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Physical sciences  
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Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes  
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Learners design and build an airbag system that can safely land an egg dropped onto the floor. Includes challenge video, leader notes, and handouts. Two supplemental videos are included: 1) An airbag landing system in action as a NASA rover lands on... (View More)

Learners design, build, and improve a model that mimics gravity-assisted space travel. The design solution enables a steel ball (spacecraft) to roll past a magnet (force exerted by a planet), which will alter its direction in order to hit a... (View More)

Learners design and build a device that can pass above a surface and detect magnetic fields. The video shows kids using the engineering design process, applying a variety of science concepts (e.g., force, magnetic fields, mapping), and learning... (View More)

Students will test various materials to determine if any can shield their "magnetometer" (compass) from an external magnetic field using their own experimental design. If no suitable material is available, they will devise another method to protect... (View More)

Using water to represent the atmosphere and milk droplets to represent aerosols, students make predictions and conduct investigations to discover how different aerosol concentrations affect atmospheric color and visibility. This lesson is one of... (View More)

Keywords: Aerosols

Through the use of prisms and glue sticks, this activity introduces students to a fundamental property of light: white light is made up of colors representing different wavelengths. Students use the results of the activity to explain the variation... (View More)

Students are tasked with virtually designing a spacecraft to withstand the harsh environment of the Van Allen Radiation belts- the location of many communication, GPS and weather satellites. The details of the challenge, along with videos on... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

The effects of gravity on near-surface objects and those in Earth orbit are explored in this activity. A brief explanation, links to three related videos, a teacher's guide and short assessment are included.

Keywords: Gravity
Audience: Elementary school, Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

In this activity, children use common craft materials and ultraviolet (UV)-sensitive beads to construct a person (or dog or imaginary creature). They use sunscreen, foil, paper, and more to test materials that might protect UV Kid from being exposed... (View More)

Become a crime scene investigator! Learners model Dawn Mission scientists, engineers, and technologists and how they use instrumentation to detect distant worlds. After a briefing to build context, students explore interactions between different... (View More)

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