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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)

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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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

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

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 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

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 satellite flight. Learners will first watch a video about the orbit and formation of the MMS satellites to learn about their flight configuration. After, they will research similar facts about other types of satellites.... (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

This is an activity about visual analysis. Learners will create art inspired by planetary images while learning to recognize the geology on planetary surfaces. This presentation and accompanying activity uses the elements of art - shape, line,... (View More)

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 light and color. The lesson includes a demonstration to show why the sky is blue and why sunsets and sunrises are orange. Participants will use scientific practices to investigate answers to questions involving the color of... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

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 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)

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)

Participants will experiment with ultraviolet light sensitive plastic beads, which are generally white but turn colors when exposed to UV light. Participants are informed about the nature and risks of UV light and are asked to be the scientist to... (View More)

This is an activity about solar energy. Learners will first use computers to research and learn how solar panels convert sunlight into electricity. Next, they will calculate the surface area of solar panels board a satellite and their total power... (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 a culminating activity for the MMS Mission Educator's Instructional Guide. Learners should complete the four previous activities in the guide before moving to this activity. Learners will choose and complete three activities about the MMS... (View More)

This activity is about viewing the planet Mars (and others) through a telescope. Learners will go outside on a clear evening to view the planets and other celestial bodies for themselves. Using sky charts and other resources, and possibly in... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

This is a set of three activities about how scientists study other worlds. Learners will explore and compare the features of Mars and Earth, discuss what the features suggest about the history of Mars, and create a model to help them understand how... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

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 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 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

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)

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 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)

This is an activity about ultraviolet light. Participants will experiment with ultraviolet light sensitive plastic beads, which are generally white but turn colors when exposed to UV light. Participants are informed about the nature and risks of UV... (View More)

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)

In this activity, students will watch a short video on the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission, learn about the parts of the satellite, and then construct their own edible model of GPM. This lesson uses the 5E instructional model and is... (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 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)

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 16-page booklet illustrates multiple NASA sources that allow educators to incorporate real Earth science data and images in their teaching and programs. Sample resources as well as firsthand accounts of how these are being used in the classroom... (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 is an activity about using models to solve a problem. Learners will use a previously constructed model of the MMS satellite to determine if the centrifugal force of the rotating MMS model is sufficient to push the satellite's antennae outward,... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

This is a lesson about the size and scale of planets in the solar system. Learners will kinesthetically model the order of the planets outward from the sun. Then they will use a string and beads to create a model to represent the relative distances... (View More)

This is a lesson about size and scale of the solar system. Learners will review the structure, content and size of the Solar System. This lesson is designed using the 5E instructional model and includes: teacher training, unit pacing guides,... (View More)

This is a kick-off activity about the solar system and Jupiter. Learners will discuss what they know, work in teams to read about the Sun, eight planets, asteroid belt, and the dwarf planet, Pluto. They use their knowledge to create a poster about... (View More)

Keywords: Jupiter

This is a lesson about the size and scale of the planets in the solar system. Learners will help create and then navigate an outdoor course of the traditional planets (including dwarf planet Pluto), which are represented by small common objects. By... (View More)

Learners and their families are encouraged to go outside on a clear evening and view the sky to see the planets for themselves. Using sky charts and other resources, and possibly in partnership with a local astronomical society, children navigate... (View More)

Learners will build edible models of Jupiter and Earth to compare their sizes and illustrate their internal layers. They discuss how the Juno mission will infer details about Jupiter's interior by measuring its gravity field and magnetic field. This... (View More)

This is a series of seven brief activities about Jupiter's atmosphere and weather. Learners will look at Jupiter's distinct banded appearance, violent storms, and clouds of many different colors. The activities are part of Explore! Jupiter's Family... (View More)

Keywords: Jupiter

This is an activity about the interiors of planets. Leaners will investigate the composition of unseen materials using a variety of tools - a process that mimics how scientists discover clues about the interiors of planets with cameras and other... (View More)

Keywords: Jupiter

This is an activity about magnetic fields. Learners will study magnetic fields at four separate stations: examining magnetic fields generated by everyday items, mapping out a magnetic field using a compass, creating models of Earth's and Jupiter's... (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)

Learners will explore Jupiter's origins through three stories. First, they model their own lifetimes by tying knots in lengths of yarn to represent key events in their pasts. Then, children listen to and act out a cultural origins story, such as the... (View More)

Learners will weigh themselves on scales modified to represent their weights on other worlds to explore the concept of gravity and its relationship to weight. They consider how their weights would be the highest of all the planets while standing on... (View More)

Keywords: Jupiter; Mass; Weight

This is a demonstration about the density of the planets. Learners will compare the relative sizes and masses of scale models of the planets as represented by fruits and other foods. They will then dunk the "planets" in water to highlight the fact... (View More)

Learners will shrink the scale of the solar system to the size of their neighborhood and compare the relative sizes of scale models of the planets, two dwarf planets, and a comet as represented by fruits and other foods. This activity requires... (View More)

Keywords: Jupiter

Learners will model the gravitational fields of planets on a flexible surface. Children place and move balls of different sizes and densities on a plastic sheet to develop a mental picture of how the mass of an object influences how much effect it... (View More)

Keywords: Jupiter; Gravity

In this concluding activity, children create a scrapbook or poster display documenting their trips to Jupiter. Learners will use their "My Trip to Jupiter" journals and select common craft items to represent the characteristics of each aspect or... (View More)

Keywords: Jupiter

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 a collection of outreach resources about the Sun that are meant to be used in informal education settings. This toolkit was originally designed for NASA Night Sky Network member clubs and the Astronomical Society of the Pacific's Astronomy... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

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)

The importance of rainforests to Earth's biodiversity, climate and production of rainforest products is discussed in this textbook chapter. Includes an interview with an Amazonian rainforest scientist, a discussion of the competing perspectives of... (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)

NASA scientist, Neil Gehrels, serves as your guide to this online lesson on gamma ray tools, which focuses on advances in detector technologies since the 1980s that have enabled us to capture and image high-energy phenomena. Dr. Gehrels explains... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

The H-R diagram is a scatter graph of stars, a plot of stellar absolute magnitude or luminosity versus temperature or stellar classification. It is an important astronomical tool for understanding how stars evolve over time. Stellar evolution cannot... (View More)

Keywords: Stellar evolution
Audience: High school, Higher education
Materials Cost: Free

This is a 15-day unit of inquiry-based lessons about the surface features of the Moon and the Earth and how these two worlds formed and continue to evolve. Students participate in real science as they help lunar scientists map the surface of the... (View More)

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)

This is an activity about albedo, which is a measurement of the reflectance of a planetary surface. Learners will classify areas on an image in terms of albedo values and then sketch their own portion of an image from space. These sketches are... (View More)

In this activity, students use multiwavelength images of stars in different stages of evolution to investigate how the initial masses of the protostars determines their evolutionary paths. Images include stellar nurseries, protostars, supernova... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

This is a challenge-based activity set designed to have students explore and research the Magnetospheric MultiScale Mission (MMS). Students will explore the purpose and relevance of the mission as well as the scientific methodologies. Activities... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

This is a reading strategy guide in a series of guides that utilizes articles from the Great Explorations in Math and Science (GEMS) program. These strategy guides provide teachers of middle school students with a reading strategy (in this case,... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

This is a reading strategy guide in a series of guides that utilizes articles from the Great Explorations in Math and Science (GEMS) program. These strategy guides provide teachers of middle school students with a reading strategy (in this case,... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

This is a reading strategy guide in a series of guides that utilizes articles from the Great Explorations in Math and Science (GEMS) program. These strategy guides provide teachers of middle school students with a reading strategy (in this case,... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

This is a reading strategy guide in a series of guides that utilizes articles from the Great Explorations in Math and Science (GEMS) program. These strategy guides provide teachers of middle school students with a reading strategy (in this case,... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

This is a reading strategy guide in a series of guides that utilizes articles from the Great Explorations in Math and Science (GEMS) program. These strategy guides provide teachers of middle school students with a reading strategy (in this case,... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

This is a reading strategy guide in a series of guides that utilizes articles from the Great Explorations in Math and Science (GEMS) program. These strategy guides provide teachers of middle school students with a reading strategy (in this case,... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

This is a lesson about statistics in science as it applies to the measurement of dust in space. Learners will be introduced to the concepts of error analysis, including standard deviation. They will apply the knowledge of averages (means), standard... (View More)

This is a lesson about using light to identify the composition of an object. Learners will use a spectrograph to gather data about light sources. Using the data they’ve collected, students are able to make comparisons between different light... (View More)

This is a lesson about planetary atmospheres. Learners will interpret real spectral graphs from missions to determine what some of Earth, Venus, and Mars’ atmosphere is composed of and then mathematically compare the amount of the greenhouse gas,... (View More)

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