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Learners design and build an airbag system that can safely land an egg dropped from a height of 3' onto the floor. This resource includes a challenge video, leader notes, and handouts. Two supplemental videos are included: 1) An airbag landing... (View More)

Learners design and build a device that can take a core sample from a potato. This resource includes a challenge video, leader notes, and handouts. Two supplemental videos are included: 1) NASA's Curiosity rover drilling into a rock on Mars and... (View More)

In this hands-on engineering challenge, learners design, build, and improve a model that allows a moving object to change direction using an invisible force. Mimicking the gravity-assisted travel of the New Horizons spacecraft, learners roll a steel... (View More)

Learners design and build a device that can pass above a surface and detect magnetic fields. This resource includes a challenge video, leader notes, and handouts. Two supplemental videos are included: 1) Measuring Magnetic Fields and 2) NASA flight... (View More)

Using a plastic tray filled with sand to represent a planetary surface, learners simulate the effects of wind, water, and impacts. They will compare the surface effects they create with actual images of planetary surfaces- and determine the causes... (View More)

Explore simulated remote sensing techniques to observe a clay model of a planet. Observations are done from the perspective of a telescope at Earth’s surface, a telescope above Earth’s atmosphere, and from closer proximity to the planet in a... (View More)

Students combine science and systems engineering to develop a mission to search for life in our solar system. The mission must meet budgetary, mass and power constraints while still producing significant science. An extensive set of "equipment... (View More)

This is a lesson about measurement and cratering. Learners will read about the origin of the foot as a standardized unit of measure, work collaboratively to conduct an experiment about cratering, and collect and record data to draw logical and... (View More)

Learners will construct a mock-up of planetary surface rover. They begin by exploring the importance of engineering in our society and work as a team to build a prototype of the team's rover using student science notebooks and team sketches as a... (View More)

Keywords: Spacecraft Design
Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: $5 - $10 per group of students

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)

Audience: Informal education
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