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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)
Learners will take and then compare the images taken by a camera - to learn about focal length (and its effects on field of view), resolution, and ultimately how cameras take close-up pictures of far away objects. Finally, they will apply this... (View More) knowledge to the images of comet Tempel 1 taken by two different spacecraft with three different cameras, in this case Deep Impact and those expected/obtained from Stardust-NExT. This lesson could easily be adapted for use with other NASA missions. (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)
This is a activity about applying the scientific method to a design challenge. Learners will design and build a platform that will be placed on a heat source. The platform is expected to serve as an insulator for a cube of gelatin. The goal is to... (View More) keep the inside temperature of the gelatin cube as cool as possible. Materials cost will vary, depending on materials chosen by group (within budget set by the teacher). Ties are made to the Mercury MESSENGER mission. Note: the student guide starts on p. 17 of the PDF. (View Less)
This activity is about landing on the Moon. Learners will design a spacecraft, choose a suitable lunar landing site, and present their ideas before the entire class using visual aides such as maps, diagrams, and 3-dimensional models. This activity... (View More) is in Unit 2 of the Exploring the Moon teachers guide, which is designed for use especially, but not exclusively, with the Lunar Sample Disk program. (View Less)
In this activity, learners will construct a model of a lunar roving vehicle. This activity is in Unit 2 of the Exploring the Moon teachers guide, which is designed for use especially, but not exclusively, with the Lunar Sample Disk program.