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This is a graphic novel about NASA's search for life in the universe. It tells the story of some of the most important people and events that have shaped the NASA Exobiology and Astrobiology science.
Learners will investigate, discuss, and determine why humans have always explored the world (and now space) around them. Students determine these reasons for exploration through a class discussion. In the first activity, students use the Internet to... (View More) examine the characteristics of past explorers and why they conducted their exploration. They then examine why current explorers - including the students themselves - want to explore other worlds in the Solar System. By the end of the lesson, the students can conclude that no matter what or when we explore - past, present, or future - the reasons for exploration are the same; the motivation for exploration is universal. Note: The MESSENGER mission to Mercury that is mentioned in this lesson ended operations April 30, 2015. For the latest information about MESSENGER and NASA's solar system missions see the links under Related & Supplemental Resources (right side of this page). (View Less)
Learners will investigate, compare, and describe patterns in Solar System data. They will then hypothesize about the formation of the Solar System based on data and explain how extrasolar planets can be discovered. In the first activity, the... (View More) students investigate Solar System data to find clues to how our planetary system was formed. By the end of the activity, the students come to understand that other stars form just like the Sun, and, therefore, many stars could have planets around them. The second activity examines how scientists can find these extrasolar planets. By observing the behavior of a model star-planet system, the students come to understand that it is possible to see the effect a planet has on its parent star even if the planet cannot be seen directly. By comparing the properties of our Solar System with other planetary systems, we can gain a deeper understanding of planetary systems across the Universe. Note: The MESSENGER mission to Mercury that is mentioned in this lesson ended operations April 30, 2015. For the latest information about MESSENGER and NASA's solar system missions see the links under Related & Supplemental Resources (right side of this page). (View Less)
The goal of this lesson is for students to understand how to plan a mission to another world in the solar system. They begin by discussing the path of a spacecraft traveling between planets, examining the journey from the Earth to Mars as an... (View More) example. In Activity 1, students determine the pros and cons for different ways we can explore another world, either by observing from the Earth or by sending a spacecraft to fly by, orbit, or land on the world. In Activity 2, the students plan a complete mission to explore another world in the Solar System. By the end of the lesson, the students come to understand that what scientists want to learn about an object determines how they plan the mission, but real-life constraints such as cost and time determine what actually can be accomplished. Note: The MESSENGER mission to Mercury that is mentioned in this lesson ended operations April 30, 2015. For the latest information about MESSENGER and NASA's solar system missions see the links under Related & Supplemental Resources (right side of this page). (View Less)
This is a legacy site for videos and animations related to the Deep Impact mission and encounter with Tempel 1. Learners can watch videos about the mission, encounter, science, and results.
In this lesson, students read the original paper written by Henrietta Leavitt in which she compared the apparent brightness and period of Cepheid variable stars. The students prepare graphs from numerical data, just as she did, and compare their... (View More) data to hers. They then discover that there is a relationship between the period and luminosity of the variable stars she observed, and experience for themselves how scientists really collect data. Materials required include standard graph paper and logarithmic graph paper (a template is supplied). This activity is part of the "Cosmic Times" teacher's guide and is intended to be used in conjunction with the 1929 Cosmic Times Poster. (View Less)
This series of curriculum support materials explores how our understanding of the nature of the universe has changed during the past 100 years. Students examine the process of science through the stories of the people and the discoveries that caused... (View More) our understanding to evolve from a static universe to a universe whose expansion is accelerating. The series illustrates the nature of science by tracing the process of discovery from the confirmation of Einstein's theory of gravity, to Hubble's evidence for the expanding universe, to the detection of the microwave background, and finally to the discovery of dark energy. The series includes six posters, each resembling the front page of a newspaper from a particular time in this history with articles describing the discoveries. Each poster is accompanied by an online teacher guide and downloadable, inquiry-based lessons. Downloadable newsletter versions of the poster are available for individual student use, with three editions for different reading levels (Early Edition for grade 7-8, Home Edition for grades 9-10, and Late Edition for grades 11-12). Lesson plans can be found by following the link from Teacher Resources to Curriculum Tools to the Sortable Table of Lessons. (View Less)
In this lesson, students will read about and research the major historical events that occurred throughout the year 1919. They will use different readings and articles to understand and describe what life was like during this time. In addition, the... (View More) students will present their case as to whether or not Albert Einstein should be voted "Man of the Year" for 1919. This activity is from the Cosmic Times teachers guide and is intended to be used in conjunction with the 1919 Cosmic Times Poster. (View Less)
Students utilize two reading strategies that can be used to understand the Cosmic Times materials, as well as other readings that may be challenging to them. The first strategy, called Talking to the Text, is an independent strategy in which the... (View More) students write down their thoughts as they are reading the material. In the second strategy, the students pair up and help each other read and understand concepts through reciprocal teaching. This activity is from the Cosmic Times teacher's guide and is intended to be used in conjunction with the 1965 Cosmic Times poster, however, these strategies can be used with any of the Cosmic Times articles. (View Less)
In this lesson, students consider observations and inferences to determine the support for each of two theories on the origin of the universe: Steady State and Big Bang. Working with partners, students draw from a set of Evidence cards (master is... (View More) provided, which needs to be copied and cut into cards) and decide if the statement describes direct evidence as an observation/experiment or if it describes an inference or interpretation. They then look at two models describing the origin of the universe, and then assign Evidence cards to each theory (with blank cards provided for evidence they believe applies to both models). Students then review each others work and discuss. This lesson is part of the Cosmic Times teachers guide and is intended to be used in conjunction with the 1955 Cosmic Times Poster. (View Less)