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Learners design and build a device that can pass above a surface and detect magnetic fields. The video shows kids using the engineering design process, applying a variety of science concepts (e.g., force, magnetic fields, mapping), and learning... (View More)

Learners design and build a device that can take a core sample from a potato. Includes challenge video, leader notes, and handouts. Two supplemental videos are included: 1) NASA's Curiosity rover drills into a rock on Mars and collects a sample and... (View More)

Learners design and build a robotic arm that can lift a cup off a table. Includes challenge video, leader notes, and handouts. Two supplemental videos are included: 1) NASA's Curiosity rover use its robotic arm to probe the Martian surface and 2)... (View More)

Learners design and build an airbag system that can safely land an egg dropped onto the floor. Includes challenge video, leader notes, and handouts. Two supplemental videos are included: 1) An airbag landing system in action as a NASA rover lands on... (View More)

Learners design, build, and improve a model that mimics gravity-assisted space travel. The design solution enables a steel ball (spacecraft) to roll past a magnet (force exerted by a planet), which will alter its direction in order to hit a... (View More)

NuSTAR has a 10-meter rigid mast that separates the optics from the detector. Inspired by this, students will design, test, and build a lightweight mast 1 meter tall that can fully support the weight of a typical hardcover textbook (~2 kg). The... (View More)

Students will use the law of reflection to reflect a laser beam off multiple mirrors to hit a sticker in a shoebox. Since X-ray telescopes must use grazing angles to collect X-rays, students will design layouts with the largest possible angles of... (View More)

In this lesson, learners will construct a 3D scale model of one of the MMS satellites. After, they will calculate the octagonal area of the top and bottom of the satellites, given the measurements of the satellite. Then, learners will compare the... (View More)

This is a lesson about the magnetic field of a bar magnet. The lesson begins with an introductory discussion with learners about magnetism to draw out any misconceptions that may be in their minds. Then, learners freely experiment with bar magnets... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

This is a lesson to demonstrate magnetic field lines in 2- and 3-dimensions. In the first activity, learners sprinkle iron filings over a magnet underneath a paper and record their observations. The second activity involves building a 3-D magnetic... (View More)

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