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Engineering and technology  
SMD Forum - Primary:
Planetary Science  
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Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes  
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Students "observe" an imaginary new planet in our galaxy from the relative distances of a ground-based telescope, the Hubble Telescope, and a fly-by mission. After recording their observations and discussing the differences, they compare their... (View More)

This activity focuses on the relationship between science of looking for life and the tools, on vehicles such as the Mars Rover, that make it possible. Learners will create their own models of a Mars rover. They determine what tools would be... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

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)

Learners will compare known elemental spectra with spectra of Titan and Saturn’s rings from a spectrometer aboard the NASA Cassini spacecraft. They identify the elements visible in the planetary and lunar spectra. The activity is part of Project... (View More)

Learners will use a spectrograph to gather data about light sources. Using the data they’ve collected, students are able to make comparisons between different light sources and make conjectures about the composition of a mystery light source. The... (View More)

Learners will look at various light sources (including glow sticks and Christmas lights) and make conjectures about their composition. The activity is part of Project Spectra, a science and engineering program for middle-high school students,... (View More)

Learners will build and decorate their own spectrographs using simple materials and holographic diffraction gratings. After building the spectrographs, they observe the spectra of different light sources. Requires advance preparation to spray-paint... (View More)

Learners will explore spacecraft radio communications concepts, including the speed of light and the time-delay for signals sent to and from spacecraft. Learners measure the time it takes for a radio signal to travel to a spacecraft using the speed... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: $1 - $5 per group of students

Learners will create a KWL chart (What I "know" about Mars, What I "want" to know about Mars, What I have "learned" about Mars) that can be revisited to assess the group's learning. This is lesson 2 of 16 in the MarsBots learning module.

Audience: Elementary school
Materials Cost: Free

This is a lesson about robotic exploration of the solar system. Learners will review what they know and what they would like to know, and then revisit their (KWL) chart throughout the MarsBots learning module. This is lesson 9 of 16 in the MarsBots... (View More)

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