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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

Carl Sagan once claimed that the most important lesson we learn from studying the stars is perspective. To address this concept, this activity offers a scale model of the solar system to be evaluated. There are many versions of solar system scale... (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 web-based curriculum focuses on basic introductory astronomy concepts. The material is presented through interactive exercises, animations, and videos. Adopters can choose any combination of the ten chapters for a particular class. Each chapter... (View More)

Audience: Higher education

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)

Students read and analyze two different articles about medical imaging using X-rays. This activity is from the NuSTAR Educators Guide: X-Rays on Earth and from Space, which focuses on the science and engineering design of NASA's NuSTAR mission. The... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

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)

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... (View More)

Keywords: Language arts

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 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)

NuSTAR has a 10-meter rigid mast that separates the optics from the detector. Inspired by this, students will design, test, and build a lightweight mast 1 meter tall that can fully support the weight of a typical hardcover textbook (~2 kg). The... (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)

Students are tasked with virtually designing a spacecraft to withstand the harsh environment of the Van Allen Radiation belts- the location of many communication, GPS and weather satellites. The details of the challenge, along with videos on... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

Students read and analyze four different articles about the NuSTAR mission discoveries regarding black holes. This activity is from the NuSTAR Educators Guide: X-Rays on Earth and from Space, which focuses on the science and engineering design of... (View More)

Keywords: Reading
Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

Students begin this activity by building a model of Earth’s magnetic field using a bar magnet to show Earth’s Ring current (the magnetic field which is in opposition to Earth’s magnetic field). Using this model, students will then observe the... (View More)

Keywords: Magnetism
Audience: High school
Materials Cost: $10 - $20 per group of students

This Science On a Sphere video and docent show (script and playlist), explores factors that render Earth habitable and influence Earth's energy budget. The video gives an overview of NASA's Search for "Goldilocks Planets" - planets that are not too... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

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)

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)

Cosmology is an enormous field and the number of educational resources can be a bit overwhelming. This annotated guide includes a sampling of non-technical materials – online and in print - that Astronomy 101 instructors around the U.S. have been... (View More)

Keywords: Cosmology
Audience: Higher education
Materials Cost: Free

The discovery and characterization of exoplanets is one of the most exciting and fast-changing areas in modern astronomical research. This annotated guide includes a wide range of materials, both online and in print, that astronomy instructors and... (View More)

Audience: Higher 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)

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)

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)

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 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

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

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)

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

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 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 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 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

As science extension activities, this book of problems introduces students to mapping the shape of the Milky Way galaxy, and how to identify the various kinds of galaxies in our universe. Students also learn about the shapes and sizes of other... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

This is an activity about color. Participants will use scientific practices to investigate answers to questions involving the color of the sky, sunsets, the Sun, and oceans. This activity requires use of a clear acrylic or glass container to hold... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

This is a set of instructions for building a physical model. The model simulates the Sun's paths across the sky at summer solstice, winter solstice, and the spring and fall equinoxes. A bead simulates the Sun, moving along a cord, from rising along... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

Learners will read or listen to a story about two sisters, Marisol and Sofia, as they explore the Sun's role in the water cycle. Additionally, numerous extension resources are included in the accompanying educator guide, such as suggestions for... (View More)

This collection of activities is based on a weekly series of space science mathematics problems distributed during the 2012-2013 school year. They were intended for students looking for additional challenges in the math and physical science... (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

The PlanetQuest Observing Cards are designed to give telescope operators and other interpreters a new way of explaining the night sky. Relating common observing objects to our search for exoplanets makes these spectacular sights more understandable.... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

This is an activity about how much atmospheric pressure is needed on Mars to maintain surface water and why it does not have surface water today. Learners will use a computer interactive to learn about Mars past and present before exploring the... (View More)

Keywords: Triple Point; Climate

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 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)

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)

This activity is a short engineering design challenge to be completed by individual students or small teams. A real-world problem is presented, designing buildings for hurricane-prone areas, but in a simulated way that works in a classroom, after... (View More)

These guides showcase education and public outreach resources from across more than 20 NASA astrophysics missions and programs. The twelve guides - one for each month - contain a science topic, an interpretive story, a sky object to view with... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: 1 cent - $1 per student

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 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 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 investigation is based on the GISP2 H-core data collected in 1992 adjacent to the GISP2 Greenland summit drill site. Students examine the seasonal/annual nitrate record and use information from known volcanic eruptions to date the unique... (View More)

The emphasis of this lesson is deepening students' understanding of how and why we measure precipitation across the globe. Students will look at NASA Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) data gathered during hurricanes and how this data can... (View More)

In this kinesthetic activity, students will demonstrate how two spacecraft are able to document a space weather event across the Van Allen radiation belts better than one spacecraft can. Students will graph the data collected by one spacecraft and... (View More)

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

In this lab activity, students use simulation results and data available through the NASA Community Coordinated Modeling Center (CCMC) to explore the structure of the solar wind, its variation through the heliosphere. Participants will become... (View More)

Keywords: Solar wind
Audience: Higher education
Materials Cost: Free

This educator's guide assists teachers of middle school students with dyslexia by providing descriptions of reading accommodations that are also mapped to the GEMS Space Science Sequence for Grades 6-8 (GEMS SSS) curriculum materials. Having access... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

In this lesson students use climatograms from different U.S. locations to observe patterns in temperature and precipitation. After describing geographical features near these locations, they will use graphs to compare and find patterns in the... (View More)

Learners create art inspired by authentic NASA planetary image data while learning to recognize the geology on planetary surfaces, uniquely inspiring learner engagement. This presentation and accompanying activity use the elements of art - shape,... (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)

After reading aloud a text on life in extreme environments, students will discuss what life is and the requirements of life. Groups of students will conduct an experiment of their choosing on chia seeds to explore how extreme environments affect the... (View More)

Keywords: Mars; Literacy; Reading

In this lesson, students imagine Mars to be a future vacation destination, and will need to encourage people to come and visit. Students will create a scripted travel video or commercial, or construct a brochure or website to convince people to... (View More)

In this lesson, students will consider what it takes to live happily on Mars. They will consider what Mars is like, and describe things they would need to survive and thrive. This lesson is from “Red Planet: Read, Write, Explore!” which uses... (View More)

Keywords: Mars; Literacy; Reading
Audience: Elementary school

This lesson introduces students to Mars’ history through research and discussion. Students read about the history of Mars, Mars observing, and exploration with telescopes and robotic spacecraft. After learning about Mars, students consider how... (View More)

This lesson introduces students to Mars as we know it today. Using Google Earth/Mars and the recommended reading, students will compare and contrast Earth and Mars using graphic organizers. Includes background, separate student pages, and... (View More)

Unit three of the "Carbon Connections: The Carbon Cycle and the Science of Climate" curriculum examines the role of carbon and the carbon cycle in future climate. Students discover how scientists determine Earth's average temperature and the role of... (View More)

Unit two of the "Carbon Connections: The Carbon Cycle and the Science of Climate" curriculum examines the role of carbon and the carbon cycle in current climate. Students discover how carbon in Earth's system is monitored and also investigate the... (View More)

Unit one of the "Carbon Connections: The Carbon Cycle and the Science of Climate" curriculum introduces the role of carbon (as carbon dioxide) as an atmospheric indicator. Students examine the impact of geologic and climatic history on current... (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 visit a sequence of stations to discover how the dark and light areas and craters we see on the Moon's face today record major events of its lifetime. While they may visit the stations in any order, the stations trace the Moon's... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

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

This is an activity about the Moon's influence on Earth. Learners think like a scientist — with reasoning skills and a healthy amount of skepticism — to sort puzzle pieces containing statements about the Moon into two images. The "Far-out Far... (View More)

Learners read or listen to a cultural story describing a shape identified in the Moon's surface features. Then, they consider how the features formed over the Moon's 4.5-billion-year history and investigate Earth rocks that are similar. Children may... (View More)

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 way the moon interacts with sunlight. Learners consider a ball, wrapped in aluminum foil, and experiment with a flashlight to make it appear bright. The children compare the foil-wrapped ball to a Moon globe and... (View More)

This is an activity about the rotation of the Moon. Learners use a penny and a quarter to model that the Moon does indeed spin on its axis as it orbits the Earth. They find that the Moon keeps the same face toward the Earth, but receives... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

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 color images of the latest scientific data depicting the Moon's formation to create their own comic strips of our Moon's birth. The children use different-colored balls of Play-Doh® to model the impact between Earth and a small planet 4.5... (View More)

In this activity, community members of all ages are invited to contribute photographs — taken with cell phones, film cameras, or more sophisticated equipment — of the Moon. The images are collected over the course of a month or more and posted... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

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

Learners hear a story, song, or (silly or serious) poem that celebrates the Moon's different phases. They recreate the shapes of the lunar phases using the frosting from Oreo® cookies, and then they place them in correct order to reveal the... (View More)

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