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This activity is about rocket shape and performance. Learners will test a rocket model and predict its motion. They will launch their rocket multiple times, make observations and record the distance it traveled. They will have the opportunity to... (View More)

This is an activity designed to develop a working definition of life. Learners will conduct a simple experiment, looking for signs of life in three different "soil" samples. The experiment introduces children to the difficulty that scientists face... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

This is an activity about Earth's magnetic field. Learners will construct a soda bottle magnetometer, collect data, and analyze the results to detect magnetic storm events. Ideally, learners should collect data for at least a month. If several... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

This is an activity about area and volume. Learners will use fabrication software to determine the optimal size of a satellite which can fit within a given rocket cylinder. To complete this activity, fabrication software is required (an example is... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

This is an activity about magnetism. Learners will experiment using horseshoe and bar magnets along with various materials in order to identify the effects of magnets on each other and on other materials. This is the third activity as part of the... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

This is an activity about magnetic fields. Learners will use various magnets, magnetic film, and a compass to see and illustrate what magnetic fields look like. This is the fourth activity as part of the iMAGiNETICspace: Where Imagination,... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

This is an activity about satellite design. Learners will create a satellite model to determine which shape will provide a steady minimum current output from solar panels, given a fixed position light source. After, as a group, they will assess... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

This module focuses on ultraviolet radiation on Earth and in space and how it affects life. Learners will construct their own "martian" using craft materials and UV beads. They will explore how UV radiation from the Sun can affect living things,... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

The Cosmic Times Gallery Walk and Cosmic Times Jigsaw lessons serve as extensions to the Cosmic Times suite of curriculum support materials. They are intended to provide an introduction to Cosmic Times as a whole, giving students the larger picture... (View More)

Keywords: Cosmology
Audience: Middle school, High school, Higher education
Materials Cost: Free

This lithograph features an image from the Hubble Space Telescope, showcasing the well-known features of NGC 3982, a face-on spiral galaxy. The accompanying activity, In Search Of...Spiral Galaxies, is a curriculum support tool designed for use as... (View More)

This lithograph features an image from the Hubble Space Telescope, showcasing the distinctive shape of the Ring Nebula, NGC 6720. The accompanying classroom activity, In Search of…Planetary Nebula Shapes, is a curriculum support tool designed as... (View More)

This lithograph features an image from the Hubble Space Telescope, showcasing a colorful view of the star-forming nebula N90, located in the Small Magellanic Cloud. The accompanying activity, In Search of...the Electromagnetic Spectrum, is a... (View More)

Students will design, build and then test a rain gauge to measure precipitation. By sharing their results, they will recognize the need for standardization and precision in scientific tools. All background information, student worksheets and... (View More)

In this activity, students face an engineering challenge based on real-world applications. They are tasked with developing a tool they can use to measure the amount of rain that falls each day. Students will find out why freshwater is important,... (View More)

This program uses NASA data and resources to promote authentic classroom research experiences. These two complementary guides lead students through the process of conducting their own inquiry-based research on an Earth-focused topic. In their... (View More)

This is a lesson plan about the surface and geology of Mars. Learners will record detailed observations of a simulated surface and core sample of Mars, analyze a simulated surface and core sample of Mars, compare and contrast an unknown foreign... (View More)

This is a lesson about how to learn about Mars. Learners will explore the features of Mars through a demonstration of Google Earth Mars, gather, and analyze data from multiple sources on the internet as well as print sources, develop and use... (View More)

This is a lesson about the nature of a scientific question. Learners will construct a valid scientific question that can be answered by data and/or modeling and choose an appropriate mission for their rover that will answer their scientific... (View More)

This is a lesson about scientific and enginering investigation. Learners will review what they have learned, construct a valid scientific question that can be answered by data and/or modeling, and choose an appropriate mission for their rover that... (View More)

This is a lesson about how to answer a scientific or engineering question. Learners will refine the scientific question they generated in Lesson 5 so that it can be answered by data and/or modeling, brainstorm possible solutions for the scientific... (View More)

This is a lesson plan about the engineering design process. Learners will become familiar with and use the Engineering Design Process to sketch a reasonable drawing of the rover that will be built. The lesson uses the 5E instructional model and... (View More)

This is a lesson about generating hypotheses and testable questions. Learners will use critical thinking and a collaborative approach to pose questions related to the study of Mars and evaluate the quality of their questions. They will explore... (View More)

Keywords: NSTA2013
Audience: Elementary school, Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

Learners will take and then compare the images taken by a camera - to learn about focal length (and its effects on field of view), resolution, and ultimately how cameras take close-up pictures of far away objects. Finally, they will apply this... (View More)

This is an activity about the orbit of the ISS around the Earth. Leaners will investigate the relationship between speed, distance, and orbits as they investigate how quickly the ISS can travel to take a picture of an erupting volcano. This is... (View More)

This textbook chapter presents several biodiversity case studies, including a study of prairie soil, the 1930's Dustbowl, and the importance of soil conservation practices. The resource includes a link to current news articles and a teacher's guide.... (View More)

This is a lesson about the robotic arm on the International Space Station. Learners will build a robotic arm to grapple (grab onto) a spacecraft and then use it to grapple different classroom objects. This is technology activity 2 of 2 found in the... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

This is an activity about keeping astronauts safe from debris in space. Learners will investigate the relationship between mass, speed, velocity, and kinetic energy in order to select the best material to be used on a space suit. They will apply an... (View More)

This is a lesson about crystal growth. Leaners will grow a sugar crystal and learn how this relates to growing protein crystals in space. The lack of gravity allows scientists on the space station to grow big, almost perfect crystals, which are used... (View More)

This is an activity about using solar arrays to provide power to the space station. Learners will solve a scenario-based problem by calculating surface areas and determining the amount of power or electricity the solar arrays can create. This is... (View More)

This is an activity about forecasting space weather. Learners will use real-time data from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, to identify a variety of solar features and active regions of the Sun, and then will use these observations to... (View More)

This is an activity about structures in space. Learners will construct two different types of trusses to develop an understanding of engineering design for truss structures and the role of shapes in the strength of structures. For optimum completion... (View More)

This is a lesson about the technology as it relates to heat transfer (conduction and convection)on the International Space Station. Learners will investigate how to build a space suit that keeps astronauts cool. This is technology activity 1 of 2... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

In this introductory textbook chapter, students become familiar with how scientists view planet Earth. This is the first chapter in the unit, A New World View, which introduces global systems science, emphasizing the concepts of environmental... (View More)

Keywords: Sustainability
Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

This is a lesson about the Moon's Copernicus Crater. Learners will use observation to make their own geologic map of the Crater. They then identify crater features in a photogeologic image and use those observations to color their map with the... (View More)

Keywords: Cratering

This is a lesson about geologic history. Learners will work together to create models of volcanic lava flows and analyze the layers that form on a planet's surface. They will sequence lava flows produced by multiple eruptions. Students will be asked... (View More)

This is an activity about orbital mechanics. Learners will investigate how lateral velocity affects the orbit of a spacecraft such as the ISS. Mathematical extensions are provided. This is science activity 1 of 2 found in the ISS L.A.B.S. Educator... (View More)

Keywords: Gravity

This is a lesson about using evidence to construct sequences of geologic events. Learners will interpret real NASA science data to identify features on the surface of Mars, determine the surface history of the area, calculate the size of features,... (View More)

The 9-session NASA Family Science Night program invites middle school children and their families to discover the wide variety of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics being performed at NASA and in everyday life. Family Science Night... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

In this engineering challenge, student teams are introduced to the engineering design process, and then construct and test an earthquake-resistant structure. The lesson plan includes teacher support, student worksheets, multimedia assets, and links... (View More)

This is a lesson about detecting atmospheres of planets. Learners will explore stellar occultation events (by interpreting light curves) to determine if an imaginary dwarf planet “Snorkzat” has an atmosphere. The activity is part of Project... (View More)

This Hubble Space Telescope image shows an especially photogenic group of interacting galaxies called Arp 273. The larger of the spiral galaxies, also known as UGC 1810, has a disk that is distorted into a rose-like shape by the gravitational tidal... (View More)

Audience: High school, Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

This is an activity about the Signal-to-Noise Ratio. Learners will engage with a hands-on activity and an online interactive to understand the terms signal and noise as they relate to spacecraft communication; quantify noise using a given dataset;... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

This is an activity about spacecraft radio communications. Learners will explore spacecraft radio communications concepts, including the speed of light and the time-delay for signals sent to and from spacecraft. Learners measure the time it takes... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: $1 - $5 per group of students

This Hubble Space Telescope image shows what appears to be a delicate bubble of gas floating serenely in space. In actuality, the bubble is the visible remnant of a powerful supernova explosion called SNR 0509. The bubble was formed from gas being... (View More)

This Hubble Space Telescope image captures thousands of sparkling young stars nestled within the star-forming nebula NGC 3603. This stellar "jewel box" is one of the most massive young star clusters in the Milky Way Galaxy. The image and text... (View More)

In this lesson, students will use real satellite data to determine the changes in near-surface air temperature over the Caribbean Sea at different times of the year. Step-by-step instructions for use of the MY NASA DATA Live Access Server (LAS)... (View More)

Keywords: Authentic data use
Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

In this lesson students will investigate nitrogen dioxide levels in the atmosphere over a one-year period. The students will have to look at several regions from around the world to draw conclusions regarding NO2 amounts. From the plots, students... (View More)

Keywords: Authentic data use
Audience: Elementary school
Materials Cost: Free

This is a lesson about how to plan a mission to explore another world in the Solar System. Learners will discuss the path of a spacecraft traveling between planets, examining the journey from the Earth to Mars as an example. In Activity 1, students... (View More)

El Niño impacts sea surface height, sea surface temperature and wind vectors. In this lesson, data for each of those three characteristics from the 1997-98 El Niño event will be analyzed and compared. Students will work in teams of 3 throughout... (View More)

By matching maps of snow and ice amounts with maps of net radiation flux for the same time frame, students will use the Live Access Server to explore how the net radiation flux has affected the snow and ice amounts in the Northern Hemisphere, as... (View More)

Keywords: Authentic data use
Audience: Elementary school, Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

In this lesson, students use the Live Access Server to obtain real sea surface temperature data, to create maps and line graphs, and to make comparisons and conclusions about the effects of El Niño and La Ninña. The lesson includes detailed... (View More)

Keywords: El Nino; La Nina
Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

This Hubble Space Telescope image captures the chaotic activity on a three-light-year-tall pillar of gas and dust reminiscent of a craggy fantasy mountaintop surrounded by wispy clouds. New stars buried inside the pillar cannot be seen in this image... (View More)

In this lesson, a correlation between chlorophyll, sea surface temperature, and sunlight will be derived from NASA satellite data. Students will download a year’s worth of data on each of these variables for the Gulf of Maine. Data will be... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

In this lesson, students read the original paper written by Henrietta Leavitt in which she compared the apparent brightness and period of Cepheid variable stars. The students prepare graphs from numerical data, just as she did, and compare their... (View More)

This Hubble Space Telescope image reveals a small region inside the massive globular cluster Omega Centauri, which boasts nearly 10 million stars. This colorful assortment of 100,000 stars residing in the crowded core of the cluster is one of the... (View More)

Hurricane Katrina serves as the focus for this lesson on the relationship between sea surface temperatures and hurricane intensity. Students assume the roles of Senior Science Advisors for the Louisiana Environmental Agency to research and plot the... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

This activity allows students to use radiosonde data from a weather balloon launch to distinguish the characteristics of the lower atmosphere. Step-by-step instructions for use of the MY NASA DATA Live Access Server (LAS) guide students through... (View More)

Keywords: Authentic data use
Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

In this activity, students use historic weather information and compare it with current data to determine if they can see a trend in temperature change over time. Step-by-step instructions for use of the MY NASA DATA Live Access Server (LAS) guide... (View More)

Keywords: Authentic data use
Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

The activity introduces students to aspects of the atmosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and litho/geosphere and how they are interrelated. It is designed to promote an interest in authentic investigations of Earth using images acquired by astronauts... (View More)

Math skills are applied throughout this investigation of windows. Starting with basic window shapes, students determine area and complete a cost analysis, then do the same for windows of unconventional shapes. Students will examine photographs taken... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school, Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

This is an activity about using what you can see to identify what you cannot see. Learners will use the criteria they developed in the previous activity in this sequence and analyze whole Sun magnetic map data sets in order to find suspected... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school, Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

This is a unit in 6 sessions about the seasons on earth. Learners will investigate the reason for seasons on earth. They will look at the circular orbit of earth, year-long temperature and daylight hours across different latitudes, compare models of... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

This module is about collaboration and communication strategies that are used during mission design. Learners will strengthen their understanding of and ability to use collaborative processes and communication practices to clarify, conceptualize,... (View More)

This is a unit of 8 sessions about the Sun-Earth system. Learners will construct a model to show the relative size and scale of the Sun-Earth system, investigate the visible and electromagnetic spectrums, discuss solar flares and solar weather,... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

This is an activity about assessing magnetic activity on the Sun as astronomers do. Learners will select and compare five visible light solar images and identify and label each individual sunspot group. Then, learners will count all possible... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school, Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

This Hubble Space Telescope image of galaxies appears to form the number 10. The text describes the image and provides a brief explanation of why astronomer Halton Arp compiled his catalogue of odd-looking galaxies in the 1960s. In the accompanying... (View More)

Audience: High school, Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

This is an activity about cause and effect. Learners will calculate the approximate travel time of each solar wind event identified in the previous activity in this set to estimate the time at which the disturbance would have left the Sun. Then,... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school, Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

This is an activity about solar flare activity. Learners will use whole-Sun maps of magnetic activity in order to identify possible future magnetic activity. They will take into account the rotation of the Sun and make day-to-day predictions of the... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school, Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

This is a unit in 11 sessions about the solar system. Learners will explore the terms planet and moon, they will sort and classify various solar system bodies into categories, and use this context to discuss if Pluto is a planet. They will also... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

In this activity, learners construct a classroom-based Space Weather Action Center and use it to obtain, analyze, and record real solar data on a weekly basis. A set of sequential activities are also provided to engage the audience in making... (View More)

This is an activity to reinforce concepts learned about the Sun, the Sun, Earth, and Moon system and eclipses. Learners will communally discuss their knowledge of these concepts briefly, and will then complete a series of worksheets and writings to... (View More)

Keywords: NSTA2013
Audience: Elementary school

This is a unit in 7-8 sessions about objects outside of our solar system, including galaxies and the universe. Learners will investigate the contents of the universe, why light years are used to measure distances in space, the lifespan of a star,... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

In this activity, students investigate one of the variables that affects Earth's albedo. The lesson includes detailed procedures, related links and sample graphs, follow-up questions, extensions, and teacher notes. This lesson is from the MY NASA... (View More)

Keywords: Albedo
Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

This is an activity about searching online data archives for solar wind events. Learners will find at least three episodes of increased solar wind activity impacting Earth using direct measurements of solar wind velocity and density. Then, they will... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school, Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

This is an activity about using what you can see to identify what you cannot see. Learners will examine images of the Sun taken over one complete solar rotation and look for data features that appear on the farside of the Sun which persist at the... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school, Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

This activity is designed to introduce students to planetary geologic features and processes. First, students will use NASA satellite images to identify geologic surface features on the "Blue Marble" (Earth), and will explore the connection between... (View More)

In this data analysis activity, students determine changes in snow and ice cover on the Earth's surface from 1994 to 2004. Step-by-step instructions for use of the MY NASA DATA Live Access Server (LAS) guide students through selecting a data set,... (View More)

Keywords: Authentic data use
Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

In this lesson, students hypothesize what types of clouds they believe will create the most precipitation (rainfall) over Nashville, TN. Scientists have studied the physical properties of clouds and have developed instruments onboard satellites to... (View More)

Keywords: Authentic Data Use
Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

In this lesson, students collect sea surface temperature (SST) data from the MY NASA DATA Live Access Server (LAS), create time-series line plots, and use the plots to study a major coral bleaching event. Corals feed on algae that thrive in the... (View More)

The Hubble Ultra Deep Field lithograph shows the deepest visible light observation of the early universe. In vibrant contrast to the image's rich harvest of classic spiral and elliptical galaxies, there is a zoo of oddball galaxies littering the... (View More)

In this data analysis activity, students explore how hurricanes extract heat energy from the ocean surface by tracking Hurricane Rita and sampling sea surface temperatures along its path. Step-by-step instructions for use of the MY NASA DATA Live... (View More)

Keywords: Authentic data use
Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

This lesson examines data in several formats in order to determine the presence or absence of seasonal variability in tropospheric nitrogen dioxide (NO2) concentrations. Step-by-step instructions for use of the MY NASA DATA Live Access Server (LAS)... (View More)

Keywords: Authentic data use
Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

In this data analysis activity, students plot ocean currents and wind patterns from the past 10 years and compare them to the documented navigation routes taken by Christopher Columbus. Step-by-step instructions for use of the MY NASA DATA Live... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

This lesson investigates seasonal changes in Earth's land and water temperatures by examining satellite data. Students will compare and analyze temperature changes of both water and land over a one-year period. This lesson uses student- and citizen... (View More)

Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

This is a hands-on lab activity about the properties and states of water. Learners will complete activities using different liquids to understand the three states of matter, explain how the high heat capacity and abundance of liquid water makes life... (View More)

In this lesson, students are introduced to the electromagnetic spectrum. They observe a demonstration of the visible light spectrum created by a flashlight and a prism, complete an activity sheet where they identify the wavelength that is involved... (View More)

Students are introduced to classification through progressive activities. Initially, the teacher models the task by classifying buttons. Students then devise a classification scheme for paper clips. Subsequent activities use objects brought from... (View More)

Keywords: Classification

This Hubble Space Telescope image shows the diversity of galaxies in the universe. A huge elliptical galaxy, designated ESO 325-G004, dominates the image. In addition to many elliptical and spiral galaxies, the image contains a few small irregular... (View More)

In this lesson, students explore the visible light spectrum using a flashlight and red, blue and green theatrical gels or cellophane. They also record data on a worksheet, and learn about mixing wavelengths of light. A student worksheet, data sheet,... (View More)

This is a lesson about size and scale, also called the Solar Pizza. Learners, or the facilitator, will cut out scaled images of the Sun and Earth and walk them approximately sixty-five feet apart to simultaneously show the size scale and distance... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

This is a hands-on lab activity about evaporation. Learners will conduct experiments to observe the process of evaporation. They will then describe the process of evaporation, and the general water cycle, through discussion and pictures. Background... (View More)

Keywords: Water cycle

This is a series of hands-on activities comprised of fieldwork and lab work about the basics of soil science. Learners record soil context descriptions, measure soil moisture, describe soil color, structure, consistency, and texture and conduct... (View More)

The lithograph contains a Hubble Space Telescope image that shows M82, an edge-on galaxy, undergoing a frenzy of star formation. The text explains the possible causes of the galaxy's unusual appearance and star-birth activity. In the accompanying... (View More)

Audience: High school, Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

This lesson applies the science and math of the rotation of a sphere to water and wind movements on Earth. Students are introduced to convection, the Trade Winds and the Coriolis Force. Using an online visualizer, students generate trajectories and... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

This lesson incorporates sea surface data collected by NASA satellites. Data for three surface characteristics- height, temperature and speed- are used for several activities. Students examine the differences in speed of currents relative to... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

The lithograph contains a Hubble Space Telescope image that shows the colorful Planetary Nebula NGC 2440 with one of the hottest known white dwarf stars at its center. The text briefly explains the process of stellar death of sun-like stars and... (View More)

Audience: High school, Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

This is an activity about the future of Mars exploration. Learners will debate a specified position by researching and providing evidence to support their position. This is lesson 4 of 5 in Buried Water Ice on Mars.

Navigational tools and methods of early voyagers provide the background and contrast to the satellite images and models used today. Students complete mapping activities based on historical data from Columbus and Blith. Students will also use a... (View More)

This is an activity about the discovery of water ice on Mars. Learners will create physical models using Earth samples to answer the question, "is it more likely that high altitude regions of Mars are composed of icy dirt (with ice filling the pore... (View More)

Keywords: Mars
Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

Oceans play a significant role in determining and moderating the effects of energy imbalances. Students will begin this lesson by working with temperature data to reinforce the importance of protocols, practice computing statistical measures of data... (View More)

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