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This activity focuses on the relationship between science of looking for life and the tools, on vehicles such as the Mars Rover, that make it possible. Learners will create their own models of a Mars rover. They determine what tools would be... (View More) necessary to help them better understand Mars (and something about life on Mars/its habitability). Then they work in teams to complete a design challenge where they incorporate these elements into their models, which must successfully complete a task. Teams may also work together to create a large-scale, lobby-sized version that may be put on display in the library to engage their community. The activity also includes specific tips for effectively engaging girls in STEM. This is activity 6 in Explore: Life on Mars? that was developed specifically for use in libraries. (View Less)
This is an activity about visual analysis. Learners will create art inspired by planetary images while learning to recognize the geology on planetary surfaces. This presentation and accompanying activity uses the elements of art - shape, line,... (View More) color, texture, value - to make sense of features in NASA images, while honing observation skills and inspiring questions. (View Less)
This is an activity about albedo, which is a measurement of the reflectance of a planetary surface. Learners will classify areas on an image in terms of albedo values and then sketch their own portion of an image from space. These sketches are... (View More) assembled to view the larger image that the class or group has created. (View Less)
This is an activity about how giant dish antennas work. Learners create a "sound cone" and use it to understand how the Deep Space Network antennas pick up radio communications from space.
This is an activity about the moon. Learners will create their own models of lunar orbiters out of edible or non-edible materials. They determine what tools would be necessary to help us better understand the Moon and plan for a future lunar... (View More) outpost. Then they incorporate these elements into their models. NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter is used as an example of a spacecraft armed with "eyes," "ears," and other tools for exploration. This activity is part of Explore! To the Moon and Beyond! - a resource developed specifically for use in libraries. (View Less)
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 award-winning video, "Unlocking Mysteries of Our Solar System." (View Less)
This is a game about light curves that will test your ability to figure out things about an asteroid from just a graph of its brightness. Astronomers use telescopes to collect light curves - measurements of the brightness of distant asteroids over... (View More) time. It is part of the Killer Asteroids Web Site. The site also features a background overview of the differences between asteroids and comets, information on different types of asteroids (rubble piles vs monoliths), a discussion of how at risk Earth really is to an asteroid or comet impact, and background information on light curves. (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)
This is a lesson about the shape of objects in space. Learners will observe the surface of rotating potatoes to help them understand how astronomers use variations in reflective brightness to determine the shape of asteroids.