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This multi-phased learning package progresses from guided engineering to an open mission design challenge through scaffolded and easy-to-implement teaching tools, lessons and art activities. By building an O-REx spacecraft model in a collaborative... (View More) team, learners take on authentic roles, deepening their understanding of the workings of a NASA mission. Throughout, engineering concepts are presented with a humanistic perspective to make technical concepts relatable. Teamwork is emphasized as it relates to the legacy and practice of invention, design and engineering. The program is aligned to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). (View Less)
In this lab, students organize into travel agencies and use Hubble images to plan the "trip of a lifetime" to ten celestial marvels that are both beautiful and instructive. The lab acquaints students with the repository of Hubble images, to get them... (View More) to think about what it would be like to visit the celestial objects, seeing them up close. The students must provide a justification for each tourist sight. These justifications must refer to the scientific importance of each site and not just to its aesthetic value. Includes instructor notes, sample answer sheets and examples. (View Less)
This collection of math problems is based on a weekly series of space and Earth science problems distributed to teachers during the 2013-2014 school year. The problems were intended for students looking for additional challenges in the math and... (View More) physical science curriculum and were created to be authentic glimpses of modern science and engineering issues, often involving actual research data. Includes information for teachers and answer key. (View Less)
Become a crime scene investigator! Learners model Dawn Mission scientists, engineers, and technologists and how they use instrumentation to detect distant worlds. After a briefing to build context, students explore interactions between different... (View More) frequencies/wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum and matter as they investigate the different ways scientists gather and understand remote sensing data, using Dawn instruments as examples. This module is organized around a learning cycle, engaging students through several experiences to activate students' prior knowledge and assess conceptual understanding, informing next steps. (View Less)
The theme of this unit is the development of an imaginary mission to the asteroid Vesta. It also introduces teachers and students to the Vesta Mappers citizen scientist project, which is part of the CosmoQuest online community. The unit is designed... (View More) to be used in 50-minute periods over 13 days and lessons follow the 5E instructional model. Students will explore not only science content but science and engineering practices as well. An alignment is provided to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). (View Less)
This paper model shows the orbit of Comet ISON (late 2013) with respect to the innermost planets of the solar system. After reading background information about comets - how they form and where they come from - students cut out and tape together the... (View More) pieces of the model provided to show its orbital pathway (a single page of parts that can be assembled using just scissors and adhesive). Links are provided to related classroom activities and additional resources. (View Less)
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) line, color, texture, value - to make sense of features in NASA images, honing observation skills and inspiring questions. It aligns with the NGSS cross-cutting concept of Patterns. Videos, images, and an interactive poster that breaks down activity elements deepen user access. (View Less)
This is an activity about asteroids. Learners will shape mashed potatoes into their own odd-shaped asteroids. They can then bake them in the oven to turn them (more or less) asteroid color, and eat them for dinner.
This activity is an interactive word find game with words related to comets and NASA's Comet Nucleus Sample Return mission. Accompanying text and pictures describe what comets are and why we are interested in them.
This is a game about the formation of the solar system. Learners dynamically engage in modeling the growth of asteroids from specks of matter. Similar to tag, the children run around, have fun, and burn off energy. Different from tag, there is... (View More) science involved! The end of activity debriefing discusses strengths and limits of the model. Note the setting for this activity should be large and open where students can run. (View Less)