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The nature of science  
Learning Time:
1 to 2 hours  
Instructional Strategies:
Hands-on learning  
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Students participate in a series of activities to discover how astronomers use computers to create images and understand data. No programming experience is required; students will use to complete such activities as creating a color,... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school, Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

Working in groups, students use contact paper to make samplers to collect local data on aerosols - the small particles found in the atmosphere. Students then analyze, interpret and make predictions based on their data. Both the instructions for... (View More)

Keywords: Aerosols

This is an activity about the requirements of life. Learners will explore what living things need to survive and thrive by creating and caring for a garden plot (outdoors where appropriate) or a container garden (indoors) at the program facility.... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

This activity is a short engineering design challenge to be completed by individual students or small teams. A real-world problem is presented, designing buildings for hurricane-prone areas, but in a simulated way that works in a classroom, after... (View More)

Learners will record detailed observations of a simulated surface and core sample of Mars, analyze a simulated surface and core sample of Mars, compare and contrast an unknown foreign object with the surface and interior of Mars, and learn... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

Learners will brainstorm ideas to be developed into a team skit, work cooperatively to assign duties and write a team skit, and collaborate with team members to complete the Mars Rover Manual. The lesson uses the 5E instructional model and includes:... (View More)

This is a lesson about generating hypotheses and testable questions. Learners will use critical thinking and a collaborative approach to pose questions related to the study of Mars and evaluate the quality of their questions. They will explore... (View More)

Keywords: NSTA2013
Audience: Elementary school, Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

This is a lesson about crystal growth. 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... (View More)

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)

This is a lesson about how to answer a scientific or engineering question. Learners will refine the scientific question they generated in Lesson 5 so that it can be answered by data and/or modeling, brainstorm possible solutions for the scientific... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: $1 - $5 per group of students
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