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This is an activity about the Signal-to-Noise Ratio. Learners will engage with a hands-on activity and an online interactive to understand the terms signal and noise as they relate to spacecraft communication; quantify noise using a given dataset;... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

Learners will be introduced to the concepts of error analysis, including standard deviation. They will apply the knowledge of averages (means), standard deviation from the mean, and error analysis to their own classroom distribution of heights. They... (View More)

This is an activity about detecting elements by using light. Learners will develop and apply methods to identify and interpret patterns to the identification of fingerprints. They look at fingerprints of their classmates, snowflakes, and finally... (View More)

Learners will explore the binary and hexidecimal systems and how engineers use them to translate spacecraft data into images.

Learners will explore spacecraft radio communications concepts, including the speed of light and the time-delay for signals sent to and from spacecraft. Learners measure the time it takes for a radio signal to travel to a spacecraft using the speed... (View More)

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

This is a collection of mathematical problems about transits in the solar system. Learners can work problems created to be authentic glimpses of modern science and engineering issues, often involving actual research data.

Keywords: Venus transit
Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

This is an activity about mission planning. Learners will use the roles of a navigation team, spacecraft, comet, Earth, and Sun to simulate how mission planners design a spacecraft/comet rendezvous. This activity requires at least four active... (View More)

Learners will use data from the Student Dust Counter (SDC) Data Viewer to establish any trends in the distribution of dust in the solar system. Students record the number of dust particles, or hits, recorded by the instrument and the average mass of... (View More)

Learners will relate the concept of density to the density of dust in space. They will use mission data from the Student Dust Counter (SDC) data viewer to determine the density of dust grains in a volume of space in order to answer questions... (View More)

In this lesson, students observe the surface of rotating potatoes to help them understand how astronomers can sometimes determine the shape of asteroids from variations in reflective brightness.