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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) school club, or informal education setting. Students are given simple materials and design requirements, and must plan and build a tower as tall as possible that will hold up a tennis ball while resisting the force of wind from a fan. After the towers are built, the group comes together to test them. If there is time after testing, which can be observational or framed as a contest between teams, students can redesign their towers to improve their performance, or simply discuss what worked well and what didn’t in their designs. (View Less)

Materials Cost: $1 - $5 per group of students

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) scientific conclusions. The lesson uses the 5E instructional model and includes: TEKS Details (Texas Standards alignment), Essential Question, Science Notebook, Vocabulary Definitions for Students, Vocabulary Definitions for Teachers, three Vocabulary Cards, and a Mini-Lesson. This is lesson 7 of the Mars Rover Celebration Unit, a six-week curriculum. (View Less)

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) scientific conclusions. The lesson uses the 5E instructional model and includes: TEKS Details (Texas Standards alignment), Essential Question, Science Notebook, Vocabulary Definitions for Students, Vocabulary Definitions for Teachers, three Vocabulary Cards, and a Mini-Lesson. This is lesson 7 of the Mars Rover Celebration Unit, a six-week curriculum. (View Less)

This is a lesson about geologic history. Learners will work together to create models of volcanic lava flows and analyze the layers that form on a planet's surface. They will sequence lava flows produced by multiple eruptions. Students will be asked... (View More) to observe where the flows travel, make a model, and interpret the stratigraphy. Students will use their volcanic layering model to demonstrate the relative dating and geologic mapping principles to later be applied to satellite imagery. The lesson models scientific inquiry using the 5E instructional model and includes teacher notes and vocabulary. (View Less)

In this hands-on activity, students learn about the different realms of the Universe and explore their sizes and relative scales. They will be guided through a process that uncovers the immense sizes of the Sun, Solar System, Solar Neighborhood,... (View More) Milky Way, Local Group, Supercluster, and the observable Universe. The full version of this activity involves students doing simple math computations, however it can also be done without the math. There are some inexpensive materials involved, as well as a powerpoint presentation. It is intended for grades 8-12, but can be adapted down for lower grade levels. (View Less)

Learners will review the structure, content and size of the Solar System. This lesson is designed using the 5E instructional model and includes: teacher training, unit pacing guides, essential questions, a black-line master science notebook, a... (View More) student presentation booklet, supplemental materials, and vocabulary for both students and teachers. This is lesson 1 of the Mars Rover Celebration Unit, a six week long curriculum. (View Less)

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) question chosen, determine reasonableness of solutions, use concept maps to enhance meaningful learning. The lesson uses the 5E instructional model and includes: TEKS Details (Texas Standards alignment), Essential Question, Science Notebook, Vocabulary Definitions for Students, Vocabulary Definitions for Teachers, two Vocabulary Cards, and a concept map supplement. This is lesson 6 of the Mars Rover Celebration Unit, a six week long curriculum. (View Less)

Learners will read about Mars and then examine an unknown sample (such as a sandwich or "fun size" chocolate bar) to determine if the sample could have come from Mars. The lesson uses the 5E instructional model and includes: TEKS Details (Texas... (View More) Standards alignment), Essential Question, Science Notebook, Vocabulary Definitions for Students, Vocabulary Definitions for Teachers, three Vocabulary Cards, and a Mini-Lesson. This is lesson 2 of the Mars Rover Celebration Unit, a six week long curriculum. (View Less)

In this activity, students use mathematics to understand tides and gravitation and how gravity works across astronomical distances, using an apparatus made from a slinky, meter stick, and a hook. A description of the mathematical relationships seen... (View More) in the demonstration is included. The resource is from PUMAS - Practical Uses of Math and Science - a collection of brief examples created by scientists and engineers showing how math and science topics taught in K-12 classes have real world applications. (View Less)

In this two-part activity, learners compare how soil forms on Earth and the Moon. They examine different soil samples and compare them to lunar "soil" simulant. They explore how water, wind, and impactors help to make soil. This activity is part of... (View More) Explore! To the Moon and Beyond! - a resource developed specifically for use in libraries. (View Less)