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Each lesson or activity in this toolkit is related to NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). The toolkit is designed so that each lesson can be done independently, or combined and taught in a sequence. The Teacher Implementation Guide provides... (View More) recommendations for combining the lessons into three main strands: 1) Lunar Exploration. These lessons provide a basic introduction to Moon exploration. Note that this strand is also appropriate for use in social studies classes. 2) Mapping the Moon. These lessons provide a more in-depth understanding of Moon exploration through the use of scientific data and student inquiry. The lessons also include many connections to Earth science and geology. 3) Tools of Investigation. These higher-level lessons examine the role of technology, engineering and physics in collecting and analyzing data. (View Less)
Become a crime scene investigator! Learners model Dawn Mission scientists, engineers, and technologists and how they use instrumentation to detect distant worlds. After a briefing to build context, students explore interactions between different... (View More) frequencies/wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum and matter as they investigate the different ways scientists gather and understand remote sensing data, using Dawn instruments as examples. This module is organized around a learning cycle, engaging students through several experiences to activate students' prior knowledge and assess conceptual understanding, informing next steps. (View Less)
This is an activity about how much atmospheric pressure is needed on Mars to maintain surface water and why it does not have surface water today. Learners will use a computer interactive to learn about Mars past and present before exploring the... (View More) pressure and 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)
This is an activity about the way distance, albedo, and atmosphere affect the temperature of a planet. Learners will create a planet using a computer game and change features of the planet to increase or decrease the planet's temperature. They will... (View More) then discuss their results in terms of greenhouse strength and the presence of liquid water. 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)
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)
This is a lesson about geologic history. 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... (View More) to observe where the flows travel, make a model, and interpret the stratigraphy. Students will use their volcanic layering model to demonstrate the relative dating and geologic mapping principles to later be applied to satellite imagery. The lesson models scientific inquiry using the 5E instructional model and includes teacher notes and vocabulary. (View Less)
This is an activity about albedo, which is a measurement of the reflectance of a planetary surface. Learners will classify areas on an image in terms of albedo values and then sketch their own portion of an image from space. These sketches are... (View More) assembled to view the larger image that the class or group has created. Note: See Related & Supplemental Resources (right side of this page) for a link to download the student pages of this activity. (View Less)
Learners will investigate how lateral velocity affects the orbit of a spacecraft such as the International Space Station (ISS). Mathematical extensions are provided. This is science activity 1 of 2 found in the ISS L.A.B.S. Educator Resource Guide.
Leaners will grow a sugar crystal and learn how this relates to growing protein crystals in space. The lack of gravity allows scientists on the space station to grow big, almost perfect crystals, which are used to help design new medicines. This is... (View More) science activity 2 of 2 found in the ISS L.A.B.S. Educator Resource Guide. (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.