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This activity is about planetary rovers. Learners will simulate the challenges in communications that engineers face when driving a rover on Mars. They will particpate as part of a rover team to design and execute a series of commands that will... (View More) guide a rover made of people through an obstacle course simulating the Martian surface. Students will learn the limitations of operating a planetary rover and problem solving solutions by using this simulation. The lesson models the engineering design process using the 5E instructional model and includes teacher notes, vocabulary, student journal and reading. (View Less)
This activity is about rocket shape and performance. Learners will test a rocket model and predict its motion. They will launch their rocket multiple times, make observations and record the distance it traveled. They will have the opportunity to... (View More) answer a research question by collecting and analyzing data related to finding out the best nose cone length and predicting the motion of their model rockets. The lesson models the engineering design process using the 5E instructional model and includes teacher notes, vocabulary, student journal and reading. (View Less)
This is an activity about spacecraft design. Teams of learners will model how scientists and engineers design and build spacecraft to collect, store, and transmit data to earth. Teams will design a system to store and transmit topographic data of... (View More) the Moon and then analyze that data and compare it to data collected by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter . (View Less)
Learners will become familiar with and use the engineering design process to sketch a reasonable drawing of the rover that will be built. The lesson uses the 5E instructional model and includes: TEKS Details (Texas Standards alignment), Essential... (View More) Question, Science Notebook, Vocabulary Definitions for Students, Vocabulary Definitions for Teachers, three Vocabulary Cards, and a concept map Mini-Lesson. teacher notes, vocabulary, student journal and reading. This is lesson 11 of the Mars Rover Celebration Unit, a six week long curriculum. (View Less)
Learners will investigate how lateral velocity affects the orbit of a spacecraft such as the International Space Station (ISS). Mathematical extensions are provided. This is science activity 1 of 2 found in the ISS L.A.B.S. Educator Resource Guide.
In this lesson, students will explain CRaTER's purpose and how it works. They will also design (using paper and pencil) a cosmic ray detector to answer their own questions. CRaTER's purpose is to identify safe landing sites for future human missions... (View More) to the moon; discover potential resources on the Moon; and characterize the radiation environment of the Moon. The lesson includes background information for the teacher, questions, and information about student preconceptions. This is lesson 4 of 4 from "The Cosmic Ray Telescope for the Effects of Radiation." (View Less)
In this lesson, students will learn how cosmic rays were discovered and what they are - including their size and speed. Includes background information for the teacher, questions, activities and information about student preconceptions. This is... (View More) lesson 1 of 4 from "The Cosmic Ray Telescope for the Effects of Radiation (CRaTER)." (View Less)
In this lesson about cosmic rays, students will describe why cosmic rays are dangerous to astronauts. Includes information about student preconceptions. This is activity 3 of 4 from The Cosmic Ray Telescope for the Effects of Radiation (CRaTER).
This is an activity about mission planning. Learners will use the roles of a navigation team, spacecraft, comet, Earth, and Sun to simulate how mission planners design a spacecraft/comet rendezvous. This activity requires at least four active... (View More) participants and a large open space. Includes mathematics extensions. (View Less)
Learners will explore how engineers minimize the use of fuel by utilizing gravity. In Activity 1, students explore the physical conservation laws by observing the behavior of balls colliding with other objects. In Activity 2, the students use an... (View More) interactive online simulation tool to explore the various ways in which gravity assists can be used to aid space exploration. Note: The MESSENGER mission to Mercury that is mentioned in this lesson ended operations April 30, 2015. For the latest information about MESSENGER and NASA's solar system missions see the links under Related & Supplemental Resources (right side of this page). (View Less)