How are the elements in the sun determined?
Genesis was one of NASA’s Discovery missions. Its purpose was to observe the solar wind, collect its ions and return them to Earth. "What Are We Made Of?" is a student activity in the "Cosmic Chemistry: Understanding Elements" Genesis science module. During this activity, students study the chemical elements of the sun and learn about the essential building blocks for everything that exists in the universe, including planets like Earth, and even the human body. By counting elements extracted from a simulated sample, students learn how the extraction of atoms from the Genesis samples helped scientists have a better understanding of the abundance of elements from the solar wind. The hands-on experience helps students discover that the elemental abundance from the sun can be used as a baseline to compare with the diverse bodies of our solar system.
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-- 1000-4000 pony beads
-- Clear plastic container
-- Small plastic cup/condiment cup for each group or student
-- Colored pencils or markers
-- Periodic table of the elements
-- Cardboard box lids or cafeteria trays
-- Student activity sheets