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The nature of technology  
Educational Level:
Elementary school  
Learning Time:
2 to 4 hours  
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This lesson plan teaches how to select the landing site for a planetary surface investigation, using the 5E learning cycle. Students will be able to determine a landing site for their Mars rover; work with their team to summarize information and... (View More)

This lesson plan uses the 5E learning cycle and is designed around an essential question: How do I know when I’ve found important information in my reading? Learning objectives include: identify important details in informational texts; learn and... (View More)

This lesson plan uses the 5E learning cycle and is designed around an essential question: Why is the method you chose for landing your Rover on Mars the best one for your mission? The lesson objectives include: examine different methods for landing... (View More)

This lesson introduces students to Mars’ history through research and discussion. Students read about the history of Mars, Mars observing, and exploration with telescopes and robotic spacecraft. After learning about Mars, students consider how... (View More)

Learners will construct a mock-up of a planetary surface rover. They begin by exploring the importance of engineering in our society, and work as a team to build a prototype of the team's rover using student science notebooks and team sketches as a... (View More)

Learners will rotate through three stations where they investigate probes and rovers to learn how they are built, learn about the propulsion, navigation, controls and daily handling of spacecraft, gather, and analyze data from multiple sources on... (View More)

Learners will construct two different types of trusses to develop an understanding of engineering design for truss structures and the role of shapes in the strength of structures. For optimum completion - this activity should span 3 class periods to... (View More)

The goal of this lesson is for students to understand how to plan a mission to another world in the solar system. They begin by discussing the path of a spacecraft traveling between planets, examining the journey from the Earth to Mars as an... (View More)

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 space. Requires the books "Me on the Map" by Joan Sweeney and... (View More)

Remote sensing, using Thermal Infrared Multispectral Scanner (TIMS) data, has lead to the discovery of previously unknown roads in the canyon area of New Mexico once occupied by the Anasazi culture. Students will use those images, along with maps... (View More)