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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 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 is a lesson about the path of one xenon ion through an ion propulsion engine. Learners will focus on what a single xenon ion sees and does as it goes through the reactions and processes that provide the ion jet propulsion engine's thrust. They... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

This is a lesson about simple machines and how they relate to robots. Learners will gain an understanding of simple machines and how they may be used in our everyday lives. Students will also have an opportunity to design a Rube Goldberg Machine of... (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)

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 Dieck, which was adapted from Jean Settle's "Edible... (View More)