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The design process  
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Learners will build an open spectrograph to calculate the angle the light is transmitted through a holographic diffraction grating. After finding the desired angles, the students will design their own spectrograph using the information learned. The... (View More)

This is a lesson about the role of computers in space exploration. Learners will investigate various ways to improve mission design to maximize the scientific return. In the first activity, the students examine how the use of flowcharts can help... (View More)

Audience: High school

This is a lesson about how spacecraft use gravity assists to get where they are going. Learners will explore how engineers minimize the use of fuel by utilizing gravity. In Activity 1, students explore the physical conservation laws by observing the... (View More)

Audience: High school

This is a lesson about landers and robotic components. Learners will design and built a prototype robot. This is lesson 14 of 16 in the MarsBots learning module. This lesson is adapted from "Edible Mars Spacecraft," by Amalia Plummer and Tricia... (View More)

This is a lesson about the design and operation of an ion propulsion engine. Learners will study the essential components and variables of an ion propulsion system. Activities include an on-line ion propulsion engine simulation and design. Included... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

This activity has two purposes: challenge the learner to develop a procedure for investigating a research question and to learn more about factors affecting the dynamics of air in motion. It demonstrates that warm air and cold air differ in weight... (View More)

This is a lesson about the science supporting the design and operation of an ion propulsion engine. Learners will study the concepts of formation and discharge of charged particles, attractive and repulsive forces between charged particles, and the... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

This lesson is about collaborative design of a lander vehicle. Learners will design and build a descent and landing system for an egg. The students will also practice their writing skills by writing a letter or article about the success or failure... (View More)

This lesson is about robotic programming. Learners will simulate the experience of operating a rover on Mars, by giving specific commands to construct a Lego model with their partners. This will introduce students to the fundamental communication... (View More)

This is a lesson/briefing about the Dawn mission and the significance of its ion propulsion system. Learners will consider cases of science fact versus science fictions, study the challenges of the Dawn mission, and apply the "History Frame"... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free