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In this lesson, students will explain CRaTER's purpose and how it works. They will also design (using paper and pencil) a cosmic ray detector to answer their own questions. CRaTER's purpose is to identify safe landing sites for future human missions... (View More) to the moon; discover potential resources on the Moon; and characterize the radiation environment of the Moon. The lesson includes background information for the teacher, questions, and information about student preconceptions. This is lesson 4 of 4 from "The Cosmic Ray Telescope for the Effects of Radiation." (View Less)
In this lesson on cosmic rays, students will explain two examples of a cosmic ray detector. Includes information about student preconceptions and a demonstration that requires a geiger counter and optional access to a small radioactive source that... (View More) emits energetic helium nuclei (alpha particles), e.g., the mineral the mineral autunite, which contains uranium. This is activity two of four from The Cosmic Ray Telescope for the Effects of Radiation (CRaTER). (View Less)
In this lesson, students will learn how cosmic rays were discovered and what they are - including their size and speed. Includes background information for the teacher, questions, activities and information about student preconceptions. This is... (View More) lesson 1 of 4 from "The Cosmic Ray Telescope for the Effects of Radiation (CRaTER)." (View Less)
This is an activity about spacecraft radio communications. Learners will explore spacecraft radio communications concepts, including the speed of light and the time-delay for signals sent to and from spacecraft. Learners measure the time it takes... (View More) for a radio signal to travel to a spacecraft using the speed of light, demonstrate the delay in radio communication signals to and from a spacecraft, and devise unique solutions to the radio-signal-delay problem. In an extension, learners are asked to calculate the distance the spacecraft traveled. All NASA spacecraft missions have a telecommunications system and use radio waves to transmit signals. The context for this activity is sending a command to the New Horizons spacecraft telling it to take a picture of Pluto. Includes teacher background, adaptations, and student data sheets. (View Less)
In this lesson about cosmic rays, students will describe why cosmic rays are dangerous to astronauts. Includes information about student preconceptions. This is activity 3 of 4 from The Cosmic Ray Telescope for the Effects of Radiation (CRaTER).
This full-dome planetarium show takes learners on a futuristic journey through our Solar System. They explore the inner and outer planets, then the moons: Titan, Europa, and Callisto as possible places to establish a human colony.
This is a unit of 8 sessions about the Sun-Earth system. Learners will construct a model to show the relative size and scale of the Sun-Earth system, investigate the visible and electromagnetic spectrums, discuss solar flares and solar weather,... (View More) develop a UV shield, and discuss the results of their investigations. The unit is set in the context of solving a mystery and supports the idea that scientific explanations are based on evidence. This is Unit 1 of the GEMS Space Science Sequence for Grades 6-8, which is available for purchase (see related link). (View Less)
This is a unit in 7-8 sessions about objects outside of our solar system, including galaxies and the universe. Learners will investigate the contents of the universe, why light years are used to measure distances in space, the lifespan of a star,... (View More) and detecting extrasolar planets. Finally, they will examine evidence for habitable worlds beyond earth. This is Unit 4 of the GEMS Space Science Sequence for Grades 6-8, which is available for purchase (see related link). (View Less)
This is a lesson/briefing about the Dawn mission and the significance of its ion propulsion system. Learners will consider cases of science fact versus science fictions, study the challenges of the Dawn mission, and apply the "History Frame"... (View More) strategy to investigate the who, what, when and how in the history and development of ion propulsion. This is activity 1 of 5 in Structure and Properties of Matter: Ion Propulsion. (View Less)
This activity is about Mars and the similarities and differences between Mars and Earth. Learners will compare physical properties of Earth to those of Mars and investigate images of features on Mars to try to find similar features in images of the... (View More) Earth. Earth/Mars image cards, student worksheet and script are available; see related resources for link to Earth vs. Mars slide show. This is lesson 6 of 16 in the MarsBots learning module. (View Less)