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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 fourth and culminating module in the Solar Dynamic Observatory (SDO) Project Suite curriculum. Student teams use information and resources from the other three modules in the project suite to create a 3D interactive solar exhibit to... (View More)

This site features information about constructing a LEGO model of the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Mission Core Observatory. Two options for building the GPM model are provided: students can construct a 3D model on the LEGO website or... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

A Hovmuller plot is a diagram that visibly displays data patterns from a selected latitude or longitude over a time period. Through a storyline and several samples, students are introduced to a Hovmuller plot of temperature data along a longitude in... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

Students participate in a series of activities to discover how astronomers use computers to create images and understand data. No programming experience is required; students will use pencilcode.net to complete such activities as creating a color,... (View More)

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

This online Flash interactive simulates the process of discovering new exoplanets using the transit method. Learners explore a simulated star field, record data, make measurements and do calculations to discover new planets. Instructional videos and... (View More)

Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

Twice each day, once during daytime and once at sunset, students observe sky color, visibility, and sky conditions over a one week period. Each observation is recorded on a sky report form (included) for follow-up discussions and comparisons. This... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school
Materials Cost: Free

Using water to represent the atmosphere and milk droplets to represent aerosols, students make predictions and conduct investigations to discover how different aerosol concentrations affect atmospheric color and visibility. This lesson is one of... (View More)

Keywords: Aerosols

Through the use of prisms and glue sticks, this activity introduces students to a fundamental property of light: white light is made up of colors representing different wavelengths. Students use the results of the activity to explain the variation... (View More)

Working in groups, students use contact paper to make samplers to collect local data on aerosols - the small particles found in the atmosphere. Students then analyze, interpret and make predictions based on their data. Both the instructions for... (View More)

Keywords: Aerosols

In this activity, children use common craft materials and ultraviolet (UV)-sensitive beads to construct a person (or dog or imaginary creature). They use sunscreen, foil, paper, and more to test materials that might protect UV Kid from being exposed... (View More)

This two-page lithograph features an infrared image entitled, Pillars in the Monkey Head Nebula (the nebula also known as NGC 2174), located in the Orion constellation. The accompanying classroom activity "In Search of....Star Formation" is a... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

This lithograph features a Hubble image of the galaxy cluster Abell 2744, which exhibits a special feature known as gravitational lensing. The backside includes a description of the image and its features. Students use the image and the information... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

This is a two-page lithograph featuring the Cepheid Variable Star RS Puppis, an example of a special class of bright pulsating stars whose light and energy outputs vary over a set period of time. The text on the lithograph explains the historic... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

This unit consists of five activities, all of which focus on the response of plant life-cycle events to climate change. Students participate in discussions, field observations, data collection and analyses, plant identification, seed dispersal... (View More)

This unit consists of four activities. Students begin by examining temperature cycles (current, recent and historical) then add in factors such as carbon dioxide, precipitation and cloud cover to discover regional and global differences in the... (View More)

This unit focuses on the impacts of climate change on humans. Students participate in activities using "Character Cards" (included with the unit). The cards introduce fictitious citizens who describe the local economic, social and political factors... (View More)

This curriculum uses an inquiry-based Earth system science approach, and leverages Project BudBurst, a citizen science phenology project, to engage students in authentic research on plant and ecosystem responses to climate change. Students collect... (View More)

This unit focuses on the impacts of climate change on humans. Students participate in activities using "Character Cards" (included with the unit). The cards introduce fictitious citizens who describe the local economic, social and political factors... (View More)

In this unit, students investigate temperature cycles, tree rings, CO2 records, and the effects of CO2 on temperature, precipitation and cloud cover to determine the impacts of changing climate on forests. After gathering and analyzing local data,... (View More)

This unit focuses on local plant species; students learn to identify common species and will examine their life cycle characteristics as evidence of climate change. Through the use of the national citizen science project titled Project BudBurst,... (View More)

Students are introduced to the carbon cycle through discussion, modeling and a game. Students then complete activities and investigations on Greenhouse gasses, photosynthesis, cellular respiration and ecosystem services (functions and values of... (View More)

This unit consists of two parts, each with several activities which require students to participate in investigations, discussions, computer data analysis, role-playing, and research. In Part 1, students examine the roles of Earth's energy balance... (View More)

Students will use the law of reflection to reflect a laser beam off multiple mirrors to hit a sticker in a shoebox. Since X-ray telescopes must use grazing angles to collect X-rays, students will design layouts with the largest possible angles of... (View More)

In this science-based storybook, students Anita, Simon, and Dennis want to know why the sky isn't always blue. They learn that there's a lot more than air in the atmosphere, which can affect the colors we see in the sky. Four activities accompany... (View More)

This image from the Hubble Space Telescope reveals a panorama of turbulent star birth, located close enough to Earth that Hubble can resolve individual stars. The star factory resides 170,000 light-years away in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a small... (View More)

Keywords: Star formation
Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

Students will explore Earth's magnetic field using a dipole magnet and compass, and then build a model of Earth's ring current and use it to observe a magnetic field’s response to a fluctuating electric current in this hands-on investigation of... (View More)

Keywords: Magnetism
Audience: High school
Materials Cost: $5 - $10 per group of students

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)

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: 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... (View More)

Keywords: Language arts

In this lesson plan 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... (View More)

Keywords: Careers

In this lesson plan 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... (View More)

Keywords: Careers

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)

This is an activity 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 are archived and available... (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 activity 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 are archived and available... (View More)

This is an activity 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 are archived and available... (View More)

This is an activity 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 are archived and available... (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 is an activity 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 are archived and available... (View More)

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)

This activity includes a presentation with links to videos about scientists and engineers working with NASA's Global Precipitation Measurement Mission (from the Faces of GPM series), as well as other STEM careers videos, followed by a number of... (View More)

Keywords: Careers
Audience: Middle school, High school, Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

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)

Learners will create a flip book that shows solar flares erupting from the Sun. This activity is from the DIY Sun Science app and is for ages 7 and up.

Learners will use hot and cold water to see how fluids at different temperature move around in convection currents. This activity is from the DIY Sun Science app and is for ages 10 and up.

Learners will build a magnetometer, an instrument that can measure slight changes in Earth’s magnetic field that are caused by solar storms. This activity is from the DIY Sun Science app and is for ages 13 and up.

Learners will build a solar oven and use it to bake s’mores. This activity is from the DIY Sun Science app and is for ages 10 and up. It requires a bright sunny day.

If you’ve ever seen a picture of a solar eclipse, you may have noticed that the Moon comes very close to covering the entire Sun. Learners will use a coin and a plate to investigate why the Sun and Moon look like they’re the same size, though... (View More)

Learners will use candy pieces and a cookie to make an accurate model of the Sun that they can eat. This activity is from the DIY Sun Science app and is for ages 7 and up.

Learners will make a Sun tracker to explore how ancient civilizations around the world studied the Sun. This activity is from the DIY Sun Science app and is for ages 7 and up. It requires a bright sunny day.

Learners will make scale models of the Sun and Earth out of paper mache. This activity is from the DIY Sun Science app and is for ages 10 and up.

This iOS app for iPhone, iPad and iTouch, allows families and educators to investigate and learn about the Sun at home, at school, or anywhere. It provides 13 free, easy to use, hands-on activities, plus live images of the Sun from NASA's SDO... (View More)

Learners will use thermometers and a lamp to investigate why some places on Earth’s surface are much hotter than others. This activity is from the DIY Sun Science app and is for ages 10 and up.

On a bright, sunny day, learners will use tonic water to detect ultraviolet (UV) light from the Sun. This activity is from the DIY Sun Science app and is for ages 7 and up

Learners will use binoculars or a telescope to identify and track sunspots. This activity is from the DIY Sun Science app and is for ages 10 and up. It requires a bright sunny day.

Learners will make a pinhole viewer, and use it to measure the Sun’s size. This activity is from the DIY Sun Science app and is for ages 10 and up. It requires a bright sunny day.

Learners will make a prism to separate sunlight into different colors. This activity is from the DIY Sun Science app and is for ages 10 and up. It requires a bright sunny day.

SciJinks is a joint NASA/NOAA educational website targeting middle school-aged children and their educators. It explores weather and Earth science through articles, videos, images, and games.

This article describes a citizen science project, Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network (CoCoRaHS). Participants take and report daily measurements of precipitation at their location. SciJinks is a joint NASA/NOAA educational website... (View More)

Keywords: Meteorology
Audience: Middle school, Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

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)

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)

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)

The role of satellites in monitoring sun activity- and the impacts of that activity on Earth's weather- is examined in this short video. SciJinks is a joint NASA/NOAA educational website targeting middle school-aged children and their educators. It... (View More)

Keywords: Meteorology
Audience: Middle school, Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

This project engages students in the science and engineering processes used by NASA Astrobiologists as they explore our Solar System and try to answer the compelling question, "Are we Alone?" Students will identify science mission goals and select... (View More)

This series of laboratory lessons and activities uses authentic solar imagery and data to introduce students to solar science. Students are asked to explore details in imagery, including how to deal with the issues of noise and resolution, and... (View More)

Keywords: Solar activity; Spectra
Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

In this lesson, students will conduct labs to investigate three drivers of climate change: adding atmospheric greenhouse gases, melting glacial ice, and decreasing sea ice. Students, working in groups, will conduct experiments, connect them to... (View More)

The theme of this unit is the development of an imaginary mission to the asteroid Vesta. It also introduces teachers and students to the Vesta Mappers citizen scientist project, which is part of the CosmoQuest online community. The unit is designed... (View More)

This IQuest allows students to explore weather and climate concepts through a tour of related websites and videos. Students will examine NASA's role in both gathering weather and climate data and monitoring the changes to each that are occurring... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

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 right here on Earth to build context, students explore interactions... (View More)

This is an activity about planning a planetary mission. Learners will play a card game to design a mission to Mars. This game will allow them to experience the fundamentals of the engineering design process as they use collaboration and... (View More)

Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

This is a make-it-yourself planisphere designed to show where Kepler is pointing. Learners can use it to locate exoplanets around stars in the night sky. It comes with two wheels: one with coordinate grid for plotting additional exoplanet stars and... (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)

This activity is about planetary rovers. Learners will simulate the challenges in communications that engineers face when driving a rover on Mars. They will particpate as part of a rover team to design and execute a series of commands that will... (View More)

This activity focuses on the relationship between science of looking for life and the tools, on vehicles such as the Mars Rover, that make it possible. Learners will create their own models of a Mars rover. They determine what tools would be... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

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 a poster about radiation in space. Learners can read about the Van Allen belts and how NASA's Van Allen Probes are investigating the influence of the Sun's energy on Earth. The activity version also includes math problems, a vocabulary... (View More)

This is an activity about similarities and differences between the Earth and Mars. Learners will investigate how Mars compares to the Earth, working together to create an Earth-Mars Comparison Poster to post in the program facility/library and share... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

This is an activity about spacecraft design. Teams of learners will model how scientists and engineers design and build spacecraft to collect, store, and transmit data to earth. Teams will design a system to store and transmit topographic data of... (View More)

This website features a range of interactive games, hands-on projects and fun facts about Earth, the Sun, our Solar System and Space.

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

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

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

Air traffic (and therefore airplane contrails) was halted nationwide for nearly three days following September 11, 2001. Students will investigate whether that stoppage resulted in any changes to cloud cover, temperature and/or radiation. Using the... (View More)

This is a set of two improv-style activites that encourage participants to participate in learning about living and nonliving things. Learners will get to know each other through an icebreaker activity and state their ideas and previous experience... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

This is a lithograph about NASA's Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission, or MMS. Learners will cut out and assemble a colorful 3D model of an MMS spacecraft. Web links, additional facts, and QR codes are included for audiences to access more information.

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

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 activity examines the relationship between carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere and chlorophyll-a measurements in a watershed. Students analyze and compare two Excel plots-one showing carbon dioxide data values from the Keeling Curve and the... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

This is an activity about size and scale. Learners will construct a 3-D model 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.... (View More)

This article describes how NASA radar studying rainfall can also teach us about bird migration. Includes an activity for building your own birdseed wreath. Targeted for children ages 10-12.

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

Using the MY NASA DATA Live Access Server (LAS), students gather data on both solar radiation and surface temperature for two same-latitude locations. Students then create online graphs of that data to allow for analysis and comparison. This lesson... (View More)

This is an activity about the requirements of life. Learners will explore what living things need to survive and thrive by creating and caring for a garden plot (outdoors where appropriate) or a container garden (indoors) at the program facility.... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

In this activity, participants choose a science story theme from a provided list and provide parts of speech as indicated. The program inserts the words into the story script, produces a completed story and provides related science facts. The... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

This is a software package about space weather: what it is and what it does in space and here on Earth. The disc includes software that displays movies and images of the aurora and of the Sun in various wavelengths from the ground and from orbiting... (View More)

This is an activity about rockets. Learners will research facts about Atlas V rockets, which will launch the MMS satellites. After, they will compute the speed of the launch rocket, given a data chart of time vs. distance from lift-off. Then, they... (View More)

This activity focuses on how the search for life on Mars is portrayed in fiction and videos. Learners will consider depictions of Mars from science fiction books and video clips. As a group, children discuss what they know about Mars and compare... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

Using the 5E instructional model, students discover the value of using color maps to visualize data. The activity requires students to create a color map of the ozone hole from Dobson data values derived from the Aura satellite. Students then... (View More)

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 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)

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