Infrared Lesson Plans

For more lesson plans across many different astronomy and science standards, see NASA Wavelength - NASA's central repository of all peer-reviewed and field-tested educator resources. From the NASA Wavelength site:

"NASA Wavelength is a collection of resources that incorporate NASA content and have been subject to peer review. You can search this collection using key words and/or the drop down menus to pinpoint resources to use with your audience of learners."

A selection of infrared-specific lesson plans are linked below. 

The Herschel Experiment

Perform a version of the experiment of 1800, in which a form of radiation other than visible light was discovered by the famous astronomer Sir Frederick William Herschel. Can be adapted for all grade levels.

Let There Be Light, or...Heat?

Students determine which type of light bulb, compact fluorescent or incandescent, is more efficient at converting electrical energy to light instead of heat and for students to calculate the amount and cost of electricity used to power each type of light for 28 hours per week for a year. Grades 11-12, Physical Science.

Infrared and Visible Images

Students make their own three-color astronomical image using visible and infrared part of the spectrum. They compare and contrast the differences in each image made. Grades 11-12, Physics. May be modified for an upper-level art or computer graphics course.

The Ritter Experiment

Perform a version of Ritter's experiment of 1801, in which ultraviolet light was discovered. 

Published: 26 January, 2022

Fun Fact

Shooting stars are actually tiny pieces of rock and dust that are burning up in our atmosphere. Many of these particles are left over from the tails of passing comets, so you could say you're seeing a falling comet tail, rather than a falling star.