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The four lessons in this unit build toward a student understanding of each component of the energy budget formula - and how the contribution of each component changes due to location and time of year. In order, the four lessons consist of: deriving... (View More)

In this game, students use the accompanying "playing cards" to plan a mission to Mars. The mission must produce significant science returns while also meeting several constraints such as budget, mass and power. The lesson is part of the Mars... (View More)

This story-based lesson presents information on the early investigation into solar and cosmic X-rays, as well as the scientists working in pursuit of X-ray detection and imaging, that set the stage for a program of space-based astronomy. The lesson... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

Learners will simulate the challenges in communications that engineers face when operating a Mars rover from Earth. They will participate as part of a rover team to design and execute a series of commands that will guide a rover (comprised of four... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school, Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

Through a series of interactive multimedia activities, animations, videos, and online lessons, students develop an understanding of permafrost and its connections to climate change. NASA data from space, suborbital, and ground platforms are... (View More)

Using the diameter of a pencil as a reference, students calculate and construct a line chart to show the relative height of several altitudinal points such as Earth's atmosphere, the beginning of space, commercial airplane flights, and the Hubble... (View More)

Math skills are applied throughout this investigation of windows. Starting with basic window shapes, students determine area and complete a cost analysis, then do the same for windows of unconventional shapes. Students will examine photographs taken... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school, Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

The activity introduces students to aspects of the atmosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and litho/geosphere and how they are interrelated. It is designed to promote an interest in authentic investigations of Earth using images acquired by astronauts... (View More)

This is a lesson about the science supporting the design and operation of an ion propulsion engine. Learners will study the concepts of formation and discharge of charged particles, attractive and repulsive forces between charged particles, and the... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

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)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free
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