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Art and the Cosmic Connection

Learners create art inspired by authentic NASA planetary image data while learning to recognize the geology on planetary surfaces, uniquely inspiring learner engagement. This presentation and accompanying activity use the elements of art - shape,... (View More)

Multi-Step Equations

This is a set of one-page problems about mass and power of spacecraft. Learners will use multi-step equations to solve several diverse problems. Options are presented so that students may learn about different types of power systems to generate... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

Understanding Decimals

This is a set of one-page problems about the sizes of moons in the solar system. Learners will use decimals to compare the sizes and distances of Saturn's moons to the center of Saturn. Options are presented so that students may learn about the... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

Using Spectral Data to Explore Saturn and Titan

Learners will compare known elemental spectra with spectra of Titan and Saturn’s rings from a spectrometer aboard the NASA Cassini spacecraft. They identify the elements visible in the planetary and lunar spectra. The activity is part of Project... (View More)

What Do I See When I Picture Saturn?

This is a lesson about the Cassini mission to Saturn. Learners will create their Saturn Discovery Logs. They will use the Saturn Discovery Log to chronicle their journey of discovery about Saturn and Cassini through nonfiction writing. For their... (View More)

What Do I See Now When I Picture Saturn?

This is a lesson about Saturn. Learners will reflect on what they have learned by drawing everything they picture when they hear the words Saturn and Cassini, and add labels and captions to their drawing. Students look back at their first exercise... (View More)

Celebrating Saturn and Cassini

In this concluding activity, learners will use notes from an earlier lesson to write a nonfiction piece about Saturn or Cassini. These final projects provide a way for children with varying learning styles to consolidate and share their learning.... (View More)

Where is Saturn in the Solar System? Where am I in the Solar System?

This is a lesson about the Cassini mission to Saturn. Learners will see Saturn as part of the larger system of the Sun and its orbiting planets. A whole-class read-aloud provides students practice in listening to nonfiction text and a KWL chart... (View More)

My Spacecraft Model

This is a lesson about the Cassini Spacecraft. Learners will engage in basic problem-solving as they design and construct their own small model of a spacecraft. Through writing and illustration, students will document their work and will complete a... (View More)

All about Titan and the Huygens Probe

This lesson is about Saturn's largest moon, Titan. Learners will listen to a narrative "told" by the Huygens probe, entitled Memoirs of a Spacecraft. Visualization and drawing are used as motivators to enhance comprehension and to get students... (View More)

Titan and other Moons of Saturn

This is a lesson about Saturn's largest moon, Titan. Learners will examine and sort through images of Saturn's varied moons to see characteristics they share and those which set them apart. Students will write a paragraph about Saturn’s moons and... (View More)

Drop Zone! Design and Test a Probe

This is a lesson about spacecraft design. Learners will use the information learned in previous lessons, combined with their own creativity and problem-solving skills, to design and test a parachuting probe that will withstand a fall from a high... (View More)

Focus on Saturn's Fascinating Features

This is a lesson about Saturn. Learners will create a multilayered book with diagrams of Saturn showing its various layers, ring system, and many moons. To enhance background information on Saturn, students will practice listening to informational... (View More)

What Do You Know about Saturn?

Learners will draw and write to express their knowledge of Saturn. This is lesson 1 of 10 in "Reading, Writing & Rings!" for grades 1-2.

Pulling it All Together

Learners will organize their knowledge of Saturn and Cassini to prepare to write one of the following types of nonfiction for their final piece: descriptive (poetry), compare and contrast, or summary. This is lesson 11 of 12 in the Mission to Saturn... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school
Materials Cost: Free

The Mysteries of Saturn and Cassini

Students will start learning about Saturn just as the first observers of Saturn did - by observing and wondering. They will look at pictures of Saturn, the Cassini spacecraft, and the Huygens probe and write what they notice, know, and wonder. This... (View More)

Awesome Saturn

Learners will complete one or more poems about Saturn using descriptive words. As a pre-writing activity, students generate a word list from books they have heard and read and images they have seen and created. With the support of the word lists,... (View More)

Wow, Saturn is Much Bigger than Earth!

Learners will compare the sizes of Saturn and Earth by making to-scale illustrations. Students also label and caption their illustrations using scientific language. This is lesson 3 of 10 in "Reading, Writing & Rings!" for grades 1-2.

Wondering about Saturn: A Short History

In this lesson, 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 nonfiction text.... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school
Materials Cost: Free

Amazing - Saturn is So Far, Far Away!

In this lesson, learners will create an outdoor, to-scale model of the distances between the Sun, Earth, and Saturn. They will then conduct a guided walk to Saturn - which gives students an understanding of how far away Saturn is from Earth and the... (View More)

Discovering Saturn, The Real "Lord of the Rings"

Learners will extend and enhance their current understandings about Saturn by reading a series of Saturn minibooks, and learn a note-taking technique that will help them better understand nonfiction text. They use their notes for descriptive writing... (View More)

How Far Away is Saturn?

This is a lesson about the distance to Saturn. Learners will use simple props to create a playground model for size and distance for the Sun, Earth, and Saturn - then walk on their scale model to Saturn. Writing activities engage students in... (View More)

Earth to Saturn, Earth to Saturn!

Learners will use drawing and writing to explore the comparative features of Saturn and Earth. To scaffold student writing, the lesson includes a drawing activity, a brainstorming activity, a structured Cloze activity, and a chance for independent... (View More)

My Spacecraft and Cassini

This is a lesson about spacecraft design. Learners will hear the NASA solutions to the problems they wrote about in an earlier lesson. They will then write a nonfiction piece comparing their spacecraft to Cassini, and share their writing with the... (View More)

Rotating Rings of Ice

Learners will create a three-dimensional model of Saturn and its rings. The model will show the particle nature and structure of the rings. Students also write about the model in this lesson. With the aid of a graphic organizer, students organize... (View More)

My Spacecraft to Saturn

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 those problems, and to use these ideas to... (View More)

Cassini Science Investigation: Can a Spacecraft Use Solar Panels at Saturn?

This is a lesson about light in the outer solar system. Learners will demonstrate the effect of the inverse square law of illumination with distance and connect this to the functioning of solar panels at Saturn. Requires a silicon solar cell... (View More)

The Spinning World of Spacecraft Reaction Wheels

This is a activity about how reaction wheels affect spacecraft orientation (attitude). Learners will observe Newton's Third Law (action-reaction) in the changes caused by a reaction wheel acting upon a spacecraft suspended from a support wire and in... (View More)

Sand or Rock: Finding Out from 1000 km

Learners will measure temperature of two different surfaces; sand and stone; on a sunny day, make a series of temperature measurements, and plot the results. Extensions include experimenting with different materials, using temperature sensors and... (View More)

Can Photosynthesis Occur At Saturn?

In this hands-on experiment, students will investigate the basic principle of photosynthesis and learn how light intensity diminishes as a function of distance from the light source. Questions help learners connect these two ideas to determine if... (View More)

Passage to a Ringed World

This is a NASA special publication about the Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn, that was published in 1997 and reflects the facts and theories as known prior to mission arrival. Learners can read about what was involved in sending this large... (View More)

Audience: High school
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