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This is an activity about how giant dish antennas work. Learners create a "sound cone" and use it to understand how the Deep Space Network antennas pick up radio communications from space.
This is a set of two activities about Saturn. Learners will create science journals called Saturn Discovery Logs, to chronicle their journey of discovery about Saturn and NASA's Cassini-Huygens mission. They will use observation skills and write... (View More) about their observations. In teams, they also discuss and record what they wonder about. Their writing forms the basis for "claims" and "evidence" as projects and presentations are formulated. Includes a glossary, information for families, and guidance for deepening the science. This is lesson 1 of 8 in the Jewel of the Solar System: From Out-of-School to Outer Space an adaptation for afterschool programs of the Cassini-Huygens educational product Reading, Writing, and Rings. (View Less)
This is a math-science integrated unit about spectrographs. Learners will find and calculate the angle that light is transmitted through a holographic diffraction grating using trigonometry. After finding this angle, the students will build their... (View More) own spectrographs in groups and research and design a ground or space-based mission using their creation. After the project is complete, student groups will present to the class on their trials, tribulations, and findings during this process. The activity is part of Project Spectra, a science and engineering program for middle-high school students, focusing on how light is used to explore the Solar System. (View Less)
In this lesson, students will explain CRaTER's purpose and how it works. They will also design (using paper and pencil) a cosmic ray detector to answer their own questions. CRaTER's purpose is to identify safe landing sites for future human missions... (View More) to the moon; discover potential resources on the Moon; and characterize the radiation environment of the Moon. The lesson includes background information for the teacher, questions, and information about student preconceptions. This is lesson 4 of 4 from "The Cosmic Ray Telescope for the Effects of Radiation." (View Less)
This is a lesson about using the light from the star during an occultation event to identify the atmosphere of a planet. Learners will add and subtract light curves (presented as a series of geometrical shapes) to understand how this could occur.... (View More) The activity is part of Project Spectra, a science and engineering program for middle-high school students, focusing on how light is used to explore the Solar System. (View Less)
This is an assessment activity for the The Cosmic Ray Telescope for the Effects of Radiation (CRaTER) educational kit. Learners will make a poster that explains possible origins of cosmic rays, how they affect people, and what protects us here on... (View More) Earth. Alternately, they will make a poster describing CRaTER’s goal and how it works. (View Less)
This is a lesson about determining planetary composition. Learners will use a reflectometer to determine which minerals are present (from a set of knowns) in a sample of Mars soil simulant. Requires the use of ALTA II spectrometers (which may be... (View More) borrowed from the Lunar and Planetary Institute or purchased online) and Mars soil simulant. The activity is part of Project Spectra, a science and engineering program for middle-high school students, focusing on how light is used to explore the Solar System. (View Less)
This is an activity about the Signal-to-Noise Ratio. Learners will engage with a hands-on activity and an online interactive to understand the terms signal and noise as they relate to spacecraft communication; quantify noise using a given dataset;... (View More) and calculate the signal-to-noise ratio. The activity also includes a pencil-and-paper component that addresses relevant topics, such as proportions and ratios. Includes teacher background information, student data sheets, answer guide, extensions and adaptions. (View Less)
This is a website about gravitational waves. Learners will read about how the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) mission will detect gravitational waves.
This is a game about planning what to take on a space trip to Mars. Learners will decide on the appropriateness of items to take on a long trip to Mars and take into consideration the effects of zero gravity, limited electrical power, etc.