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Engineering and technology  
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This is a lesson about robotic exploration of the solar system. Learners will explore the difference between natural and artificial satellites and use images taken by robotic spacecraft and telescopes to gain an understanding of the Earth's place in... (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)

In this learning activity, students create a 3D model of part of their local landscape, then make a series of observations from different directions. Using the bird's eye view, they translate the 3D model into a 2D map with a scale and key, and... (View More)

This is an activity about the Kepler space telescope. Learners will make a paper model of Kepler. Ideas for use include hanging all models in a display case that also houses student work. Note: the activity includes updated information about the... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: $1 - $5 per group of students

In this activity, students experiment to test the hypothesis that Mars was once hotter. The activity requires some advance preparation by the teacher: the day before the activity, need to place a plastic bottle filled with water in the freezer.... (View More)

This is a activity about applying the scientific method to a design challenge. Learners will design and build a platform that will be placed on a heat source. The platform is expected to serve as an insulator for a cube of gelatin. The goal is to... (View More)

This is a lesson about designing and building an effective sunshade for a model MESSENGER craft. Learners will build a model of MESSENGER. They will use a scientific approach to solve problems and work as a cooperative team. They will discover their... (View More)

This is a lesson about the Cassini mission to Saturn. Learners will create their Saturn Discovery Logs. They will use the Saturn Discovery Log to chronicle their journey of discovery about Saturn and Cassini through nonfiction writing. For their... (View More)

This is a lesson about spacecraft design. Learners will use the information learned in previous lessons, combined with their own creativity and problem-solving skills, to design and test a parachuting probe that will withstand a fall from a high... (View More)

This is a lesson about the Cassini Spacecraft. Learners will engage in basic problem-solving as they design and construct their own small model of a spacecraft. Through writing and illustration, students will document their work and will complete a... (View More)