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Carl Sagan once claimed that the most important lesson we learn from studying the stars is perspective. To address this concept, this activity offers a scale model of the solar system to be evaluated. There are many versions of solar system scale... (View More) models available; this one is unique for its large scale chosen, the quality of the scaled objects, and the supplementary materials and information provided. The model is extended to include interaction and discovery on the part of learners, and suggested extensions. The set of materials includes a book about the solar system, developed from NASA's "From Earth to the Solar System" (FETTSS) imagery, and appropriate for use with the model. (View Less)
This 12-page educational comic book introduces readers to the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission. Using the Japanese anime art style, the comic book explains the satellite technology and the mission goals and applications. Supplemental... (View More) materials to support the story include an overview of the GPM mission, a description of the satellite and its instruments, examples of the data it collects, descriptions of some of the constellation partners, and a glossary of science terms used in the comic. Links are provided to additional related resources, including a template for learners to create their own comic. The Japanese anime/manga style of art was chosen because the GPM mission is a collaboration between NASA and JAXA, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. (View Less)
Learners create rocky planets out of playdough, and then learn about distances in our Solar System by placing them the correct distance apart. This activity was designed for use in a library program.
This multi-phased learning package progresses from guided engineering to an open mission design challenge through scaffolded and easy-to-implement teaching tools, lessons and art activities. By building an O-REx spacecraft model in a collaborative... (View More) team, learners take on authentic roles, deepening their understanding of the workings of a NASA mission. Throughout, engineering concepts are presented with a humanistic perspective to make technical concepts relatable. Teamwork is emphasized as it relates to the legacy and practice of invention, design and engineering. The program is aligned to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). (View Less)
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) school club, or informal education setting. Students are given simple materials and design requirements, and must plan and build a tower as tall as possible that will hold up a tennis ball while resisting the force of wind from a fan. After the towers are built, the group comes together to test them. If there is time after testing, which can be observational or framed as a contest between teams, students can redesign their towers to improve their performance, or simply discuss what worked well and what didn’t in their designs. (View Less)
This activity allows participants to build a paper model of the GPM Core Observatory and learn about the technology the satellite uses to measure precipitation from space. Directions explain how to cut, fold and glue the individual pieces together... (View More) to make the model. The accompanying information sheet has details about the systems in the satellite including the Dual-frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR), the GPM Microwave Imager (GMI), the High Gain Antenna, avionics and star trackers, propulsion system and solar array, as well as a math connection and additional engineering challenges. (View Less)
This simple exercise demonstrates how Maya numbers are written and how higher place values of numbers are calculated. This activity can also be used in informal education settings with people ages 9 through adult. Includes information for educators,... (View More) Maya numbers and place values chart, and worksheet. Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for Math are identified. (View Less)
This is a series of three webpages about how humans and computers communicate. Learners will explore the binary and hexidecimal systems and how engineers use them to translate spacecraft data into images.
How big is the Earth’s atmosphere and where does space begin? This is a question that many students have trouble picturing and this activity helps them get a handle on the relative size of the Earth’s atmosphere and the various ideas about where... (View More) space starts. Students construct a scale model in which the height of Mount Everest is equal to the thickness (diameter) of a regular pencil. They then see where various things (such as airplane flights, the beginning of space, the Hubble Space Telescope) fit on the model. (View Less)