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Physical sciences  
Educational Level:
Middle school  
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Learners will investigate the relationship between mass, speed, velocity, and kinetic energy in order to select the best material to be used on a space suit. They will apply an engineering design test procedure to determine impact strength of... (View More)

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)

Learners will work together to create models of volcanic lava flows and analyze the layers that form on a planet's surface. They will sequence lava flows produced by multiple eruptions. Students will be asked to observe where the flows travel, make... (View More)

This is a lesson that applys occultations to Saturn's Moon Enceladus. Learners will establish whether Saturn’s small moon, Enceladus, has an atmosphere, whether that atmosphere is over the entire planet, and what creates Saturn’s E-ring. The... (View More)

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)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

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)

Keywords: Cosmic Ray; Radiation
Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Over $20

This is a lesson about determining planetary composition. Learners will use a reflectometer to determine which minerals are present (from a set of knowns) in a sample of Mars soil simulant. Requires the use of ALTA II spectrometers (which may be... (View More)

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)

Keywords: Cosmic ray
Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

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)

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)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free