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In this lesson, learners will construct a 3D scale model of one of the MMS satellites. After, they will calculate the octagonal area of the top and bottom of the satellites, given the measurements of the satellite. Then, learners will compare the... (View More) octagonal cross-section area of the satellites with the circular cross-section area of the launch vehicle to determine if the eight-sided spacecraft will fit the circular rocket hull. This is lesson one of the MMS Mission Educator's Instructional Guide, which uses examples from the MMS Mission to introduce mathematics (focusing on geometry) in a real-world context. The lessons use the 5E instructional cycle. **Note: MMS launched March 12, 2015. For the latest science and news, visit the MMS Mission Website under Related & Supplemental Resources (right side of this page).** (View Less)

In this lesson, learners will first watch a video about the orbit and formation of the MMS satellites to learn about their flight configuration. After, they will research similar facts about other types of satellites. Next, learners will compute the... (View More) volume of MMS' tetrahedral flight configuration and investigate how the tetrahedral volume changes as the satellites change positions. Finally, they will create a report that outlines their findings. This activity requires student access to internet accessible computers. This is lesson three in the MMS Mission Educator's Instructional Guide, which uses examples from the mission to introduce mathematics (focusing on geometry) in a real-world context. The lessons use the 5E instructional cycle. **Note: MMS launched March 12, 2015. For the latest science and news, visit the MMS Mission Website under Related & Supplemental Resources (right side of this page).** (View Less)

Students will learn about the Transit of Venus through reading a NASA press release and viewing a NASA eClips™ video that describes several ways to observe transits. Then students will study angular measurement by learning about parallax and how... (View More) astronomers use this geometric effect to determine the distance to Venus during a Transit of Venus. This activity is part of the Space Math multimedia modules that integrate NASA press releases, NASA archival video, and mathematics problems targeted at specific math standards commonly encountered in middle school textbooks. The modules cover specific math topics at multiple levels of difficulty with real-world data and use the 5E instructional sequence. (View Less)

This is a math-science integrated unit about spectrographs. Learners will find and calculate the angle that light is transmitted through a holographic diffraction grating using trigonometry. After finding this angle, the students will build their... (View More) own spectrographs in groups and research and design a ground or space-based mission using their creation. After the project is complete, student groups will present to the class on their trials, tribulations, and findings during this process. The activity is part of Project Spectra, a science and engineering program for middle-high school students, focusing on how light is used to explore the Solar System. (View Less)

This is a lesson about using the light from the star during an occultation event to identify the atmosphere of a planet. Learners will add and subtract light curves (presented as a series of geometrical shapes) to understand how this could occur.... (View More) The activity is part of Project Spectra, a science and engineering program for middle-high school students, focusing on how light is used to explore the Solar System. (View Less)

Learners will build an open spectrograph to calculate the angle the light is transmitted through a holographic diffraction grating. After finding the desired angles, the students will design their own spectrograph using the information learned. The... (View More) activity is part of Project Spectra, a science and engineering program for middle-high school students, focusing on how light is used to explore the Solar System. (View Less)

In this activity, learners draw a circle with a single focus, an ellipse with two foci close together, and an ellipse with two foci far apart, and compare the shapes. Learners then measure the Sun in four images each taken in a different season,... (View More) comparing the apparent size of the Sun in each image to determine when Earth is closest to the Sun. This is the second activity in the SDO Secondary Learning Unit. The activity is reprinted with permission from the Great Explorations in Math and Science (GEMS). (View Less)

Math skills are applied throughout this investigation of windows. Starting with basic window shapes, students determine area and complete a cost analysis, then do the same for windows of unconventional shapes. Students will examine photographs taken... (View More) by astronauts through windows on the Space Shuttle and International Space Station to explore the inverse relationship between lens size and area covered. This lesson is part of the Expedition Earth and Beyond Education Program. (View Less)

This is an activity about measurement. Learners will label key points and features on a rectangular equal-area map and measure the distance between pairs of points in order to calculate the actual physical distance on the Sun that the point pairs... (View More) represent. This is Activity 5 of the Space Weather Forecast curriculum. (View Less)

This is a lesson about discovering distant planets using an Earth-based observing technique called stellar occultation. Learners will explore how a stellar occultation occurs, how planetary atmospheres can be discovered, and how planetary diameters... (View More) can be determined using actual light curves from stellar occultation events. Includes adaptations for younger students and those with visual impairments. (View Less)