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Each lesson or activity in this toolkit is related to NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). The toolkit is designed so that each lesson can be done independently, or combined and taught in a sequence. The Teacher Implementation Guide provides... (View More) recommendations for combining the lessons into three main strands: 1) Lunar Exploration. These lessons provide a basic introduction to Moon exploration. Note that this strand is also appropriate for use in social studies classes. 2) Mapping the Moon. These lessons provide a more in-depth understanding of Moon exploration through the use of scientific data and student inquiry. The lessons also include many connections to Earth science and geology. 3) Tools of Investigation. These higher-level lessons examine the role of technology, engineering and physics in collecting and analyzing data. (View Less)
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) necessary to help them better understand Mars (and something about life on Mars/its habitability). Then they work in teams to complete a design challenge where they incorporate these elements into their models, which must successfully complete a task. Teams may also work together to create a large-scale, lobby-sized version that may be put on display in the library to engage their community. The activity also includes specific tips for effectively engaging girls in STEM. This is activity 6 in Explore: Life on Mars? that was developed specifically for use in libraries. (View Less)
This is an activity designed to develop a working definition of life. Learners will conduct a simple experiment, looking for signs of life in three different "soil" samples. The experiment introduces children to the difficulty that scientists face... (View More) in defining life. By observing the soil samples, participants try to determine if any contain signs of life and work to identify, refine, and create a set of characteristics that may be used to identify living versus nonliving things. The activity concludes with the development of a group definition of life. This group definition will be referred to in subsequent activities. It also includes specific tips within each activity for effectively engaging girls in STEM. This is activity 1 in Explore: Life on Mars? that was developed specifically for use in libraries. (View Less)
This is a lithograph about NASA's Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission, or MMS. Learners will cut out and assemble a colorful 3D model of an MMS spacecraft. Web links, additional facts, and QR codes are included for audiences to access more information.
This is an activity about the requirements of life. Learners will explore what living things need to survive and thrive by creating and caring for a garden plot (outdoors where appropriate) or a container garden (indoors) at the program facility.... (View More) The garden will be used to beautify the facility with plant life with many planting and landscaping options provided. Children will consider the requirements of living things, compare the surface conditions on Mars to those found on Earth, view images/video of a NASA Astrobiology Institute "garden" where astrobiologists are studying life under extreme conditions, and consider the similarities and differences in the type of life that would be possible on Mars as compared to their garden on Earth. It also includes specific tips for effectively engaging girls in STEM. This is activity 3 in Explore: Life on Mars? that was developed specifically for use in libraries. (View Less)
The total amount of water on Earth, the places in which it is found and the percentages of fresh vs. salt are examined in this lesson. A short demonstration allows students to visualize the percentage differences and a coloring exercise illustrates... (View More) locations. This lesson uses the 5E instructional model. All background information, student worksheets and images/photographs/data are included in these downloadable sections: Teacher's Guide, Student Capture Sheet and PowerPoint Presentation. (View Less)
Intended for use prior to viewing the Science on a Sphere film "Water Falls," this lesson introduces students to Earth's water cycle and the importance of freshwater resources.
Intended for use after viewing the Science on a Sphere film "Water Falls," this lesson deepens student's understanding of global precipitation measurement. Students will explore NASA satellite data gathered during Hurricane Sandy to learn how that... (View More) data was essential in helping scientists forecast its path and precipitation amounts. All background information, student worksheets and images/photographs/data are included in these downloadable sections: Teacher’s Guide, Student Capture Sheet, Assessment and PowerPoint Presentation. (View Less)
This is an activity about light and color. The lesson includes a demonstration to show why the sky is blue and why sunsets and sunrises are orange. Participants will use scientific practices to investigate answers to questions involving the color of... (View More) the sky, sunsets, the Sun, and oceans. This activity requires use of a clear acrylic or glass container to hold water, a strong flashlight, batteries for the flashlight, and powdered creamer or milk. (View Less)