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Learners will build an open spectrograph to calculate the angle the light is transmitted through a holographic diffraction grating. After finding the desired angles, the students will design their own spectrograph using the information learned. The... (View More) 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 an activity about spacecraft radio communications. 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... (View More) for a radio signal to travel to a spacecraft using the speed of light, demonstrate the delay in radio communication signals to and from a spacecraft, and devise unique solutions to the radio-signal-delay problem. In an extension, learners are asked to calculate the distance the spacecraft traveled. All NASA spacecraft missions have a telecommunications system and use radio waves to transmit signals. The context for this activity is sending a command to the New Horizons spacecraft telling it to take a picture of Pluto. Includes teacher background, adaptations, and student data sheets. (View Less)
This lesson is about data collection. Learners will investigate different methods of sampling in a simulated cleanroom environment. Includes a teacher's guide and students handouts. This lesson 7 of 10 from the Dynamic Design: The Cleanroom module.
This activity is about planetary distances. Learners will create a model of the solar system using beads and string, and compare planetary sizes using common types of fruit and seeds. The lesson models scientific inquiry using the 5E instructional... (View More) model and includes teacher notes and vocabulary. (View Less)
This is an activity about the planet Mars. Learners will create cratered surface models illustrating different lengths of time. Then, they will compare their models with three different surface images of Mars, placing these images in order from... (View More) youngest to oldest based on the evidence. Learners will discover that the oldest surface has the most craters, while also discussing what events could make a surface on a planet both half-craters and half-smooth. (View Less)