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Students are tasked with virtually designing a spacecraft to withstand the harsh environment of the Van Allen Radiation belts- the location of many communication, GPS and weather satellites. The details of the challenge, along with videos on... (View More) radiation, a materials list (including descriptions, densities, costs, and testing), and subsystems information are included. (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)
Learners go outside on a clear evening and view the sky to see the Moon for themselves. Using sky charts, children navigate the Moon’s impact craters, flat plains (maria), and mountains with the naked eye and binoculars or telescopes. This outdoor... (View More) night viewing can be combined with the indoor stations activity, Growing Up Moon, or the outdoor activity, Mirror Moon. This activity is part of Explore! Marvel Moon, a series of activities developed specifically for use in libraries. (View Less)
This is an activity about the rotation of the Moon. Learners use a penny and a quarter to model that the Moon does indeed spin on its axis as it orbits the Earth. They find that the Moon keeps the same face toward the Earth, but receives... (View More) illumination from the Sun on all sides in turn. This activity is part of Explore! Marvel Moon, a series of activities developed specifically for use in libraries. (View Less)
In this activity, community members of all ages are invited to contribute photographs — taken with cell phones, film cameras, or more sophisticated equipment — of the Moon. The images are collected over the course of a month or more and posted... (View More) in chronological order. The collection forms a display featuring the Moon's changing appearance in your local sky over the course of a month or more. This activity is part of Explore! Marvel Moon, a series of activities developed specifically for use in libraries. (View Less)
Learners explore Earth's rotation and the Moon's role in our 24-hour day, using their bodies to explore and model the Earth's daily motions in this kinethetic exploration. They relate the motion of the Earth about its axis (rotation) to the... (View More) appearance of the sky over the course of the day. Learners consider the role of the Moon in slowing Earth's rotation over time; if the Moon didn't exist, Earth might be spinning more quickly, giving us an eight-hour day! This activity is part of Explore! Marvel Moon, a series of activities developed specifically for use in libraries. (View Less)
Learners model how Earth's tilt creates the seasons. They use their bodies to review the Earth's daily motions before investigating the reason for Earth's seasons in this kinesthetic exploration. The motion of the Earth about its axis (rotation) and... (View More) in orbit around the Sun (revolution) is related to the appearance of the sky over the course of the day and year. Next they model that if the Earth's tilt was not stabilized by Moon, Earth's axis would slowly wobble between straight up (0° tilt) to nearly on its side (80° tilt). The resulting seasonal extremes would be unfavorable for life. Note that this activity is appropriate for children who are able to explore the geometry of Sun-Earth-Moon relationships in three dimensions. This activity is part of Explore! Marvel Moon, a series of activities developed specifically for use in libraries. (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 game about planning what to take on a space trip to Mars. Learners will decide on the appropriateness of items to take on a long trip to Mars and take into consideration the effects of zero gravity, limited electrical power, etc.