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This multi-phased learning package progresses from guided engineering to an open mission-design challenge. Each step is scaffolded and includes easy-to-implement teaching tools, lessons and art activities. Learners, working in collaborative teams,... (View More) build an O-Rex spacecraft model. The building process incorporates inventing, designing and engineering- leading to a deeper understanding of NASA mission work. A leader guide, instructions, templates and a YouTube video are included and accessed through the Related & Supplemental Resources. (View Less)
Small groups of students form imaginary travel agencies and use Hubble images to plan the "trip of a lifetime" to ten celestial destinations. The activity acquaints students with the repository of Hubble images and encourages them to think about... (View More) what it would be like to visit the celestial objects. The students must provide a scientific as well as a “tourist” justification for each sight. Includes instructor notes, worksheets and sample answers. (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)
This unit investigates asteroids, comets, and meteoroids, focusing on Vesta, a prominent asteroid in the asteroid belt. The unit of eleven lessons culminates in having students use engineering practices to design, build, and test devices that will... (View More) land on Vesta, collect and separate natural resources found there, and deliver a payload to a target. Teachers and students are also introduced to the Asteroid Mappers-Vesta Edition citizen science project that is part of the CosmoQuest online community. Lessons include background information for educators, reviews and assessments, and links to supplemental videos and websites. Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and Common Core Standards are listed. (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)