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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 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 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 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

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 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 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)

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)

In this lesson, 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 generated in various... (View More)

This is the culminating lesson in the MMS Mission Educator's Instructional Guide. Learners will choose and complete three activities about the MMS mission. Activity formats can include creating videos, composing songs, developing written materials,... (View More)

In this lesson, 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. Next, learners will compute the... (View More)

This textbook chapter makes the case for preserving desert old growth forests, and endangered species. The captive breeding program for the black-footed ferret is presented as a case study. Students learn about conservation practices they can do,... (View More)

This textbook chapter presents a real case study involving the the logging of an old stand forest from three perspectives, that of the environmentalists, the wood products industry, and a politician. An associated writing activity engages students... (View More)

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)

Students will learn about how human activity impacts Earth's climate through reading a NASA press release and viewing a NASA eClips™ video segment. Then students will examine simple mathematical models that predict changes in the Earth system in... (View More)

Keywords: Linear equations
Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

This is a book about the importance of the Sun's energy as it relates to its impact on the Earth’s environment. Learners will read or listen to a story about a young boy, Joshua, who finds out that the Sun provides the Earth with energy in the... (View More)

This is an activity about seasons. Learners compare the seasons though identifying seasonal activities and drawing scenes in each season. Then, they compare the temperature on thermometers left under a lamp for different lengths of time to explore... (View More)

This is a book about seasons. Learners will read or listen to a story about two twins, Matt and Matilda, who are tasked with creating a model of the Earth-Sun system for a science fair project. Through some wild seasonal changes they experience... (View More)

This is a lesson about the electromagnetic spectrum. Learners will read two pages of information about the electromagnetic spectrum and answer questions in an accompanying worksheet. This activity is from the Stanford Solar Center's All About the... (View More)

Using a set of activities, recommendations, and diagrams, participants will construct a fully functional Space Weather Action Center (SWAC) for use in a classroom. Students will access, analyze, and record NASA satellite and observatory data to... (View More)

In this lesson, students create a fictional narrative on the beginning of time. They use their scientific knowledge of the Big Bang Theory and go back into time to when it occurred so they can make observations about it. Students can select from... (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)

This is an activity about magnetism and magnetic forces. Learners will explore objects to which a magnet is attracted or repelled and record information in a learning log. Additionally, learners will identify magnetic devices or phenomena they... (View More)

Audience: High school

In this activity, students will research weather proverbs, analyze the scientific validity of three weather proverbs and present their reasoning in an essay. As an extension, students may survey 15 senior citizens to determine most frequently heard... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

Learners will read about missions to asteroids and comets, consider the measurements and math required for the robotic spacecraft to visit these objects, and are invited to finish the story themselves. The provided extension explains how to use a... (View More)

In this activity, students identify habitats in Arizona, define and illustrate a food web in a kinesthetic exercise, and explain the importance of biodiversity in a writing assignment. Required materials include a ball of yarn or string. The... (View More)

This is an activity about what individuals already know about the Sun. Learners will brainstorm and share with the group their prior knowledge about the Sun. This is Activity 1 of the Sun As a Star afterschool curriculum.

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

This is a lesson about the phenomenon of ice and about scientific inquiry. Learners will ask scientific questions about ice, will delve into the nature of science, embark upon scientific inquiry, and will practice scientific enterprise. Activities... (View More)

This is a detailed lesson about space and how Earth fits in it. Learners will consider the essential question, "What is space?" Activities include small group miming, speaking, drawing, and/or writing about space and the evidence for ice in space.... (View More)

This is a lesson about habitable planets. Learners will discuss what they know about the astronomical conditions of the planets they have found in earlier lessons and what they still need to know in order to determine if they are habitable to... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

This is an activity about the declining strength of Earth's magnetic field. Learners will review a graph of magnetic field intensity and calculate the amount by which the field has changed its intensity in the last century, the rate of change of its... (View More)

Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

This is a summative activity about magnets. Learners will observe a demonstration of the action of a magnet on a test tube of iron filings, answer questions, and, using the concepts learned in previous activities, write an essay about their... (View More)

This is an article about the color of the sky. Learners will read about and discuss the colors of the day- and night-time skies. They may sing the Top-down Black and Blues, a song about the sky; or they may write a poem, essay, or song about the... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

This is a lesson about the Cassini mission to Saturn. Learners will create their Saturn Discovery Logs. They will use the Saturn Discovery Log to chronicle their journey of discovery about Saturn and Cassini through nonfiction writing. For their... (View More)

This is a lesson about Saturn. Learners will complete one or more poems about Saturn using descriptive words. As a pre-writing activity, students generate a word list from books they have heard and read and images they have seen and created. With... (View More)

This is a lesson about Saturn. Learners will organize their knowledge of Saturn and Cassini to prepare to write one of the following types of nonfiction for their final piece: descriptive (poetry), compare and contrast, or summary. This is lesson 11... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school
Materials Cost: Free

In this concluding activity, learners will use notes from an earlier lesson to write a nonfiction piece about Saturn or Cassini. These final projects provide a way for children with varying learning styles to consolidate and share their learning.... (View More)

This is a lesson about the size of the Earth and Saturn. Learners will compare the sizes of Saturn and Earth by making to-scale illustrations. Students also label and caption their illustrations using scientific language. This is lesson 3 of 10 in... (View More)

This is a lesson about distances in space. Learners will create an outdoor, to-scale model of the distances between the Sun, Earth, and Saturn. Next you will conduct a guided walk to Saturn - which gives students an understanding of how far away... (View More)

This is a lesson about the Cassini Spacecraft. Learners will engage in basic problem-solving as they design and construct their own small model of a spacecraft. Through writing and illustration, students will document their work and will complete a... (View More)

This is a lesson about Saturn. Learners will use drawing and writing to explore the comparative features of Saturn and Earth. To scaffold student writing, the lesson includes a drawing activity, a brainstorming activity, a structured Cloze activity,... (View More)

This is a lesson about spacecraft design. Learners will hear the NASA solutions to the problems they wrote about lesson 6. They will then write a nonfiction piece comparing their spacecraft to Cassini, and share their writing with the class. This... (View More)

This is a lesson about Saturn's rings. Learners will create a three-dimensional model of Saturn and its rings. The model will show the particle nature and structure of the rings. Students also write about the model in this lesson. With the aid of a... (View More)

This lesson is about Saturn's largest moon, Titan. Learners will listen to a narrative "told" by the Huygens probe, entitled Memoirs of a Spacecraft. Visualization and drawing are used as motivators to enhance comprehension and to get students... (View More)

This is a lesson about Saturn's largest moon, Titan. Learners will examine and sort through images of Saturn's varied moons to see characteristics they share and those which set them apart. Students will write a paragraph about Saturn’s moons and... (View More)

This is a lesson about Saturn. Learners will create a multilayered book with diagrams of Saturn showing its various layers, ring system, and many moons. To enhance background information on Saturn, students will practice listening to informational... (View More)

This activity is about the study of planetary samples. Learners will use samples of crustal material to sort, classify, and make observations about an unknown planet. From their observations, students will interpret the geologic history of their... (View More)

This is an activity about identifying and comparing the Earth’s seasons. Learners will write paragraphs depicting scenes or events that have recognizable season-related elements, without revealing the intended name. The group will then play a game... (View More)

This is an activity about misconceptions relating to seasons. Learners will answer survey questions which specifically assess common misconceptions regarding the seasons, and learners are also encouraged to give the same survey questions to friends... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free per group of students

This is a lesson about the effects of large impacts. Learners will use critical thinking skills to evaluate and apply data from a narrative to a scientific selection process, will demonstrate or visualize simulations of some of the effects of a huge... (View More)

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