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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)
In this activity, children use common craft materials and ultraviolet (UV)-sensitive beads to construct a person (or dog or imaginary creature). They use sunscreen, foil, paper, and more to test materials that might protect UV Kid from being exposed... (View More) to too much UV radiation. Includes background for facilitators. This activity is part of the "Explore!" series of activities designed to engage children in space and planetary science in libraries and informal learning environments. (View Less)
This is an annotated, topical list of science fiction novels and stories based on more or less accurate astronomy and physics ideas. Learners can read fictional works that involve asteroids, astronomers, black holes, comets, space travel where... (View More) Einstein's ideas are used correctly, exploding stars, etc. (View Less)
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)
Each lesson or activity in this toolkit is related to NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). The toolkit is designed so that each lesson can be done independently, or combined and taught in a sequence. The Teacher Implementation Guide provides... (View More) recommendations for combining the lessons into three main strands: 1) Lunar Exploration. These lessons provide a basic introduction to Moon exploration. Note that this strand is also appropriate for use in social studies classes. 2) Mapping the Moon. These lessons provide a more in-depth understanding of Moon exploration through the use of scientific data and student inquiry. The lessons also include many connections to Earth science and geology. 3) Tools of Investigation. These higher-level lessons examine the role of technology, engineering and physics in collecting and analyzing data. (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)
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 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.
This interactive illustrates how images from space get to Earth and how we interpret the images. Users are encouraged to experiment with images to get a firm grasp of how scientists use color filters to interpret data. Click on the initial image at... (View More) the site to start the interactive. (View Less)