Skip to content

TOPS Lesson Modules

  • TOPS Learning Systems has developed a three-booklet series of activities based on the math and science of the Fermi mission. In the TOPS tradition, each booklet has activities which use simple, inexpensive household materials (such as coins, paper plates, thread spools, etc.) in clever ways.

    Booklet 1, "Far Out Math!": Students measure, scale, graph and problem solve, using examples derived from Fermi. They will compare quantities as orders of magnitude, become familiar with scientific notation, and develop a concrete understanding of exponents and logarithms.

    - Download "Far Out Math!" (PDF 11.5MB)
    - Presentation: TOPS Far Out Math! (PPT 1.05 MB)

    Booklet 2, "Scale the Universe": The size and scale of the Universe are among the most difficult concepts to understand. This booklet gently takes students through the orders-of-magnitude of the Universe starting with the familiar human scale, then going down to the infinitesimal and out to the astronomical.

    - Download "Scale the Universe" (PDF 3.7MB)

    Booklet 3, "Pi in the Sky": These activities teach about radians and degree, angles, parallax, and apparent sizes of objects. Students will measure the apparent sizes of objects at various distances and learn about how we can measure the sizes of distant objects.

    - Download "Pi in the Sky" (PDF 20MB)
    - Presentation: TOPS Scale the Universe and Pi in the Sky (PPT 700KB)

Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope - Education and Public Outreach - TOPS Lesson Module