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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)."
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)
Correlations between sea surface temperatures and the frequency and intensity of hurricanes are investigated in this lesson. The activity focuses on six named hurricanes that occurred between 1999 and 2009. Satellite data on those hurricanes, along... (View More) with corresponding sea surface temperature data, will be downloaded and plotted. Students will analyze that data for evidential links, hypothesize about the possible effect on hurricanes of continual ocean temperature increases, and predict related implications for residents of coastal areas. This lesson uses student- and citizen science-friendly microsets of authentic NASA Earth system science data from the MY NASA DATA project. It also includes related links, extensions, and an online glossary. (View Less)
This is a lesson about how to plan a mission to explore another world in the Solar System. Learners will discuss the path of a spacecraft traveling between planets, examining the journey from the Earth to Mars as an example. In Activity 1, students... (View More) determine the pros and cons for different ways we can explore another world, either by observing from the Earth or by sending a spacecraft to fly by, orbit, or land on the world. In Activity 2, the students plan a complete mission to explore another world in the Solar System. By the end of the lesson, the students come to understand that what scientists want to learn about an object determines how they plan the mission, but real-life constraints such as cost and time determine what actually can be accomplished. (View Less)
This is a lesson about the Discovery Program's exploration of the solar system. Learners will identify and communicate to others the varied space science explorations carried out by the Discovery Program and dig into one mission in depth. They can... (View More) then respond to a NASA Discovery Program Announcement of Opportunity (AO) to submit a mock proposal. Includes the award-winning video, "Unlocking Mysteries of Our Solar System." (View Less)
This is a lesson about how spacecraft use gravity assists to get where they are going. 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... (View More) behavior of balls colliding with other objects. In Activity 2, the students use an interactive online simulation tool to explore the various ways in which gravity assists can be used to aid space exploration. (View Less)
This is a lesson about remote sensing. Learners will investigate how much you can learn about something just by looking at it. In Activity 1, students study aerial photographs to identify geologic features, determine how they differ from one... (View More) another, and examine the processes involved in their formation. In Activity 2, students investigate how remote observations of a planetary surface can be used to create geologic maps. By the end of the lesson, students will understand how data gathered by spacecraft can not only be used to investigate the properties of an object, but also how it was formed, how it has evolved over time, and how it is connected to other objects nearby. (View Less)
In this lesson, students investigate the relationship between precipitation, surface temperature and vegetation for four geographic locations. Students will download graphs of each of the three system components (vegetative index, surface... (View More) temperature and precipitation) for a specific latitude and longitude point during the period of January 2002-June 2004. After downloading data for three other locations, students will work with a total of 12 graphs to compare and analyze the data. They will then predict the climate zone and identify the climate type for each location. This lesson uses student- and citizen science-friendly microsets of authentic NASA Earth system science data from the MY NASA DATA project. It also includes related links, extensions, an online glossary and a list of related AP Environmental Science topics. (View Less)
How effective would solar cells be in any particular area of the United States? In this activity, students answer that question by analyzing graphs of incoming solar radiation. Students will download two solar radiation graphs, one based on latitude... (View More) and one based on cloud cover. After transferring that data to the accompanying worksheet, students will determine the areas in the United States best suited for the use of solar cells. Using both an overlay graph and a difference graph, students will determine the practicality of solar cell power for a home in various U.S. locations. This lesson uses student- and citizen science-friendly microsets of authentic NASA Earth system science data from the MY NASA DATA project. It also includes related links, extensions, an online glossary, and a list of related AP Environmental Science topics. (View Less)
This is a lesson about the shape of objects in space. Learners will observe the surface of rotating potatoes to help them understand how astronomers use variations in reflective brightness to determine the shape of asteroids.