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**Earth and space science**

**Mathematics**

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This collection of math problems is based on a weekly series of space and Earth science problems distributed to teachers during the 2013-2014 school year. The problems were intended for students looking for additional challenges in the math and... (View More) physical science curriculum and were created to be authentic glimpses of modern science and engineering issues, often involving actual research data. Includes information for teachers and answer key. (View Less)

In this lesson, learners will construct a 3D scale model of one of the MMS satellites. After, they will calculate the octagonal area of the top and bottom of the satellites, given the measurements of the satellite. Then, learners will compare the... (View More) octagonal cross-section area of the satellites with the circular cross-section area of the launch vehicle to determine if the eight-sided spacecraft will fit the circular rocket hull. This is lesson one of the MMS Mission Educator's Instructional Guide, which uses examples from the MMS Mission to introduce mathematics (focusing on geometry) in a real-world context. The lessons use the 5E instructional cycle. **Note: MMS launched March 12, 2015. For the latest science and news, visit the MMS Mission Website under Related & Supplemental Resources (right side of this page).** (View Less)

In this lesson, learners will first watch a video about the orbit and formation of the MMS satellites to learn about their flight configuration. After, they will research similar facts about other types of satellites. Next, learners will compute the... (View More) volume of MMS' tetrahedral flight configuration and investigate how the tetrahedral volume changes as the satellites change positions. Finally, they will create a report that outlines their findings. This activity requires student access to internet accessible computers. This is lesson three in the MMS Mission Educator's Instructional Guide, which uses examples from the mission to introduce mathematics (focusing on geometry) in a real-world context. The lessons use the 5E instructional cycle. **Note: MMS launched March 12, 2015. For the latest science and news, visit the MMS Mission Website under Related & Supplemental Resources (right side of this page).** (View Less)

In this activity, learners draw a circle with a single focus, an ellipse with two foci close together, and an ellipse with two foci far apart, and compare the shapes. Learners then measure the Sun in four images each taken in a different season,... (View More) comparing the apparent size of the Sun in each image to determine when Earth is closest to the Sun. This is the second activity in the SDO Secondary Learning Unit. The activity is reprinted with permission from the Great Explorations in Math and Science (GEMS). (View Less)

This is an activity about measurement. Learners will label key points and features on a rectangular equal-area map and measure the distance between pairs of points in order to calculate the actual physical distance on the Sun that the point pairs... (View More) represent. This is Activity 5 of the Space Weather Forecast curriculum. (View Less)

This is a booklet containing 31 problem sets that involve a variety of math skills, including scientific notation, simple algebra, and calculus. Each set of problems is contained on one page. Learners will use mathematics to explore varied space... (View More) science topics including black holes, ice on Mercury, a mathematical model of the Sun's interior, sunspots, the heliopause, and coronal mass ejections, among many others. (View Less)

This is a lesson about condensation, snow and snowflakes. Learners will investigate how water and ice exist in the atmosphere as they study water vapor condensing, find that clouds are made of tiny droplets of water, and notice that snow forms in... (View More) clouds. Activities include demonstrations by the teacher, small group miming, speaking, drawing, and/or writing. In addition to commonly found classroom materials, dry ice, an aquarium or terrarium container, magnifying glass are needed. This is lesson 6 of 12 in the unit, Exploring Ice in the Solar System. (View Less)

This is a lesson about detecting ice on the permanently shadowed craters of Mercury and the Moon. Learners will consider what might be in that ice and will examine why the polar regions of Earth, Mercury and the Moon are colder than elsewhere on the... (View More) planets. Activities include small group miming, speaking, drawing, and/or writing. This is the lesson 12 of 12 in the unit, Exploring Ice in the Solar System. (View Less)

Materials Cost: $5 - $10 per group of students

Learners will demonstrate the size (volume) differences between Earth, Earth’s Moon, and Mars. An extension is provided to estimate the distance between the Earth and the Moon, and the Earth and Mars, using the scale of the play dough planets'... (View More) sizes. Advance preparation of the play dough (recipe provided) is required. This is lesson 3 of 16 in the MarsBots learning module. It was adapted from 3-D Model of the Earth and Moon, an activity in The Universe at Your Fingertips. **Note:** updated links to two resources required for this lesson are provided in the Related & Supplemental Resources (shown to the right) - Planet Comparison Website and the Survey of Mars slide show. (View Less)

In this activity, students engage in an ongoing investigation to find patterns of sunlight and shadow in a classroom (or any room that gets sunlight) at different times of the day and different times of the year. Students look for repeating... (View More) patterns, keep a log to describe and sketch observations of when and where certain easily recognized patters appear and turn the room into a solar calendar that may survive into the future for other classes to use. Part 1 of this activity requires occasional note-taking and casual observation over the course of a day. Part 2 requires 30-60 minutes to create the calendar record, then casual observation and note-taking throughout the school year. The lesson plan includes a math extension activity and background information about the Sun Dagger at Chaco Canyon. This activity is the third lesson in the Ancient Eyes Look to the Skies curriculum guide. (View Less)