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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)

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)

This activity is about planetary climate. Once familiar with the factors that determine a planet's surface temperature, learners will use an interactive spreadsheet model of a planet's atmosphere to determine if greenhouse gases, luminosity of the... (View More) source, the distance of the planet from the source and the albedo of the planet can be manipulated so that the average surface temperature on Mars or Venus could support human life. Learners will then be asked to make some conclusions about these methods and suggest improvements for the spreadsheet model (see related resources for link to this model). The activity requires use of Microsoft Excel software. This is Activity D in the fourth module, titled "How do Atmospheres Affect Planetary Temperatures?," of "Earth Climate Course: What Determines a Planet's Climate?." (View Less)