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This is an activity about spacecraft design. Teams of learners will model how scientists and engineers design and build spacecraft to collect, store, and transmit data to earth. Teams will design a system to store and transmit topographic data of... (View More) the Moon and then analyze that data and compare it to data collected by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter . (View Less)
This activity is a short engineering design challenge to be completed by individual students or small teams. A real-world problem is presented, designing buildings for hurricane-prone areas, but in a simulated way that works in a classroom, after... (View More) school club, or informal education setting. Students are given simple materials and design requirements, and must plan and build a tower as tall as possible that will hold up a tennis ball while resisting the force of wind from a fan. After the towers are built, the group comes together to test them. If there is time after testing, which can be observational or framed as a contest between teams, students can redesign their towers to improve their performance, or simply discuss what worked well and what didn’t in their designs. (View Less)
This is a lesson about generating hypotheses and testable questions. Learners will use critical thinking and a collaborative approach to pose questions related to the study of Mars and evaluate the quality of their questions. They will explore... (View More) remote-sensing data collected by a camera orbiting Mars - the Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) and develop a team science question. Students will practice critical thinking skills, use a collaborative approach to this first critical step of the scientific process. Exploring the images of the surface of Mars in Visible (VIS) images, students will come up with a topic of study, their team science question and hypotheses. The lesson models scientific inquiry using the 5E instructional model and includes teacher notes and vocabulary. (View Less)
Learners will compare images of planets and select one planet to visit and tell the tale of their visit through a comic strip. This is activity 9 of 9 in Mars and Earth: Science Learning Activities for After School.
In this problem-based learning (PBL) scenario, students prepare a presentation for investors showing how their fishing company has a significant advantage because it locates upwelling zones and fishing areas using TRMM (Tropical Rainfall Measuring... (View More) Mission) and other satellite data. Prior to launching the PBL, students learn about wind: the topics of air pressure, coriolis effect, upwelling and the role of differential heating on the atmosphere are explored in classroom demonstrations. Materials required include a beaker, coffee grounds, drinking straw, balloon, flashlight, and turntable. The resource includes teacher background information, glossary, assessment rubric, and an appendix introducing problem-based learning. (View Less)