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During this immersive virtual field trip to the Grand Canyon, learners investigate geologic records to discover what the rocks reveal about life and environments of the past. They will then apply those same investigative techniques to the search for... (View More)

The difference between mass and weight are defined and described in this student-lead NASA eClips segment. The resource also includes a lesson that contains a pre- and post-test, and an activity using the Frayer model. The Real World series of NASA... (View More)

Keywords: Gravity; Force; Matter; Speed; Galileo
Audience: Elementary school
Materials Cost: Free

The change in the sun's location during sunrise and sunset over the course of a year is explained through this student-lead NASA eClips segment. The resource also includes a lesson that contains a pre- and post-test, and an activity using the Frayer... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school
Materials Cost: Free

The difference between heat and temperature is explained through this student-lead NASA eClips segment, along with a lesson which includes a pre- and post-test, and an activity using the Frayer model. The Real World series of NASA eClips™ connects... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

Types of clouds and their roles in Earth’s energy budget are introduced and explained through this student-lead NASA eClips segment. The resource also includes a lesson which contains a pre- and post-test, and an activity using the Frayer model.... (View More)

The four lessons in this unit build toward a student understanding of each component of the energy budget formula - and how the contribution of each component changes due to location and time of year. In order, the four lessons consist of: deriving... (View More)

Nondestructive Evaluation (NDE) is the process of evaluating materials to detect and measure the presence of defects without causing damage to the material being tested. In this lesson, middle and high school students are introduced to NDE,... (View More)

The student-produced introductory video presents two common misconceptions related to the ozone hole. The accompanying lesson uses the 5E and the Frayer model to develop student understanding of ozone and ozone holes. Links to additional videos and... (View More)

Through the use of rhythm patterns of sounds presented in a solar system model, learners will collect data to determine orbital periods. Then, using that data, they will derive Kepler’s Third Law (the relationship between the distance of planets... (View More)

Featuring a new student-produced interactive whiteboard presentation, this eClips Spotlite video is designed as a tool to enhance students’ conceptual understanding of the science of seasons. The accompanying interactive lesson follows the 5E... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school
Materials Cost: Free

This series of investigative activities for Cadette Girl Scouts begins with an overview of our inner solar system, emphasizes the planetary histories of Mars, Earth and Venus, then concludes with evidence for the greenhouse effect on Earth. The... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

This is an interactive, real-time display system of space science images and data designed for museums and schools. The program displays hundreds of images and movies from space science research, all documented, with web references of how to find... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

Explore the size relationship between the sun and Earth by using tape and stickers. Learners estimate, then place and count the number of one-inch diameter stickers (representing Earths) that would fit across the diameter of a nine-foot circle of... (View More)

Explore lunar phases as viewed from Earth using paper plates. While standing in the appropriate spot in the moon's orbit, students hold paper plates that depict the Moon's phase. This activity can be used to assess understanding of lunar phases or... (View More)

Explore lunar phases as viewed from Earth using a golf ball and an ultraviolet light. With the student's head representing Earth, students hold and move the golf ball to demonstrate the cause of the Moon's phases in their correct order. Related Next... (View More)

A collection of nine atmospheric science and geography activities that guide students in developing the skills used to analyze GLOBE environmental data. GLOBE (Global Learning and Observation to Benefit the Environment) is a worldwide, hands-on,... (View More)

Explore simulated remote sensing techniques to observe a clay model of a planet. Observations are done from the perspective of a telescope at Earth’s surface, a telescope above Earth’s atmosphere, and from closer proximity to the planet in a... (View More)

Students analyze and interpret the accompanying large-format images of Mars taken by NASA’s Mars Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) camera. The analysis involves identifying geologic features, calibrating the size of those features, and... (View More)

Students use the research topic questions generated in the earlier lesson entitled, “Mars Image Analysis,” to refine testable questions and develop hypotheses. The lesson is part of the Mars Education Program series; it models scientific inquiry... (View More)

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

Beginning with an online interactive exploration of Karijini Gorge in Australia and Oak Creek Canyon in Sedona, AZ, learners gather geologic evidence regarding the formation of the red rocks found in each. They then apply that information to support... (View More)

Using an online interactive platform, learners will explore our solar system from the perspective of the Sun. They will observe the motion of different worlds to determine their location in the solar system. Then they will launch probes to search... (View More)

Students will test various materials to determine if any can shield their "magnetometer" (compass) from an external magnetic field using their own experimental design. If no suitable material is available, they will devise another method to protect... (View More)

This series of learning modules is designed for adaptation in an introductory Earth science or planetary science course. The modules actively engage students through Mars remote-sensing data and Earth-based analogs to understanding Mars geology.... (View More)

Audience: Higher education

This afterschool curriculum includes six lessons plus supplementary materials (e.g., videos, PowerPoint presentations, and images) that explore how light from the electromagnetic spectrum is used as a tool for learning about the Sun. The curriculum... (View More)

This software package displays movies and images of the aurora and the Sun in various wavelengths from the ground and from NASA spacecraft; a tutorial about what space weather is and how the aurora is formed; and more. Users will also find real-time... (View More)

Keywords: Space weather; Auroras
Audience: High school, Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

In this lesson, students participate in a skit presenting a mock-up of a planetary surface rover they designed. Students will be able to: demonstrate their knowledge of Mars and rovers by presenting their team skit; present their rover, its... (View More)

In this lesson, students participate in a skit presenting a mock-up of a planetary surface rover they designed. Students will be able to: demonstrate their knowledge of Mars and rovers by presenting their team skit; present their rover, its... (View More)

In this lesson, students will design a planetary surface rover to conduct a planetary surface investigation. It uses the 5E learning cycle and is designed around an essential question: How will creating a prototype of your rover help you prepare for... (View More)

Keywords: Careers

In this lesson, students will design a planetary surface rover to conduct a planetary surface investigation. It uses the 5E learning cycle and is designed around an essential question: How will creating a prototype of your rover help you prepare for... (View More)

Keywords: Careers

This lesson plan uses the 5E learning cycle and is designed around an essential question: Why is the method you chose for landing your Rover on Mars the best one for your mission? The lesson objectives include: examine different methods for landing... (View More)

This is the first module in the Solar Dynamic Observatory (SDO) Project Suite curriculum. Activities are self-directed by students or student teams using online videos and data from the SDO satellite to explore, research and build knowledge about... (View More)

Keywords: Sunspots
Audience: Middle school, Informal education
Materials Cost: $1 - $5

This is the second module in the Solar Dynamic Observatory (SDO) Project Suite curriculum. Each activity is self-directed by students or student teams and uses online videos, data from the SDO satellite and hands-on activities to explore, research... (View More)

This is the third module in the Solar Dynamic Observatory (SDO) Project Suite curriculum. Each activity is self-directed by students or student teams and utilizes online videos, data from the SDO satellite and hands-on activities to explore,... (View More)

The effects of gravity on near-surface objects and those in Earth orbit are explored in this activity. A brief explanation, links to three related videos, a teacher's guide and short assessment are included.

Keywords: Gravity
Audience: Elementary school, Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

Students are introduced to the purposes, benefits and challenges of citizen science projects. Examples of historical and current projects are presented, and evidence is provided showing why human scientific analysis is sometimes better than computer... (View More)

Microscopic meteorites routinely reach Earth's surface. While challenging to find and identify, this activity provides techniques for searching for them in the local environment.

Using the 5-E model, these lessons introduce planets, planetary systems, star types, exoplanets, transits, light curves, and the Planet Hunters citizen science project. Supplemental materials include data/image sheets. Next Generation Science... (View More)

This lesson plan teaches how to select the landing site for a planetary surface investigation, using the 5E learning cycle. Students will be able to determine a landing site for their Mars rover; work with their team to summarize information and... (View More)

This lesson plan uses the 5E learning cycle and is designed around an essential question: How do I know when I’ve found important information in my reading? Learning objectives include: identify important details in informational texts; learn and... (View More)

This lesson plan uses the 5E learning cycle and is designed around an essential question: Why is the method you chose for landing your Rover on Mars the best one for your mission? The lesson objectives include: examine different methods for landing... (View More)

This lesson plan uses the 5E learning cycle and is designed around an essential question: How do I know when I've found important information in my reading? Learning objectives include: identify important details in informational texts; learn and or... (View More)

Keywords: Language arts

Common materials such as sand, gravel, pebbles, shells, etc. are used to represent crustal materials from an unknown planet. Students begin by sorting, classifying, and making observations about the sample. Using that information, they must then... (View More)

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)

Students will use educational materials from NASA's Cosmic Times to create their own mash-up (an image, audio or video created by combining two or more sources of media into a new work). This lesson offers the opportunity to use media mash-up... (View More)

This activity demonstrates optical properties of water: that different constituents in water affect the transmission, absorption, and scattering of different colors in the visible light spectrum. Inexpensive, off-the-shelf components are used to... (View More)

Students use a dipole magnet and compass to model and map Earth's magnetic field. They then induce a magnetic field to represent a Ring Current in order to observe the response to a fluctuating electric current caused by a solar storm. The lesson... (View More)

This is an online lesson associated with activities during Solar Week, a twice-yearly event in March and October during which classrooms are able to interact with scientists studying the Sun. Outside of Solar Week, information, activities, and... (View More)

This is an online lesson associated with activities during Solar Week, a twice-yearly event in March and October during which classrooms are able to interact with scientists studying the Sun. This activity is scheduled to occur during Monday of... (View More)

This series of ten lessons has been developed to teach students about local and global water issues. They are based on NASA’s Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Mission. The activities are done largely outdoors and include scientific data... (View More)

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)

This set of physics-based labs uses data from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory spacecraft. Students create movies using near-real-time data, explore the connection between solar activity and space weather, use different types of data to generate... (View More)

Audience: Higher education
Materials Cost: Free

Students work in groups to investigate one of the following factors driving climate change: greenhouse gases, sea level rise and melting sea ice. The investigation involves conducting an experiment, connecting to real-world data and presenting a... (View More)

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)

Each lesson or activity in this toolkit is related to NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). The toolkit is designed so that each lesson can be done independently, or combined and taught in a sequence. The Teacher Implementation Guide provides... (View More)

In this game, students use the accompanying "playing cards" to plan a mission to Mars. The mission must produce significant science returns while also meeting several constraints such as budget, mass and power. The lesson is part of the Mars... (View More)

In this hands-on activity, learners will build a solar water heater by lining a box with reflective material, adding a translucent cover, and adding water-filled cans that are painted black. The temperature of the water is taken and recorded every... (View More)

In this hands-on activity, learners will build a solar cooker by lining a box with reflective material and adding a translucent cover. A sunny outdoor location for an extended period of time is required for this activity.

This is an activity associated with activities during Solar Week, a twice-yearly event in March and October during which classrooms are able to interact with scientists studying the Sun. Outside of Solar Week, information, activities, and resources... (View More)

In this activity, students create a scale model depicting the vertical distance from Earth’s surface to various features and objects, including Earth’s atmospheric layers, the Van Allen Radiation Belts, and geocentric satellites. Students also... (View More)

This is an activity about electromagnetism and the Sun. First, learners will do a KWL activity using six vocabulary words. Next, they will build an electromagnet and investigate how it works. Finally, learners will relate the workings of their... (View More)

This is an activity about image resolution. Learners will recreate a solar image taken by the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) using various sizes of building bricks, and discuss how their recreations relate to image resolution. Learners will also... (View More)

Using three images from the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission, students measure and analyze infrared light from objects to identify Brown Dwarfs and Ultra-Luminous Infrared Galaxies (ULIRGs). The lesson includes a teacher’s guide,... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

Using common items - a glass soft drink bottle, a straw, clay and food coloring - students assemble and calibrate a thermometer and then use it to measure outdoor temperatures. Students record and graph the temperature data and, additionally,... (View More)

Keywords: Temperature

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 using models to solve a problem. Learners will build four models of the MMS satellites using fabrication software. Their designs will based upon observations and data collected through prior activities (in the educator's... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

This poster features NASA's Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission. The front features an image of the GPM Core Observatory satellite along with the constellation of satellites that will accompany it. Background information is provided on... (View More)

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

Dieter Hartmann, a high-energy physicist, presents a story-based lesson on the science of Gamma-Ray astronomy. The lesson focuses on gamma-ray bursts; examining their sources, types, and links to the origin and evolution of the Universe. The... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

Intended for use prior to viewing the Science on a Sphere film "Water Falls," this lesson introduces students to Earth's water cycle and the importance of freshwater resources.

Intended for use after viewing the Science on a Sphere film "Water Falls," this lesson deepens student's understanding of global precipitation measurement. Students will explore NASA satellite data gathered during Hurricane Sandy to learn how that... (View More)

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 is an activity about like and unlike charges. Learners will use plastic tape strips to investigate how charges interact. This is the second activity as part of the iMAGiNETICspace: Where Imagination, Magnetism, and Space Collide educator's... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

This is an activity about the way distance, albedo, and atmosphere affect the temperature of a planet. Learners will create a planet using a computer game and change features of the planet to increase or decrease the planet's temperature. They will... (View More)

This is an activity about the atmospheric conditions (greenhouse strength, atmospheric thickness) Mars needs to maintain surface water. Learners will use a computer interactive to learn about Mars past and present before exploring the pressure and... (View More)

In this activity, participants learn about the atmosphere by making observations and taking measurements. They will go outside and use scientific equipment to collect atmospheric moisture data (temperature, relative humidity, precipitation and cloud... (View More)

In this lesson students investigate the effects of black carbon on arctic warming and are introduced to a mechanism of arctic warming that is not directly dependent on greenhouse gases in the atmosphere: black carbon deposition on Arctic snow and... (View More)

In this activity, participants learn about the geosphere by making observations and taking measurements. They will go outside and use scientific equipment to investigate water in the soil by measuring soil moisture, temperature, color and... (View More)

Students will explore how energy from the sun is absorbed, reflected and radiated back into space by Earth. By completing three short labs investigating the effects of surface color, type of material, or cloud cover on temperature change, students... (View More)

In this lesson, students will think about their experiences with hurricanes and severe storms, and then learn the basics of what causes hurricanes to form. Students will learn how hurricane prediction has progressed, and how satellite technology is... (View More)

After making observations of their natural surroundings, students uncover the intricate relationships between the atmosphere, biosphere, geosphere and hydrosphere. This introductory lesson uses the 5E instructional model. All background information,... (View More)

This lesson was developed to give participants an understanding of Earth's water cycle. In this one-hour long activity, students participate in a webquest to learn about the water cycle, and then build a mini-model of the water cycle to observe how... (View More)

This is a lesson about research tools and skills. 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)

Audience: Elementary school
Materials Cost: Free

This is an activity about the way distance, reflectivity, and atmosphere affect the temperature of a planet. Learners will create a planet using a computer game and change features of the planet to increase or decrease the planet's temperature. This... (View More)

Keywords: Water; Climate

Students begin by determining dew point using an aluminum can, stirring rod, ice and thermometer. Air temperature is also measured and recorded. Students then use those two data in conjunction with the Lifting Condensation Level approximation, to... (View More)

This is a lesson about the solar wind, Earth's magnetosphere, and the Moon. Participants will work in groups of two or three to build a model of the Sun-Earth-Moon system. They will use the model to demonstrate that the Earth is protected from... (View More)

In this lesson, students will learn about the water cycle and how energy from the sun and the force of gravity drive this cycle. The emphasis in this lesson will be on having students understand the processes that take place in moving water through... (View More)

This is a lesson about measurement and cratering. Learners will read about the origin of the foot as a standardized unit of measure, work collaboratively to conduct an experiment about cratering, and collect and record data to draw logical and... (View More)

Learners work in teams to determine a landing site for their Mars Rover that best relates to their scientific question. They use technology skills to research Gale Crater through an online interactive module and learn about features of Mars through... (View More)

Learners will construct a mock-up of planetary surface rover. They begin by exploring the importance of engineering in our society and work as a team to build a prototype of the team's rover using student science notebooks and team sketches as a... (View More)

Keywords: Spacecraft Design
Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: $5 - $10 per group of students

This is an activity about scale. Participants will arrange imagery of Earth and many other space objects in order of their size from smallest to largest, their distance from Earth's surface, their temperature from coolest to hottest, and/or their... (View More)

Learners go outside on a clear evening and view the sky to see the Moon for themselves. Using sky charts, children navigate the Moon’s impact craters, flat plains (maria), and mountains with the naked eye and binoculars or telescopes. This outdoor... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

Learners use a Styrofoam ball, sunlight, and the motions of their bodies to model the Moon's phases outdoors. An extension is to have children predict future Moon phases. This activity is part of Explore! Marvel Moon, a series of activities... (View More)

This is an activity about the tides. Learners discover how the Moon's gravitational pull causes the level of the ocean to rise and fall twice a day along most coastlines. Six children represent the oceans, solid Earth, Moon, and Sun and move their... (View More)

Learners explore Earth's rotation and the Moon's role in our 24-hour day, using their bodies to explore and model the Earth's daily motions in this kinethetic exploration. They relate the motion of the Earth about its axis (rotation) to the... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

This is an activity about the Moon's formation, changes over time, gravitational connection to Earth, or influence on our culture and urban legends. Learners share their learning by creating zines: small, self-published magazines inexpensively... (View More)

This is an activity about Lunar samples. Learners will see snapshots of the Moon's history and hold an important artifact of American history with a Lunar Sample Disk. Earth rocks and soil of similar types as the lunar samples may be provided and... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

Learners model how Earth's tilt creates the seasons. They use their bodies to review the Earth's daily motions before investigating the reason for Earth's seasons in this kinesthetic exploration. The motion of the Earth about its axis (rotation) and... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

In this lesson, learners will construct a 3D scale model of one of the MMS satellites. After, they will calculate the octagonal area of the top and bottom of the satellites, given the measurements of the satellite. Then, learners will compare the... (View More)

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