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Learners will explore spacecraft radio communications concepts, including the speed of light and the time-delay for signals sent to and from spacecraft. Learners measure the time it takes for a radio signal to travel to a spacecraft using the speed... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: $1 - $5 per group of students

This is a unit in 7-8 sessions about objects outside of our solar system, including galaxies and the universe. Learners will investigate the contents of the universe, why light years are used to measure distances in space, the lifespan of a star,... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

Learners will construct a model to show the relative size and scale of the Sun-Earth system, investigate the visible and electromagnetic spectrums, discuss solar flares and solar weather, develop a UV shield, and discuss the results of their... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

In this introductory lesson, students will learn the basics of the aurora through small group discussions, reflection and reading. The lesson includes teacher notes and instructions, student workshops and an online, animated story, and related... (View More)

Keywords: Language arts
Audience: Elementary school, Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

This is a lesson/briefing about the Dawn mission and the significance of its ion propulsion system. Learners will consider cases of science fact versus science fictions, study the challenges of the Dawn mission, and apply the "History Frame"... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

In this activity, students research scientific discoveries that happened by accident in the past, and learn how gamma-rays were discovered by 20th century scientists. In the process, students develop an understanding that science theories change in... (View More)

This is a lesson about the path of one xenon ion through an ion propulsion engine. Learners will focus on what a single xenon ion sees and does as it goes through the reactions and processes that provide the ion jet propulsion engine's thrust. They... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

This activity is about Mars and the similarities and differences between Mars and Earth. Learners will compare physical properties of Earth to those of Mars and investigate images of features on Mars to try to find similar features in images of the... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school
Materials Cost: Free

Learners will research a past, present, or future mission to Mars and share their findings with the group. The group will then create an overall Mars exploration timeline. A script, links for background sources and suggested materials are available.... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school
Materials Cost: Free

This is an activity about the magnetic fields of the Sun and Earth, and the interplanetary magnetic field, or IMF. Learners will engage in a question and answer dialogue, make connections using bar magnet examples and overhead transparencies, and... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: $1 - $5 per group of students