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This is an annotated, topical list of science fiction novels and stories based on more or less accurate astronomy and physics ideas. Learners can read fictional works that involve asteroids, astronomers, black holes, comets, space travel where... (View More) Einstein's ideas are used correctly, exploding stars, etc. (View Less)
This is a set of three, one-page problems about the size and area of solar panels used to generate power. Learners will will use integer arithmetic to tally the number of hydrogen, oxygen and carbon atoms in a molecule and determine the number of... (View More) methane atoms that can result. Options are presented so that students may learn about how NASA is using signs of methane gas to search for life on other planets, such as Mars, through a NASA press release or about how astrobiologists who are looking for life beyond Earth are using spectroscopy to identify methane plumes on Mars by viewing a NASA eClips™ video [7 min]. Common Core State Standards for Mathematics and English Language Arts are identified. This activity is part of the Space Math multi-media modules that integrate NASA press releases, NASA archival video, and mathematics problems targeted at specific math standards commonly encountered in middle school. (View Less)
This is a lesson about how to answer a scientific or engineering question. Learners will refine the scientific question they generated in Lesson 5 so that it can be answered by data and/or modeling, brainstorm possible solutions for the scientific... (View More) question chosen, determine reasonableness of solutions, use concept maps to enhance meaningful learning. The lesson uses the 5E instructional model and includes: TEKS Details (Texas Standards alignment), Essential Question, Science Notebook, Vocabulary Definitions for Students, Vocabulary Definitions for Teachers, two Vocabulary Cards, and a concept map supplement. This is lesson 6 of the Mars Rover Celebration Unit, a six week long curriculum. (View Less)
This is an assessment activity for the The Cosmic Ray Telescope for the Effects of Radiation (CRaTER) educational kit. Learners will make a poster that explains possible origins of cosmic rays, how they affect people, and what protects us here on... (View More) Earth. Alternately, they will make a poster describing CRaTER’s goal and how it works. (View Less)
In this lesson about cosmic rays, students will describe why cosmic rays are dangerous to astronauts. Includes information about student preconceptions. This is activity 3 of 4 from "The Cosmic Ray Telescope for the Effects of Radiation (CRaTER)."
This is a graphic novel about NASA's search for life in the universe. It tells the story of some of the most important people and events that have shaped the NASA Exobiology and Astrobiology science.
This is a lesson about using analogues to look for life on other planets. Learners will use the results of previous lessons to write a scientific proposal to explore another planet or moon in our solar system for signs of life. This proposal should... (View More) predict the types of energy and nutrients available to sustain life and describe equipment and instruments necessary for exploration and characterization of the target environment. This is activity 4, the capstone activity, in Exploring Deep-Subsurface Life. Earth Analogues for Possible Life on Mars: Lessons and Activities. (View Less)
This activity is related to the discovery of water ice on Mars. Learners are provided with a global map showing where the presumed water ice is located and use it as context for analyzing and interpreting images taken with the Thermal Emission... (View More) Imaging System (THEMIS) aboard the Mars Odyssey spacecraft. They will use the water ice maps to interpret the geology of the regions on Mars and evaluate the prospects for exploring these regions in the future. A teacher guide and a student guide are available. This is an extension of the "Mars Image Analysis Activity" and is activity 5 of 5 in Buried Water Ice on Mars. (View Less)
This is a lesson about the categorization of the three domains of life on Earth and how they relate to the study of astrobiology. Learners will explore, compare, discuss, and explain the basic differences between organisms assigned to the... (View More) eukaryotic, bacterial, and archaeal domains. Topics in astrobiology are explored through projects, vocabulary reinforcement, and drawing assignments. Includes teacher notes, learning objectives, and assessment of prior knowledge and preconceptions. This is Lesson 1 in Exploring Deep-Subsurface Life. Earth Analogues for Possible Life on Mars: Lessons and Activities. (View Less)
This is an activity about the discovery of water ice on Mars and involves the use of remote sensing data. Through a Socratic dialogue, learners will analyze three different kinds of data collected by Mars spacecraft to investigate the composition... (View More) and distribution of ices at the high latitude regions of Mars. An extension activity is available in which students use an online simulation illustrating how gamma rays can be used to determine the composition of the Martian surface. This is activity 2 of 5 in Buried Water Ice on Mars. (View Less)