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This multi-phased learning package progresses from guided engineering to an open mission design challenge through scaffolded and easy-to-implement teaching tools, lessons and art activities. By building an O-REx spacecraft model in a collaborative... (View More) team, learners take on authentic roles, deepening their understanding of the workings of a NASA mission. Throughout, engineering concepts are presented with a humanistic perspective to make technical concepts relatable. Teamwork is emphasized as it relates to the legacy and practice of invention, design and engineering. The program is aligned to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). (View Less)
Developed as a planetarium show, this video describes the unique environment of our solar system planets and a few satellites, along with some of the challenges and possible solutions for potential human habitation on each. Two versions of the video... (View More) are available through links on the site - a kids version (18 minutes, suitable for grades 2-5) and a more advanced version (22 minutes, designed for middle/high school). Both are applicable to school and/or general audiences. Information on purchasing the DVD's in both English and Spanish for large audience presentations is included. (View Less)
This project engages students in the science and engineering processes used by NASA Astrobiologists as they explore our Solar System and try to answer the compelling question, "Are we Alone?" Students will identify science mission goals and select... (View More) an astrobiologically significant target of interest: Mars, Europa, Enceladus or Titan. Students will then design their mission to this target in search of their chosen biosignature(s). Students will encounter the same considerations and challenges facing NASA scientists and engineers as they search for life in our Solar System. Students will need to balance the return of their science data with engineering limitations such as power, mass and budget. Risk factors play a role and will add to the excitement in this interactive science and engineering activity. Astrobiobound! will help students see how science and systems engineering are integrated to achieve a focused scientific goal. Includes an alignment document for NGSS and Common Core State Standards. (View Less)
Learners create art inspired by authentic NASA planetary image data while learning to recognize the geology on planetary surfaces, uniquely inspiring learner engagement. This presentation and accompanying activity use the elements of art - shape,... (View More) line, color, texture, value - to make sense of features in NASA images, honing observation skills and inspiring questions. It aligns with the NGSS cross-cutting concept of Patterns. Videos, images, and an interactive poster that breaks down activity elements deepen user access. (View Less)
This activity is an interactive word find game with words related to comets and NASA's Comet Nucleus Sample Return mission. Accompanying text and pictures describe what comets are and why we are interested in them.
This is a lesson about the Discovery Program's exploration of the solar system. Learners will identify and communicate to others the varied space science explorations carried out by the Discovery Program and dig into one mission in depth. They can... (View More) then respond to a NASA Discovery Program Announcement of Opportunity (AO) to submit a mock proposal. Includes the 29-minute Discovery Program overview video, "Unlocking Mysteries of Our Solar System." (View Less)
In this activity, learners replicate the scientific processes of observing, forming an explanation, revising and communicating about a model of a comet. Learners construct a model of features of a comet using an assortment of common craft supplies.... (View More) This activity relates to several NASA comet missions such as Deep Impact, Stardust, Stardust-NExT, and EPOXI and can be used to emulate a process that scientists and engineers follow on all missions. (View Less)
Learners can read about the Deep Impact mission to encounter comet Tempel 1, including the mission, the experiment, results, the comet, the team, and how the results were transmitted back to Earth. Includes pre- and post-encounter fact sheets.
This resource complements a planetarium experience. However, the accompanying educator's guide and companion guides - with lessons on observing and investigating the Moon - are available to download for independent classroom use. The hands-on... (View More) activities, which take up where the show leaves off, motivate students to use their cooperative learning skills to design a self-sufficient lunar station. Working in teams, students develop critical thinking skills, problem-solving techniques, and an understanding of complex systems as they discuss solutions to the essential questions they are presented. (View Less)