many substances and is associated with heat, light, electricity, mechanical motion, sound, nuclei, and the nature of a chemical. Energy is transferred in many ways.
The student will order average pixel intensity levels into range levels and associate image colors to each level to will create an image of a supernova remnant. 11: Common Themes (6-8)B: Models#2: Mathematical models can be displayed on a computer and then modified to see what happens. Content Standard A-Inquiry (5-8)- Abilities Necessary to Do Scientific Inquiry#3: Use appropriate tools and techniques to gather, analyze, and interpret data. The use of tools and techniques, including mathematics, will be guided by the question asked and the investigations students design. The use of computers for the collection, summary, and display of evidence is part of this standard. Students should be able to access, gather, store, retrieve, and organize data, using hardware and software designed for these purposes.
The student will interpret an image formed from real data and develop explanations as to why scientists employ computers to process and analyze astronomical data. 11: Common Themes (6-8)B: Models#3: Different models can be used to represent the same thing. What kind of a model to use and how complex it should be depends on its purpose. The usefulness of a model may be limited if it is too simple or if it is needlessly complicated. Choosing a useful model is one of the instances in which intuition and creativity come into play in science, mathematics, and engineering. Content Standard A-Inquiry (5-8)-Understandings About Scientific Inquiry: #3: Mathematics is important in all aspects of scientific inquiry. #4: Technology used to gather data enhances accuracy and allows scientists to analyze and quantify results of investigations.