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This project engages students in the science and engineering processes used by NASA Astrobiologists as they explore our Solar System and try to answer the compelling question, "Are we Alone?" Students will identify science mission goals and select... (View More) an astrobiologically significant target of interest: Mars, Europa, Enceladus or Titan. Students will then design their mission to this target in search of their chosen biosignature(s). Students will encounter the same considerations and challenges facing NASA scientists and engineers as they search for life in our Solar System. Students will need to balance the return of their science data with engineering limitations such as power, mass and budget. Risk factors play a role and will add to the excitement in this interactive science and engineering activity. Astrobiobound! will help students see how science and systems engineering are integrated to achieve a focused scientific goal. Includes an alignment document for NGSS and Common Core State Standards. (View Less)
This is an activity about planning a planetary mission. Learners will play a card game to design a mission to Mars. This game will allow them to experience the fundamentals of the engineering design process as they use collaboration and... (View More) problem-solving skills to develop a mission that meets constraints (budget, mass, power) and criteria (significant science return). This activity can introduce many activities in technology education, including robotics and rocketry. The lesson models scientific inquiry using the 5E instructional model and includes teacher notes, vocabulary, student journal and reading. (View Less)
This is a game about data compression. Learners will use virtual foam balls to explore the different compression methods (lossless, lossy, and superchannel) used by the Earth Observing 3 mission.
This is a game about light curves that will test your ability to figure out things about an asteroid from just a graph of its brightness. Astronomers use telescopes to collect light curves - measurements of the brightness of distant asteroids over... (View More) time. It is part of the Killer Asteroids Web Site. The site also features a background overview of the differences between asteroids and comets, information on different types of asteroids (rubble piles vs monoliths), a discussion of how at risk Earth really is to an asteroid or comet impact, and background information on light curves. (View Less)
This is an online crossword about the Big Keck telescope. Learners can complete the crossword and read text about how the telescope works.
This article describes an indoor, game-type demonstration, incorporating physics (EM wave modulation), math (binary codes), space technology, and music to show how spacecraft put information into the radio signals they send back to Earth. The... (View More) article was originally written for and published by the International Technology Education Association in its journal, The Technology Teacher. It is now archived on The Space Place Web site. (View Less)