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Topics/Subjects:
The nature of technology  
Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes  
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Learners design and build an airbag system that can safely land an egg dropped from a height of 3' onto the floor. This resource includes a challenge video, leader notes, and handouts. Two supplemental videos are included: 1) An airbag landing... (View More)

Learners design and build a device that can take a core sample from a potato. This resource includes a challenge video, leader notes, and handouts. Two supplemental videos are included: 1) NASA's Curiosity rover drilling into a rock on Mars and... (View More)

In this hands-on engineering challenge, learners design, build, and improve a model that allows a moving object to change direction using an invisible force. Mimicking the gravity-assisted travel of the New Horizons spacecraft, learners roll a steel... (View More)

Learners design and build a device that can pass above a surface and detect magnetic fields. This resource includes a challenge video, leader notes, and handouts. Two supplemental videos are included: 1) Measuring Magnetic Fields and 2) NASA flight... (View More)

Learners design and build a robotic arm that can lift a cup off a table. This resource includes a challenge video, leader notes, and handouts. Two supplemental videos are also included: 1) NASA's Curiosity rover using its robotic arm to probe the... (View More)

The lithograph features illustrations, statistics and science goals of the James Webb Space Telescope. The accompanying classroom activity prompts students to use the images and text to generate questions about the telescope. Students then research... (View More)

Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

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)

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

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)

Become a crime scene investigator! Learners model Dawn Mission scientists, engineers, and technologists and how they use instrumentation to detect distant worlds. After a briefing to build context, students explore interactions between different... (View More)

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

This is an activity about 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

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

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 allows participants to build a paper model of the GPM Core Observatory and learn about the technology the satellite uses to measure precipitation from space. Directions explain how to cut, fold and glue the individual pieces together... (View More)

Students will design, build and then test a rain gauge to measure precipitation. By sharing their results, they will recognize the need for standardization and precision in scientific tools. All background information, student worksheets and... (View More)

Learners will review what they have learned about scientific and engineering investigation, construct a valid scientific question that can be answered by data and/or modeling, and choose an appropriate mission for their rover that will answer their... (View More)

Students will learn about the technology of cryogenics where engineers and scientists work with very cold gases and liquids. They will use a simple equation to convert from the Fahrenheit to the Celsius temperature scales and to the Kelvin scale... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

Learners will build an open spectrograph to calculate the angle the light is transmitted through a holographic diffraction grating. After finding the desired angles, the students will design their own spectrograph using the information learned. The... (View More)

This self-paced, interactive tutorial provides learners with an opportunity to learn about remote sensors, and the role remote-sensing instruments play in our understanding of the Earth system. Activities within the tutorial allow learners to... (View More)

This is a lesson about robotic exploration of the solar system. Learners will review what they know and what they would like to know, and then revisit their (KWL) chart throughout the MarsBots learning module. This is lesson 9 of 16 in the MarsBots... (View More)

Learners will gain an understanding of simple machines and how they may be used in our everyday lives. Students will also have an opportunity to design a Rube Goldberg Machine of their own. This is lesson 10 of 16 in the MarsBots robotics learning... (View More)

This is a lesson about programming and communications in space exploration. Learners will simulate sending commands to operate a robotic arm to complete a task. This is lesson 13 of 16 in the MarsBots robotics learning module.

Audience: Elementary school
Materials Cost: Free

This is a lesson about the variety of careers in space exploration. Learners will examine the want ads and discuss the types of jobs advertised, brainstorm ideas for careers of the future, and then write want-ads for a future paper. This is lesson... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school
Materials Cost: Free

This interactive, online activity asks learners to read information and tables to determine the correct sequence of events associated with servicing the Hubble Space Telescope. Students use the clues provided in the text and graphics to organize the... (View More)

In this lesson, learners will listen to a read-aloud of the history of Saturn discoveries. Next, they learn two reading comprehension strategies (visualizing and wondering) that they can use to become more powerful readers of nonfiction text.... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school
Materials Cost: Free

Learners will think like engineers as they are presented with problems that the NASA team faced when designing a spacecraft to travel to Saturn. Students work with partners to think of solutions to address those problems, and to use these ideas to... (View More)

This activity is about the Mars Pathfinder spacecraft. Using cardboard and other materials, learners will create a two dimensional model of the spacecraft. A diagram with approximate measures of each component is provided. Note: Find the latest... (View More)

In this activity serving as an introduction to remote sensing, students list what they remember seeing in a familiar environment, check their accuracy, and discuss the results. Then they apply their experiences and new skills to an unfamiliar... (View More)

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