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The nature of technology  
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Elementary school  
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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 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)

This is an activity about keeping astronauts safe from debris in space. Learners will investigate the relationship between mass, speed, velocity, and kinetic energy in order to select the best material to be used on a space suit. They will apply an... (View More)

This is an activity about using solar arrays to provide power to the space station. Learners will solve a scenario-based problem by calculating surface areas and determining the amount of power or electricity the solar arrays can create. This is... (View More)

This is an activity about structures in space. 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... (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 become familiar with and use the engineering design process to sketch a reasonable drawing of the rover that will be built. The lesson uses the 5E instructional model and includes: TEKS Details (Texas Standards alignment), Essential... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school
Materials Cost: Free

In this engineering challenge, student teams are introduced to the engineering design process, and then construct and test an earthquake-resistant structure. The lesson plan includes teacher support, student worksheets, multimedia assets, and links... (View More)

This is a series of three webpages about how humans and computers communicate. Learners will explore the binary and hexidecimal systems and how engineers use them to translate spacecraft data into images.

This is a game about data compression. Learners will use virtual foam balls to explore the different compression methods (lossless, lossy, and superchannel) used by the Earth Observing 3 mission.