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This multi-phased learning package progresses from guided engineering to an open mission-design challenge. Each step is scaffolded and includes easy-to-implement teaching tools, lessons and art activities. Learners, working in collaborative teams,... (View More) build an O-Rex spacecraft model. The building process incorporates inventing, designing and engineering- leading to a deeper understanding of NASA mission work. A leader guide, instructions, templates and a YouTube video are included and accessed through the Related & Supplemental Resources. (View Less)
Explore the size relationship between the sun and Earth by using tape and stickers. Learners estimate, then place and count the number of one-inch diameter stickers (representing Earths) that would fit across the diameter of a nine-foot circle of... (View More) tape (representing the sun). The relative size of each becomes visually apparent. Related Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are listed. (View Less)
Using stickers created from the templates provided, students create a Venn diagram of objects in our solar system, our galaxy and the universe. This short activity can be used as a formative assessment.
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 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)
Students will use observation to make their own geologic map of the Moon’s Copernicus Crater. The students will identify crater features in a photogeologic image and use those observations to color their map with the appropriate geologic units.
Learners will read about missions to asteroids and comets, consider the measurements and math required for the robotic spacecraft to visit these objects, and are invited to finish the story themselves. The provided extension explains how to use a... (View More) K-W-L chart with the story and provides a glossary of terms. (View Less)
In this activity, students identify habitats in Arizona, define and illustrate a food web in a kinesthetic exercise, and explain the importance of biodiversity in a writing assignment. Required materials include a ball of yarn or string. The... (View More) resource includes two student worksheets, a data sheet, answer keys, and Web links. This is Lesson 1 in the unit on Biodiversity, part of IMAGERS, Interactive Media Adventures for Grade School Education using Remote Sensing. The website provides hands-on activities in the classroom supporting the science content in two interactive media books, The Adventures of Echo the Bat and Amelia the Pigeon. (View Less)
This is an activity about ellipses, their focal points, and how the mathematics involved pertains to planetary orbits. Learners will draw their own ellipse using a string and pencil and calculate the minimum and maximum distance from the Sun for... (View More) each of the planets. This activity requires access to the Space Weather software and is Solar System Activity 5 in a larger resource, titled Space Update. (View Less)
In this activity, students engage in an ongoing investigation to find patterns of sunlight and shadow in a classroom (or any room that gets sunlight) at different times of the day and different times of the year. Students look for repeating... (View More) patterns, keep a log to describe and sketch observations of when and where certain easily recognized patters appear and turn the room into a solar calendar that may survive into the future for other classes to use. Part 1 of this activity requires occasional note-taking and casual observation over the course of a day. Part 2 requires 30-60 minutes to create the calendar record, then casual observation and note-taking throughout the school year. The lesson plan includes a math extension activity and background information about the Sun Dagger at Chaco Canyon. This activity is the third lesson in the Ancient Eyes Look to the Skies curriculum guide. (View Less)