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This is a lesson about the science supporting the design and operation of an ion propulsion engine. Learners will study the concepts of formation and discharge of charged particles, attractive and repulsive forces between charged particles, and the... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

This is a lesson about the path of one xenon ion through an ion propulsion engine. Learners will focus on what a single xenon ion sees and does as it goes through the reactions and processes that provide the ion jet propulsion engine's thrust. They... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

Learners will study the essential components and variables of an ion propulsion system. Activities include an on-line ion propulsion engine simulation and design. Included are changes in energy and fuel consumption as a result of variable changes... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

Learners will design and built a prototype robot. This is lesson 14 of 16 in the MarsBots learning module. This lesson is adapted from "Edible Mars Spacecraft," by Amalia Plummer and Tricia Dieck, which was adapted from Jean Settle's "Edible... (View More)

Learners will gain an understanding of simple machines and how they may be used in our everyday lives. Students will also have an opportunity to design a Rube Goldberg Machine of their own. This is lesson 10 of 16 in the MarsBots robotics learning... (View More)

Learners will simulate the experience of operating a rover on Mars, by giving specific commands to construct a Lego model with their partners. This will introduce students to the fundamental communication skills necessary for successful robotic... (View More)

Learners will collaboratively design and build a descent and landing system for an egg. The students will also practice their writing skills by writing a letter or article about the success or failure of their spacecraft design. This is lesson 15 of... (View More)

This is a design challenge about heat transfer and insulation. Learners will apply the scientific method to design and build a container that will keep items cool when placed in boiling water. They will practice collaboration in team-building and in... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Over $20 per group of students

This is a lesson about designing and building an effective sunshade for a model MESSENGER craft. Learners will build a model of MESSENGER. They will use a scientific approach to solve problems and work as a cooperative team. They will discover their... (View More)

This is a activity about applying the scientific method to a design challenge. Learners will design and build a platform that will be placed on a heat source. The platform is expected to serve as an insulator for a cube of gelatin. The goal is to... (View More)