Informal Educators July 2015

Created by Kristen Weaver Last updated 7/2/2015

Resources presented July 2nd, 2015 at Goddard Space Flight Center Informal Educator Workshop.

  • Building for Hurricanes: Engineering Design Challenge

    This activity is a short engineering design challenge to be completed by individual students or small teams. A real-world problem is presented, designing buildings for hurricane-prone areas, but in a simulated way that works in a classroom, after school club, or informal education setting. Students are given simple materials and design requirements, and must plan and build a tower as tall as possible that will hold up a tennis ball while resisting the force of wind from a fan. After the towers are built, the group comes together to test them. If there is time after testing, which can be observational or framed as a contest between teams, students can redesign their towers to improve their performance, or simply discuss what worked well and what didn’t in their designs.
  • Rain EnGAUGE Activities Menu | Precipitation Education

    A selection of suggested activities for Rain EnGAUGE GPM launch parties. This website, presented by NASA’s Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission, provides students and educators with resources to learn about Earth’s water cycle, weather and climate, and the technology and societal applications of studying them.
  • Engineer a Satellite

    In this activity, learners select the scientific instruments for their satellite, calculate the power requirements for all the subsystems, and construct a scale model of their very own Earth observing satellite using building blocks and/or Legos. Includes instructions and worksheets
    AAAS Benchmarks: 3A/M2
  • The Adventure of Echo the Bat

    This interactive adventure uses a Landsat mosaic of Arizona as the interface. Students need to interpret satellite imagery to receive clues to Echo the Bat's location. As students find Echo, additional content about remote sensing and biodiversity is introduced.
    AAAS Benchmarks: 12B/M5, 3A/M2
  • GPM Core Observatory LEGO Model | Precipitation Education

    Step by step instructions and a parts list to build your own LEGO model of the GPM Core Observatory. This website, presented by NASA’s Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission, provides students and educators with resources to learn about Earth’s water cycle, weather and climate, and the technology and societal applications of studying them.
  • Rain Gauge Activity

    In this activity, students face an engineering challenge based on real-world applications. They are tasked with developing a tool they can use to measure the amount of rain that falls each day. Students will find out why freshwater is important, learn about the water cycle, and the need to have a standard form of calibration for measurement tools. They will learn that keeping track of precipitation is important, and learn a little bit about how NASA's GPM satellite measures precipitation from space. This lesson uses the 5-E instructional model.
    AAAS Benchmarks: 3A/E3, 3A/M2, 4B/E3, 4B/M7
  • Erosion and Landslides

    Students will be introduced to the causes, locations, and hazards of landslides, as well as the role of satellite observations in predicting and studying them. To begin, students investigate the amount of precipitation sufficient to cause a landslide in two different mediums (soil and sand), then use their findings in follow-up activities.
    AAAS Benchmarks: 3A/M2, 11C/M7
  • GPM Core Observatory Paper Model

    This activity allows participants to build a paper model of the GPM Core Observatory and learn about the technology the satellite uses to measure precipitation from space. Directions explain how to cut, fold and glue the individual pieces together to make the model. The accompanying information sheet has details about the systems in the satellite including the Dual-frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR), the GPM Microwave Imager (GMI), the High Gain Antenna, avionics and star trackers, propulsion system and solar array, as well as a math connection and additional engineering challenges.
  • IMAGERS - NASA Science Education for Elementary & Middle School

    IThe IMAGERS (Interactive Multimedia Adventures for Grade School Education Using Remote Sensing) Program is NASA's comprehensive Earth science education resource for the introduction of remote sensing and satellite imagery to children in grades K-8. The IMAGERS Program is comprised of two multimedia web sites: "Adventures of Amelia the Pigeon" and "Adventures of Echo the Bat". The Program's objective is to captivate children at an early age in Earth science through multimedia adventures.