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This is an activity about the atmospheric conditions (greenhouse strength, atmospheric thickness) Mars needs to maintain surface water. Learners will use a computer interactive to learn about Mars past and present before exploring the pressure and... (View More) greenhouse strength needed for Mars to have a watery surface as it had in the past. This lesson is part of Project Spectra, a science and engineering education program focusing on how light is used to explore the Solar System. (View Less)
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) positions of the satellite, given the dimension of the panels. After, learners will organize and write a report summarizing the information about the MMS mission satellites. This activity requires student access to internet accessible computers. This is lesson four of 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)
Learners will investigate how to build a space suit that keeps astronauts cool. This is technology activity 1 of 2 found in the ISS L.A.B.S. Educator Resource Guide.
This is an activity about using solar arrays to provide power to the space station. Learners will solve a scenario-based problem by calculating surface areas and determining the amount of power or electricity the solar arrays can create. This is... (View More) mathematics activity 1 of 2 found in the ISS L.A.B.S. Educator Resource Guide. (View Less)
In this lesson, students will explain CRaTER's purpose and how it works. They will also design (using paper and pencil) a cosmic ray detector to answer their own questions. CRaTER's purpose is to identify safe landing sites for future human missions... (View More) to the moon; discover potential resources on the Moon; and characterize the radiation environment of the Moon. The lesson includes background information for the teacher, questions, and information about student preconceptions. This is lesson 4 of 4 from "The Cosmic Ray Telescope for the Effects of Radiation." (View Less)
In this lesson on cosmic rays, students will explain two examples of a cosmic ray detector. Includes information about student preconceptions and a demonstration that requires a geiger counter and optional access to a small radioactive source that... (View More) emits energetic helium nuclei (alpha particles), e.g., the mineral the mineral autunite, which contains uranium. This is activity two of four from The Cosmic Ray Telescope for the Effects of Radiation (CRaTER). (View Less)
In this lesson, students will learn how cosmic rays were discovered and what they are - including their size and speed. Includes background information for the teacher, questions, activities and information about student preconceptions. This is... (View More) lesson 1 of 4 from "The Cosmic Ray Telescope for the Effects of Radiation (CRaTER)." (View Less)
This is a book about the importance of the Sun's energy as it relates to its impact on the Earth’s environment. Learners will read or listen to a story about a young boy, Joshua, who finds out that the Sun provides the Earth with energy in the... (View More) form of light and heat, which is necessary for all forms of life, for maintaining Earth's environment, and for allowing humans to produce their own forms of energy. Additionally, an extension activity is included, Searching for the Sun, where learners can conduct a hands-on experiment observing how plants grow towards sunlight in order to make conclusions about why the Sun’s energy is a necessary component for life. Reading and vocabulary activities are also included. (View Less)
In this lesson about cosmic rays, students will describe why cosmic rays are dangerous to astronauts. Includes information about student preconceptions. This is activity 3 of 4 from The Cosmic Ray Telescope for the Effects of Radiation (CRaTER).
How effective would solar cells be in any particular area of the United States? In this activity, students answer that question by analyzing graphs of incoming solar radiation. Students will download two solar radiation graphs, one based on latitude... (View More) and one based on cloud cover. After transferring that data to the accompanying worksheet, students will determine the areas in the United States best suited for the use of solar cells. Using both an overlay graph and a difference graph, students will determine the practicality of solar cell power for a home in various U.S. locations. This lesson uses student- and citizen science-friendly microsets of authentic NASA Earth system science data from the MY NASA DATA project. It also includes related links, extensions, an online glossary, and a list of related AP Environmental Science topics. (View Less)