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In this activity, students build a simple computer model to determine the black body surface temperature of planets in our solar system: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. Experiments altering the luminosity and... (View More)

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)

This activity is about planetary climate. Once familiar with the factors that determine a planet's surface temperature, learners will use an interactive spreadsheet model of a planet's atmosphere to determine if greenhouse gases, luminosity of the... (View More)

In this activity, student teams design and conduct a scientific investigation in which they explore the conditions necessary for life. They conduct observations of environmental conditions both indoor and outdoor, and determine the range of... (View More)

This is a lesson about the Genesis mission. Learners are provided background information about the Genesis mission and the three basic types of solar wind that are being detected by the Genesis Ion Monitor (GIM) and Genesis Electron Monitor (GEM).

Audience: High school

This experiment is about data collection. Learners will map out the actual placement of wafers on the Geneisis array and look at the finished array frames in order to identify patterns of wafer materials. Includes a teacher's guide and students... (View More)

This lesson is about cost limitations on mission design. Learners will be given a budget of $150,000 and an approved subcontractor list that has a listing of the materials and costs for construction. This is activity 6 of 7 in "Dynamic Design:... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

In this 2-part inquiry-based lesson, students conduct a literature search to determine the characteristics of the atmospheres of different planets (Venus, Mercury, Mars and Earth). After collecting and analyzing data, student teams design and... (View More)

In this kinesthetic activity, the concept of energy budget is strengthened as students conduct three simulations using play money as units of energy, and students serve as parts of a planetary radiation balance model. Students will determine the... (View More)

This is a design challenge about heat transfer and insulation. Learners will apply the scientific method to design and build a container that will keep items cool when placed in boiling water. They will practice collaboration in team-building and in... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Over $20 per group of students