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Engineering and technology  
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Learners will be introduced to the concepts of error analysis, including standard deviation. They will apply the knowledge of averages (means), standard deviation from the mean, and error analysis to their own classroom distribution of heights. They... (View More)

The goal of this lesson is for students to understand how to plan a mission to another world in the solar system. They begin by discussing the path of a spacecraft traveling between planets, examining the journey from the Earth to Mars as an... (View More)

Learners will investigate various ways to improve mission design to maximize the scientific return. In the first activity, students examine how the use of flowcharts can help make computer programs error-free and efficient, in this way making the... (View More)

Audience: High school

Using the diameter of a pencil as a reference, students calculate and construct a line chart to show the relative height of several altitudinal points such as Earth's atmosphere, the beginning of space, commercial airplane flights, and the Hubble... (View More)

In this activity, learners replicate the scientific processes of observing, forming an explanation, revising and communicating about a model of a comet. Learners construct a model of features of a comet using an assortment of common craft supplies.... (View More)

This paper model of the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope includes three pages of parts that can be cut out and assembled using common household items. It also provides a short description of the scientific instruments on board Fermi, as well as links... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: 1 cent - $1 per student

This is an activity about boundaries. Participants will imagine they have taken a journey from Earth through the Solar System out into the Milky Way Galaxy. Using images on the front of the My Place in Space lithograph, they will write or draw on... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: 1 cent - $1 per student

In this lesson, students observe the surface of rotating potatoes to help them understand how astronomers can sometimes determine the shape of asteroids from variations in reflective brightness.

Learners will read about missions to asteroids and comets, consider the measurements and math required for the robotic spacecraft to visit these objects, and are invited to finish the story themselves. The provided extension explains how to use a... (View More)

This activity provides instructions to create 3-D images using a digital camera, photo editing software, and red-blue 3-D glasses.