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This resource highlights a few of the many women who have impacted STEM fields- through important explorations, discoveries and/or contributions. It includes first-hand stories, a resource guide, and downloadable posters and postcards.

Keywords: Careers; Women in STEM
Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

Invisible Mars is a Science on a Sphere (SOS) and planetarium program that examines the story of water on Mars. NASA’s MAVEN mission (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission) is providing new information about the atmosphere of Mars and its... (View More)

Using different perspectives- the unaided eye, a magnifying lens, and a satellite- provides different information. Children make observations of common objects- along with images of butterflies, the Mississippi River, a fire in the Colorado Black... (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

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)

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)

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 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)

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)

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)

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 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 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

Students combine science and systems engineering to develop a mission to search for life in our solar system. The mission must meet budgetary, mass and power constraints while still producing significant science. An extensive set of "equipment... (View More)

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 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)

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 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)

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)

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)

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)

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

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

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)

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 create edible models of the interior composition of the Earth and Moon. Common food items are used to construct the cores, mantles, and crusts of both planetary objects. They then compare their structure as they are eating their models.... (View More)

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

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

Audience: Informal education

This is an activity about 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 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 lesson includes a demonstration to show why the sky is blue and why sunsets and sunrises are orange. Learners will use scientific practices to investigate answers to questions involving the color of the sky, sunsets, the Sun, and oceans.... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

Students build background knowledge about black holes and active galaxies before taking on the roles of reporters to share information about a new NASA discovery. Students watch a simulated press briefing, gather notes, determine their target... (View More)

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 some... (View More)

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 Side"... (View More)

This is an activity about the history of the Solar System. Learners work in groups to determine the order of geologic events - such as the formation of the Moon and when the bright crater of Tycho formed - and arrange images depicting those events... (View More)

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

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)

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)

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 water, a strong flashlight,... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

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

Students will use NASA's Global Climate Change website to research five of the key indicators (vital signs) of Earth’s climate health. These indicators are: global surface temperature, carbon dioxide concentrations, sea level, Arctic sea ice, and... (View More)

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 to help design new medicines. This is... (View More)

After creating a model of multiple volcanic lava flows, students analyze the layers, sequence the flows, and interpret the stratigraphy. Students use that same volcanic layering model to investigate relative dating and geologic mapping principles-... (View More)

This is a lesson that applys occultations to Saturn's Moon Enceladus. Learners will establish whether Saturn’s small moon, Enceladus, has an atmosphere, whether that atmosphere is over the entire planet, and what creates Saturn’s E-ring. The... (View More)

This activity's storyline is built around the real-life case study of Dr. Walt Meier, a Sea Ice Scientist from Boulder, Colorado. In the fictional story, the students of Churchill become concerned about wildlife in their region because polar bears... (View More)

Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

In this lesson about cosmic rays, students will describe why cosmic rays are dangerous to astronauts. Includes information about student preconceptions. This is activity 3 of 4 from The Cosmic Ray Telescope for the Effects of Radiation (CRaTER).

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

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 sources and make conjectures about the composition of a mystery light source. The... (View More)

This is an activity about detecting elements by using light. Learners will develop and apply methods to identify and interpret patterns to the identification of fingerprints. They look at fingerprints of their classmates, snowflakes, and finally... (View More)

Learners will look at various light sources (including glow sticks and Christmas lights) and make conjectures about their composition. The activity is part of Project Spectra, a science and engineering program for middle-high school students,... (View More)

Learners will use data from the Student Dust Counter (SDC) Data Viewer to establish any trends in the distribution of dust in the solar system. Students record the number of dust particles, or hits, recorded by the instrument and the average mass of... (View More)

Learners will investigate, discuss, and determine why humans have always explored the world (and now space) around them. Students determine these reasons for exploration through a class discussion. In the first activity, students use the Internet to... (View More)

Learners will investigate, compare, and describe patterns in Solar System data. They will then hypothesize about the formation of the Solar System based on data and explain how extrasolar planets can be discovered. In the first activity, the... (View More)

Audience: High school

Learners will investigate how much you can learn about something just by looking at it. In Activity 1, students study aerial photographs to identify geologic features, determine how they differ from one another, and examine the processes involved in... (View More)

The goal of this lesson is for students to understand how to plan a mission to another world in the solar system. They begin by discussing the path of a spacecraft traveling between planets, examining the journey from the Earth to Mars as an... (View More)

This series of curriculum support materials explores how our understanding of the nature of the universe has changed during the past 100 years. Students examine the process of science through the stories of the people and the discoveries that caused... (View More)

Keywords: History of science
Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

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

In this lesson, students identify and describe unfamiliar scientist heroes who contributed to the field of science until the year 1929. Students create a T-square graphic organizer about a specific group of women scientists of the Harvard College... (View More)

In this lesson, students consider observations and inferences to determine the support for each of two theories on the origin of the universe: Steady State and Big Bang. Working with partners, students draw from a set of Evidence cards (master is... (View More)

Students utilize two reading strategies that can be used to understand the Cosmic Times materials, as well as other readings that may be challenging to them. The first strategy, called Talking to the Text, is an independent strategy in which the... (View More)

In this lesson, students explore a discrepent event by designing experiments to test either what makes a "come-back can" return (a can that when you roll away from you, always returns) or UV beads change color. This activity should come either near... (View More)

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

Students predict the next discoveries that will shape our understanding of the nature of the expanding universe as they write the 100th anniversary edition of Cosmic Times. This lesson is part of the Cosmic Times teachers guide and is intended to be... (View More)

The goal of this lesson is for two groups of students to exchange information (e.g., through poster presentations, Podcasts, debates, or PowerPoint presentations) about how two different theories explain a natural phenomenon: Newton's Law of... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

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

Audience: Middle school

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

Audience: Middle school

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

Learners will investigate the reason for seasons on Earth. They will look at the circular orbit of Earth, year-long temperature and daylight hours across different latitudes, compare models of the Earth with and without tilt, investigate angle and... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

Learners will construct a model to show the relative size and scale of the Sun-Earth system, investigate the visible and electromagnetic spectrums, discuss solar flares and solar weather, develop a UV shield, and discuss the results of their... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

This is the first chapter of Meteorology: An Educator's Resource for Inquiry-based Learning, Grades 5-9. The chapter begins with a short history of meteorology, and grounds classroom exploration of meteorological concepts through a discussion of... (View More)

In this science literacy extension students read and analyze two different articles about XMM-Newton discoveries involving neutron stars and their magnetic fields. This is Activity 4 of the Supernova Guide developed by the XMM-Newton and GLAST E/PO... (View More)

Using weather data from both satellite and ground-based observations, this lesson challenges students to select a site location for a hypothetical mountain retreat. Students must determine and then justify a building site after gathering, graphing... (View More)

Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

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

Student teams explore atmospheric aerosols, dust, and fires and their impact on the Earth's albedo using NASA Earth Observations (NEO) website. This is an extension activity in the student learning activity guide accompanying the GLOBE Earth System... (View More)

In this activity, student teams explore connections between parts of the Earth system, by examining a time series of environmental data maps. Each team examines a single variable displayed on a global data map, and identify the unit of measure, the... (View More)

In this activity, student teams conduct a quantitative exploration of the connections between parts of the Earth system, through examination of a time series of environmental data maps. By investigating the connections between environmental data,... (View More)

In this learning activity, students compare changes in insolation with changes in surface temperature in the polar regions using scientific visualizations of global data sets. Links to readings related to the shrinking ice cap and albedo are... (View More)

In this activity, student teams explore the connections between parts of the Earth system by examining a time series of environmental data maps. Each student teams examines images for two variables and determines if there is a direct or inversely... (View More)

In this activity, student teams explore the connections between parts of the Earth system by examining a time series of environmental data maps. They observe that the environment is the result of the interplay among many processes that take place on... (View More)

In this activity, students analyze regions of sea ice using data and ImageJ software. They measure ice mass and calculate effective albedo, and plot changes in solar energy and water/ice cover percentages. This is part 4 of a four-part activity on... (View More)

In this activity, student teams explore connections between parts of the Earth system, by examining a time series of environmental data maps. By examining scientific visualizations of a data pair in two time slices, they will see that the... (View More)

Learners will use the results of previous lessons in this guide to write a scientific proposal to explore another planet or moon in our solar system for signs of life. This proposal should predict the types of energy and nutrients available to... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

This is a lesson about the evidence for life on other planets. Learners will play a game to examine processes in cellular metabolism and explore both direct and indirect evidence for fingerprints of life. Includes teacher notes, learning objectives,... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

These two posters represent visual data collected from satellites, ground based observations, and model predictions representing solar energy, average temperature, cloud cover, precipitation, soil moisture and vegetation over 12 month periods in... (View More)

This activity has two purposes: challenge the learner to develop a procedure for investigating a research question and to learn more about factors affecting the dynamics of air in motion. It demonstrates that warm air and cold air differ in weight... (View More)

This is a lesson about the formation of glaciers, ice layering and stratigraphy, and the cryosphere and cryobotics. Learners will collect evidence of layering, explore the science story that layering tells, study snow and ice for insights into... (View More)

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