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This classic video explains the history, debate and continuing discussion of the definition of a planet.

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) frequencies/wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum and matter as they investigate the different ways scientists gather and understand remote sensing data, using Dawn instruments as examples. This module is organized around a learning cycle, engaging students through several experiences to activate students' prior knowledge and assess conceptual understanding, informing next steps. (View Less)

This activity is about planetary rovers. Learners will simulate the challenges in communications that engineers face when driving a rover on Mars. They will particpate as part of a rover team to design and execute a series of commands that will... (View More) guide a rover made of people through an obstacle course simulating the Martian surface. Students will learn the limitations of operating a planetary rover and problem solving solutions by using this simulation. The lesson models the engineering design process using the 5E instructional model and includes teacher notes, vocabulary, student journal and reading. (View Less)

This paper model shows the orbit of Comet ISON (late 2013) with respect to the innermost planets of the solar system. After reading background information about comets - how they form and where they come from - students cut out and tape together the... (View More) pieces of the model provided to show its orbital pathway (a single page of parts that can be assembled using just scissors and adhesive). Links are provided to related classroom activities and additional resources. (View Less)

This is a set of one-page problems about mass and power of spacecraft. Learners will use multi-step equations to solve several diverse problems. Options are presented so that students may learn about different types of power systems to generate... (View More) electricity through a NASA press release or by viewing a NASA eClips™ video [7 min]. Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for Mathematics and English Language Arts are identified. This activity is part of the Space Math multi-media modules that integrate NASA press releases, NASA archival video, and mathematics problems targeted at specific math standards commonly encountered in middle school. (View Less)

This is a set of one-page problems about distance craft travel on Mars. Learners will use the Pythagorean Theorem to determine distance between a series of hypothetical exploration sites within Gale Crater on Mars. Options are presented so that... (View More) students may learn about the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission through a NASA press release or by viewing a NASA eClips™ video [6 min]. Common Core State Standards for Mathematics and English Language Arts are identified. This activity is part of the Space Math multi-media modules that integrate NASA press releases, NASA archival video, and mathematics problems targeted at specific math standards commonly encountered in middle school. (View Less)

This is a set of one-page problems about the size of planets compared to Earth. Learners may use ratios to compare planets within our solar system or those outside of our solar system with the Earth. Options are presented so that students may learn... (View More) about the MESSENGER mission to Mercury through a NASA press release or by viewing a NASA eClips™ video [6 min]. Common Core State Standards for Mathematics and English Language Arts are identified. This activity is part of the Space Math multi-media modules that integrate NASA press releases, NASA archival video, and mathematics problems targeted at specific math standards commonly encountered in middle school. (View Less)

This 12-lesson unit includes inquiry-based lessons about the surface features of the Moon and the Earth and how these two worlds formed and continue to evolve. Students participate in real science as they help lunar scientists map the surface of the... (View More) Moon with MoonMappers, an online citizen science project that lets the public analyze real data from NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. The lessons in this unit follow the 5E instructional model. Includes an overview of citizen science, glossary of lunar feature vocabulary, alignment to NGSS and NSES, and featured links. Each of the lessons addresses different topics and can be used together as a unit, or independently. (View Less)

Learners will investigate how lateral velocity affects the orbit of a spacecraft such as the International Space Station (ISS). Mathematical extensions are provided. This is science activity 1 of 2 found in the ISS L.A.B.S. Educator Resource Guide.

Leaners will grow a sugar crystal and learn how this relates to growing protein crystals in space. The lack of gravity allows scientists on the space station to grow big, almost perfect crystals, which are used to help design new medicines. This is... (View More) science activity 2 of 2 found in the ISS L.A.B.S. Educator Resource Guide. (View Less)