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The nature of technology  
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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)

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)

Learners will investigate various ways to improve mission design to maximize the scientific return. In the first activity, students examine how the use of flowcharts can help make computer programs error-free and efficient, in this way making the... (View More)

Audience: High school

This is a lesson about detecting ice on the permanently shadowed craters of Mercury and the Moon. Learners will consider what might be in that ice and will examine why the polar regions of Earth, Mercury and the Moon are colder than elsewhere on the... (View More)

Learners will explore the difference between natural and artificial satellites and use images taken by robotic spacecraft and telescopes to gain an understanding of the Earth's place in space. Requires the books "Me on the Map" by Joan Sweeney and... (View More)

This is a lesson about robotic exploration of the solar system. Learners will review what they know and what they would like to know, and then revisit their (KWL) chart throughout the MarsBots learning module. This is lesson 9 of 16 in the MarsBots... (View More)

This activity explores how ancient Sun observers made use of natural and built structures to mark solar alignments observed at different times of the year, particularly around the solstices and equinoxes. In Part 1, the teacher prepares a horizon... (View More)

This is a lesson about Saturn. Learners will listen to a read-aloud of the history of Saturn discoveries. Next, they learn two reading comprehension strategies (visualizing and wondering) that they can use to become more powerful readers of... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school
Materials Cost: Free

This is a lesson about spacecraft design. Learners will think like engineers as they are presented with problems that the NASA team faced when designing a spacecraft to travel to Saturn. Students work with partners to think of solutions to address... (View More)

In this activity serving as an introduction to remote sensing, students list what they remember seeing in a familiar environment, check their accuracy, and discuss the results. Then they apply their experiences and new skills to an unfamiliar... (View More)

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