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Learners will explore how engineers minimize the use of fuel by utilizing gravity. In Activity 1, students explore the physical conservation laws by observing the behavior of balls colliding with other objects. In Activity 2, the students use an... (View More)

The main scientific instrument on the Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope (GLAST) is the Large Area Telescope (LAT). This interactive computer-based educational activity allows students and web users to see the results when gamma-ray photons of... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

This is a lesson about using gravity to assist in spacecraft navigation. Learners will relate an elastic collision to the change in a satellite's or spacecraft's speed and direction resulting from a planetary fly-by, often called a "gravity assist"... (View More)

Keywords: Navigation
Audience: High school
Materials Cost: $1 - $5 per group of students

This lesson applies the science and math of the rotation of a sphere to water and wind movements on Earth. Students are introduced to convection, the Trade Winds and the Coriolis Force. Using an online visualizer, students generate trajectories and... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

This lesson incorporates sea surface data collected by NASA satellites. Data for three surface characteristics- height, temperature and speed- are used for several activities. Students examine the differences in speed of currents relative to... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

This lesson examines the effects of surface energy transfer and storage on ocean temperatures. Included are activities that introduce the use of scientific models. Students then use an energy flow computer model to track energy changes by... (View More)

Keywords: Energy flux
Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

Navigational tools and methods of early voyagers provide the background and contrast to the satellite images and models used today. Students complete mapping activities based on historical data from Columbus and Blith. Students will also use a... (View More)

Oceans play a significant role in determining and moderating the effects of energy imbalances. Students will begin this lesson by working with temperature data to reinforce the importance of protocols, practice computing statistical measures of data... (View More)

This is a lesson about the science supporting the design and operation of an ion propulsion engine. Learners will study the concepts of formation and discharge of charged particles, attractive and repulsive forces between charged particles, and the... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

Learners will study the essential components and variables of an ion propulsion system. Activities include an on-line ion propulsion engine simulation and design. Included are changes in energy and fuel consumption as a result of variable changes... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free