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The nature of technology  
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This activity is a short engineering design challenge to be completed by individual students or small teams. A real-world problem is presented, designing buildings for hurricane-prone areas, but in a simulated way that works in a classroom, after... (View More)

In this activity, learners select the scientific instruments for their satellite, calculate the power requirements for all the subsystems, and construct a scale model of their very own Earth observing satellite using building blocks and/or Legos.... (View More)

Learners will rotate through three stations where they investigate probes and rovers to learn how they are built, learn about the propulsion, navigation, controls and daily handling of spacecraft, gather, and analyze data from multiple sources on... (View More)

This is a lesson about how to answer a scientific or engineering question. Learners will refine the scientific question they generated in Lesson 5 so that it can be answered by data and/or modeling, brainstorm possible solutions for the scientific... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: $1 - $5 per group of students

Learners will investigate probes and rovers to learn how they are built, learn about the propulsion, navigation, controls and daily handling of spacecraft, gather, and analyze data from multiple sources on the internet, and understand how rovers... (View More)

In this lesson, learners will discover how certain snakes (pit-vipers) can find prey using a natural infrared sensor and will extend their understandings by exploring infrared technology applications. The lesson features background information for... (View More)

This activity has two purposes: challenge the learner to develop a procedure for investigating a research question and to learn more about factors affecting the dynamics of air in motion. It demonstrates that warm air and cold air differ in weight... (View More)

Learners will explore the difference between natural and artificial satellites and use images taken by robotic spacecraft and telescopes to gain an understanding of the Earth's place in space. Requires the books "Me on the Map" by Joan Sweeney and... (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)