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Informal education  
Elementary school  
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Students are introduced to classification through progressive activities. Initially, the teacher models the task by classifying buttons. Students then devise a classification scheme for paper clips. Subsequent activities use objects brought from... (View More)

Keywords: Classification

In this activity, students research scientific discoveries that happened by accident in the past, and learn how gamma-rays were discovered by 20th century scientists. In the process, students develop an understanding that science theories change in... (View More)

This lesson examines the different roles scientists play in discoveries. Students will research various satellites and their uses. In addition, they will explore the different careers associated with the development of satellites, as well as, the... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school, Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

This is a lesson about designing and building an effective sunshade for a model MESSENGER craft. Learners will build a model of MESSENGER. They will use a scientific approach to solve problems and work as a cooperative team. They will discover their... (View More)

This is a activity about applying the scientific method to a design challenge. Learners will design and build a platform that will be placed on a heat source. The platform is expected to serve as an insulator for a cube of gelatin. The goal is to... (View More)

In this activity, students simulate how light collected from a space object converts into binary data and reconverts into an image of the object. A pencil and paper activity demonstrates how astronomical spacecraft and computers create images of... (View More)

This activity is about the discovery of water ice on Mars. Learners will record and graph temperature data and use a model of an ice-rich and ice-free surface on Mars to examine how ice content in the martian soil would impact the temperature of a... (View More)

This is a lesson about the search for life on Mars. Learners will participate in three activities. In the first activity (Imaginary Martians) learners will compare a fictional organism with what they know about life on Mars today. In the second... (View More)

Using remote control cars and other materials, learners will simulate the experience of trying to operate a planetary rover and working as a team to address challenges and meet a common goal. Student information sheets and worksheets as well as... (View More)

This investigation requires students to locate several major U.S. cities using four different sources: an outline map, a nighttime lights image, an atlas map, and a space shuttle image. After analyzing and comparing the information from those... (View More)