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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)
The theme of this unit is the development of an imaginary mission to the asteroid Vesta. It also introduces teachers and students to the Vesta Mappers citizen scientist project, which is part of the CosmoQuest online community. The unit is designed... (View More) to be used in 50-minute periods over 13 days and lessons follow the 5E instructional model. Students will explore not only science content but science and engineering practices as well. An alignment is provided to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). (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 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)
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)
Learners will create a physical timeline of comet appearances in art and literature throughout history. Participants use a set of photos depicting comets in art images and science missions and place the images in chronological order, while learning... (View More) about the perceptions of comets during that time period. Note: Timeline cards that are needed to complete this activity can be found under the Related and Supplemental Resources links on the right side of this page. (View Less)
This activity is an interactive word find game with words related to comets and NASA's Comet Nucleus Sample Return mission. Accompanying text and pictures describe what comets are and why we are interested in them.