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Problem solving  
Learning Time:
1 to 2 hours  
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NuSTAR has a 10-meter rigid mast that separates the optics from the detector. Inspired by this, students will design, test, and build a lightweight mast 1 meter tall that can fully support the weight of a typical hardcover textbook (~2 kg). The... (View More)

This is an online lesson associated with activities during Solar Week, a twice-yearly event in March and October during which classrooms are able to interact with scientists studying the Sun. Outside of Solar Week, information, activities, and... (View More)

This set of three videos illustrates how math is used in satellite data analysis. NASA climate scientist Claire Parkinson explains how the Arctic and Antarctic sea ice covers are measured from satellite data and how math is used to determine trends... (View More)

This activity is a short engineering design challenge to be completed by individual students or small teams. A real-world problem is presented, designing buildings for hurricane-prone areas, but in a simulated way that works in a classroom, after... (View More)

In this lesson, learners will first use computers to research and learn how solar panels convert sunlight into electricity. Next, they will calculate the surface area of solar panels board a satellite and their total power generated in various... (View More)

This is an activity about using models to solve a problem. Learners will use a previously constructed model of the MMS satellite to determine if the centrifugal force of the rotating MMS model is sufficient to push the satellite's antennae outward,... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

Students explore how mathematical descriptions of the physical environment can be fine-tuned through testing using data. In this activity, student teams obtain satellite data measuring the Earth's albedo, and then input this data into a... (View More)

This activity enables students to better understand the motion of the Sun and how we use it to measure time. Students create a "horizon calendar" at their school by carefully observing and recording the horizon and the Sun at sunset (or sunrise, for... (View More)

This is a lesson about the energy output of the Sun. Learners will consider the essential question, "How much energy does sunlight provide to the Earth and what is its role in the Earth’s energy resources?" Activities include building a device to... (View More)

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

This is an activity about observing the Sun. Learners will construct a pinhole projector to project an image of the Sun, observe and record the size of the projected image, and calculate the diameter of the Sun using the measurements and a known... (View More)

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