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Learners will take and then compare the images taken by a camera - to learn about focal length (and its effects on field of view), resolution, and ultimately how cameras take close-up pictures of far away objects. Finally, they will apply this... (View More) knowledge to the images of comet Tempel 1 taken by two different spacecraft with three different cameras, in this case Deep Impact and those expected/obtained from Stardust-NExT. This lesson could easily be adapted for use with other NASA missions. (View Less)
This activity uses an episode of poor air quality over the Midwest and Eastern seaboard to engage students in an exploration of the collection, comparison, analysis and utilization of air quality data. With the aid of a camera, the EPA website and... (View More) Google Earth, students will determine local visibility. Students will also interpret images taken with the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument aboard both the Terra and Aqua satellites to distinguish between three aerosols-smoke, dust and haze. Then students will then find online satellite images of the local area to determine aerosol types and possible sources. Four lesson extensions are included. (View Less)
This short video (4:44) helps audiences understand and appreciate the importance of measuring precipitation globally. The role of the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission to better understand, model and predict where and when too much... (View More) rainfall will occur (resulting in floods and landslides) and where too little rain will fall (resulting in droughts) is examined. (View Less)
This is an annotated, topical list of science fiction novels and stories based on more or less accurate astronomy and physics ideas. Learners can read fictional works that involve asteroids, astronomers, black holes, comets, space travel where... (View More) Einstein's ideas are used correctly, exploding stars, etc. (View Less)
In this engineering challenge, student teams are introduced to the engineering design process, and then construct and test an earthquake-resistant structure. The lesson plan includes teacher support, student worksheets, multimedia assets, and links... (View More) for students to conduct Web-based investigations. Authentic assessments, a multiple choice test, and rubrics are included. This is an optional extension activity associated with the resource, Flight Mission Challenge: Improving Earthquake Monitoring, a 3 part, multiple-day Earth science and engineering investigation. (View Less)
This is a math-science integrated unit about spectrographs. Learners will find and calculate the angle that light is transmitted through a holographic diffraction grating using trigonometry. After finding this angle, the students will build their... (View More) own spectrographs in groups and research and design a ground or space-based mission using their creation. After the project is complete, student groups will present to the class on their trials, tribulations, and findings during this process. The activity is part of Project Spectra, a science and engineering program for middle-high school students, focusing on how light is used to explore the Solar System. (View Less)
This is a series of three webpages about how humans and computers communicate. Learners will explore the binary and hexidecimal systems and how engineers use them to translate spacecraft data into images.
This is a game about data compression. Learners will use virtual foam balls to explore the different compression methods (lossless, lossy, and superchannel) used by the Earth Observing 3 mission.
"Build It Yourself: Satellite!" is an online Flash game hosted on the James Webb Space Telescope website. The goal of the game is to explain the decision-making process of satellite design. The user can choose to build a "small," "medium," or... (View More) "large" astronomy satellite. The user then selects science goals, wavelength, instruments, and optics. The satellite is then launched on the appropriate rocket (shown via an animation). Finally, the user is shown what their satellite might look like, as well as what kind of data it might collect, via examples from similar real-life satellites. Satellites range from small X-ray missions without optics (like the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer) to large missions with segmented mirrors (like the James Webb Space Telescope). (View Less)