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This is a lesson about the science supporting the design and operation of an ion propulsion engine. Learners will study the concepts of formation and discharge of charged particles, attractive and repulsive forces between charged particles, and the... (View More)

Audience: High school
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

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

Learners will demonstrate the size (volume) differences between Earth, Earth's Moon, and Mars. An extension is provided to estimate the distance between the Earth and the Moon, and the Earth and Mars, using the scale of the play dough planets'... (View More)

This is a lesson about society and space exploration. Learners will survey the public about their different opinions about space exploration and the use of robotics in space exploration. Then they will represent and analyze the results. This is... (View More)

This lesson is about robotic exploration. After reading and discussing the book "Touchdown Mars!," learners will work individually or in pairs to create their own Mars ABC book based on their current level of Mars knowledge. This is lesson 7 of 16... (View More)

This is a lesson about solar system exploration. Learners will understand that combining information gathered by a variety of robots gives us a more comprehensive understanding of our solar system. Learners will explore a planet made up of a... (View More)

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 a lesson about magnetism and solar flares. Learners will evaluate real solar data and images in order to calculate the energy and magnetic strength of a solar flare moving away from the Sun as a coronal mass ejection. This is Activity 3 in... (View More)

Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

Students explore how mathematical descriptions of the physical environment can be fine-tuned through testing using data. In this activity, student teams obtain satellite data measuring the Earth's albedo, and then input this data into a... (View More)