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This slide set focuses on the discovery of debris belts around Vega. It is one of a series of short, topical presentations on new developments from NASA astrophysics missions, relevant to introductory astronomy topics. These resources are intended... (View More) to help instructors include the latest discoveries (not yet in their textbooks) into their courses. The slide sets are constructed to be easily included as a lecture supplement including synopsis, references, and graphics. (View Less)
This unit investigates asteroids, comets, and meteoroids, focusing on Vesta, a prominent asteroid in the asteroid belt. The unit of eleven lessons culminates in having students use engineering practices to design, build, and test devices that will... (View More) land on Vesta, collect and separate natural resources found there, and deliver a payload to a target. Teachers and students are also introduced to the Asteroid Mappers-Vesta Edition citizen science project that is part of the CosmoQuest online community. Lessons include background information for educators, reviews and assessments, and links to supplemental videos and websites. Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and Common Core Standards are listed. (View Less)
This article describes the work being done by scientists to determine the origin of water found in Earth's oceans. A supplemental exploration of the Herschel Space Observatory is included. The article is targeted to children ages 10-12.
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 collection of activities is based on a weekly series of space science mathematics problems distributed during the 2012-2013 school year. They were intended for students looking for additional challenges in the math and physical science... (View More) curriculum in grades 5 through 12. The problems were created to be authentic glimpses of modern science and engineering issues, often involving actual research data. The problems were designed to be one-pagers with a Teacher’s Guide and Answer Key as a second page. (View Less)
This collection of 160 math problems covers the 20 science topic themes presented by the NASA/JPL Year of the Solar System (YOSS) website, covering the solar system, planets, the search for life, and robotics. Examples of topics included are: scale... (View More) of the solar system; asteroids; comets; moons and rings; volcanism in the solar system; ice in the solar system; water in the solar system; the Sun, transits and eclipses; astrobiology; magnetosphers and more. It is intended as a mathematics supplement for the science content presented at the YOSS website, and features grade-appropriate and Common Core State Standards-based math problems based on science content for grades 3-12. (View Less)
This science news story highlights Comet ISON's travels through our region of the solar system. Star Witness News is a series of articles, written for students, that are inspired by Hubble Space Telescope press releases. Supplemental education... (View More) materials include vocabulary, discussion questions and answers, and identifies relevant English language arts standards. (View Less)
Learners create art inspired by authentic NASA planetary image data while learning to recognize the geology on planetary surfaces, uniquely inspiring learner engagement. This presentation and accompanying activity use the elements of art - shape,... (View More) line, color, texture, value - to make sense of features in NASA images, honing observation skills and inspiring questions. It aligns with the NGSS cross-cutting concept of Patterns. Videos, images, and an interactive poster that breaks down activity elements deepen user access. (View Less)
This is an activity about asteroids. Learners will shape mashed potatoes into their own odd-shaped asteroids. They can then bake them in the oven to turn them (more or less) asteroid color, and eat them for dinner.
Learners will take and then compare the images taken by a camera - to learn about focal length (and its effects on field of view), resolution, and ultimately how cameras take close-up pictures of far away objects. Finally, they will apply this... (View More) knowledge to the images of comet Tempel 1 taken by two different spacecraft with three different cameras, in this case Deep Impact and those expected/obtained from Stardust-NExT. This lesson could easily be adapted for use with images from other NASA missions. (View Less)