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Educational Level:
Middle school  
Instructional Strategies:
Cooperative learning  
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Instructor guide/manual  
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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)

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)

This activity is designed to introduce students to planetary geologic features and processes. First, students will use NASA satellite images to identify geologic surface features on the "Blue Marble" (Earth), and will explore the connection between... (View More)

This resource complements a planetarium experience. However, the accompanying educator's guide and companion guides - with lessons on observing and investigating the Moon - are available to download for independent classroom use. The hands-on... (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)

This activity deepens student understanding of the electromagnetic spectrum, enabling students to detect and consider wavelengths other than visible light. They learn how these other wavelengths can be used to "see" things we cannot see with our... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

The effects of volcanoes on both the environment and people are the focus of this investigation. Students are introduced to the term "buffer" and are tasked with creating a possible buffer zone around Mount St. Helens. Students begin by assigning 32... (View More)

This investigation uses three sources of information - images from space, a relief map, and a road map - to analyze the spatial distribution of human settlements. Students will use a nighttime image of the northeastern U.S. to reinforce spatial... (View More)

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