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This is an activity about spacecraft design. Teams of learners will model how scientists and engineers design and build spacecraft to collect, store, and transmit data to earth. Teams will design a system to store and transmit topographic data of... (View More)

In this problem-based learning activity, students assume the role of a sailboat captain, and analyze seasonal wind speed data to determine the best time to schedule sailing trips as well as other water sports. The lesson includes step-by-step... (View More)

This is an activity about spacecraft radio communications. Learners will explore spacecraft radio communications concepts, including the speed of light and the time-delay for signals sent to and from spacecraft. Learners measure the time it takes... (View More)

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

This is an activity about mission planning. Learners will use the roles of a navigation team, spacecraft, comet, Earth, and Sun to simulate how mission planners design a spacecraft/comet rendezvous. This activity requires at least four active... (View More)

This is a lesson about spacecraft communication. Learners will explore the concepts of "signal" and "noise" by listening to a computer-generated signal from two different distances with no additional background noise, and then with background noise,... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school
Materials Cost: Free

In this activity, learners write space weather reports using current data about the Sun and create a broadcast script to present the researched information to an audience. Several activities are related to this lesson, including "Understanding our... (View More)

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

This is a lesson about the characteristics of planets, comets, asteroids, and trans-Neptunian objects. Learners will classify objects and then apply what they have learned by participating in a formal debate about a solar system object discovered by... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

This is an activity about parallax. Learners will explore the concept of parallax and then simulate the discovery of Pluto with a Blink Comparator via an online interactive.

Audience: Elementary school, Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

This is an activity about sunspots and solar flares. Learners will work collaboratively to create abstracts detailing their knowledge of sunspots and solar flares and then present their work to the entire audience. A background understanding of our... (View More)

In this activity, learners work in teams to construct specific components of a model of the High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager (HESSI) spacecraft. Afterwards, the teams make presentations on the results of their effort. Note: HESSI is now named... (View More)

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