Imagine the Universe!
IV. Activity Answers/Assessment Guide

Grandma's Apple Pie
Encourage students to look to use a family recipe for apple pie. Elemental composition of the ingredients can be found on the Web or in reference books.

An apple pie is made primarily from apples, flour, and sugar. Because these are all organic, the primary elements are hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen. Carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen are made in small stars and large stars, while hydrogen is made in the big bang. Students may trace carbon, nitrogen and oxygen back to helium, and then back to hydrogen via the fusion processes in the stellar life cycle.

Another ingredient often used is salt. This introduces sodium and chlorine. These elements are made in the red giant stage of a large star's life. Students may trace these to the helium produced during the first stage of the star's life, and ultimately back to hydrogen.

Students may also find varying amounts of other elements. For example, milk is often brushed on the crust. Hence, there is a trace amount of calcium, which is produced in large stars. In the apples themselves, students may also find calcium, phosphorus (both of which are produced in large stars), and iron (produced in large stars and supernovae).

Suggested grading:

    40% Accuracy of scientific content
    20% Quality of presentation
    20% Creativity of the artistic element
    20% Successfully addressing all aspects of the problem.


Kinesthetic Big Bang
Answers to the Follow-up Questions

  1. The atoms continue to move with kinetic motion.

  2. Actually there were trillions of hydrogen and helium atoms formed right after the Big Bang. The small number of students in this model would be a tiny part of the total. Most electrons, positrons, and neutrinos were not included.

  3. The universe is not hot and dense enough for further joining of nuclei (fusion) in this way.

  4. Inflation fluctuations were frozen into space-time. That means they were converted into slightly denser and slightly less dense regions. The force of gravity locally collected large groups of the atoms to clump together.

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Imagine the Universe! is a service of the High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center (HEASARC), Dr. Alan Smale (Director), within the Astrophysics Science Division (ASD) at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

The Imagine Team
Project Leader: Dr. Barbara Mattson
Curator: Meredith Gibb
Responsible NASA Official: Phil Newman
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This page last updated: Monday, 29-Nov-2004 16:11:01 EST