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The theme of this unit is the development of an imaginary mission to the asteroid Vesta. It also introduces teachers and students to the Vesta Mappers citizen scientist project, which is part of the CosmoQuest online community. The unit is designed... (View More) to be used in 50-minute periods over 13 days and lessons follow the 5E instructional model. Students will explore not only science content but science and engineering practices as well. An alignment is provided to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). (View Less)
This activity is about planetary rovers. Learners will simulate the challenges in communications that engineers face when driving a rover on Mars. They will particpate as part of a rover team to design and execute a series of commands that will... (View More) guide a rover made of people through an obstacle course simulating the Martian surface. Students will learn the limitations of operating a planetary rover and problem solving solutions by using this simulation. The lesson models the engineering design process using the 5E instructional model and includes teacher notes, vocabulary, student journal and reading. (View Less)
This is a math-science integrated unit about spectrographs. Learners will find and calculate the angle that light is transmitted through a holographic diffraction grating using trigonometry. After finding this angle, the students will build their... (View More) own spectrographs in groups and research and design a ground or space-based mission using their creation. After the project is complete, student groups will present to the class on their trials, tribulations, and findings during this process. The activity is part of Project Spectra, a science and engineering program for middle-high school students, focusing on how light is used to explore the Solar System. (View Less)
This is a series of three webpages about how humans and computers communicate. Learners will explore the binary and hexidecimal systems and how engineers use them to translate spacecraft data into images.
This is a game about data compression. Learners will use virtual foam balls to explore the different compression methods (lossless, lossy, and superchannel) used by the Earth Observing 3 mission.
In this lesson, learners will discover how certain snakes (pit-vipers) can find prey using a natural infrared sensor and will extend their understandings by exploring infrared technology applications. The lesson features background information for... (View More) the teacher, pre-requisite skills and knowledge for the student, a mini-exploration of infrared image technology, multiple image sets, assessment information, student worksheets, extension and transfer activities, and additional resources. This is lesson 2 on the Infrared Zoo website. (View Less)
This module is about collaboration and communication strategies that are used during mission design. Learners will strengthen their understanding of and ability to use collaborative processes and communication practices to clarify, conceptualize,... (View More) and make decisions. Students will compare the risks of varying courses of action that confront scientists and engineers. After the risks are identified, they will gather and convey evidence supporting and refuting the viability of these actions, and reach consensus. The module strategies rely primarily on student investigation into the background information that is necessary to support arguments; make quantitative risk analyses; engage in debate, role-playing, and persuasive writing/communication processes; and practice group decision-making procedures. (View Less)
In this problem set, learners will analyze a table of electrical consumption of appliances when not in use and consider the total consumption in kilowatt-hours (kWh), associated cost and their own consumption when appliances are in "instant-on" or... (View More) "stand-by" mode. Answer key is provided. This is part of Earth Math: A Brief Mathematical Guide to Earth Science and Climate Change. (View Less)
In this problem set, learners will analyze a table of annual electrical consumption by state in gigaWatt-hours (gWh) to answer a series of questions. They will also consider the carbon dioxide produced as a result of this consumption. Answer key is... (View More) provided. This is part of Earth Math: A Brief Mathematical Guide to Earth Science and Climate Change. (View Less)