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Elementary school  
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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)

Learners will construct a mock-up of a planetary surface rover. They begin by exploring the importance of engineering in our society, and work as a team to build a prototype of the team's rover using student science notebooks and team sketches as a... (View More)

In this activity, 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 the Moon and then analyze... (View More)

Learners will simulate the challenges in communications that engineers face when operating a Mars rover from Earth. They will participate as part of a rover team to design and execute a series of commands that will guide a rover (comprised of four... (View More)

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

The activity introduces students to aspects of the atmosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and litho/geosphere and how they are interrelated. It is designed to promote an interest in authentic investigations of Earth using images acquired by astronauts... (View More)

In this activity, learners replicate the scientific processes of observing, forming an explanation, revising and communicating about a model of a comet. Learners construct a model of features of a comet using an assortment of common craft supplies.... (View More)

Learners will use direct vocabulary instruction to learn the new definitions of planet, dwarf planet, and asteroid. The publicity generated by the International Astronomical Union's definition of Pluto as a dwarf planet in 2006 created a teachable... (View More)

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

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)

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