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This activity is a short engineering design challenge to be completed by individual students or small teams. A real-world problem is presented, designing buildings for hurricane-prone areas, but in a simulated way that works in a classroom, after... (View More) school club, or informal education setting. Students are given simple materials and design requirements, and must plan and build a tower as tall as possible that will hold up a tennis ball while resisting the force of wind from a fan. After the towers are built, the group comes together to test them. If there is time after testing, which can be observational or framed as a contest between teams, students can redesign their towers to improve their performance, or simply discuss what worked well and what didn’t in their designs. (View Less)
This activity allows participants to build a paper model of the GPM Core Observatory and learn about the technology the satellite uses to measure precipitation from space. Directions explain how to cut, fold and glue the individual pieces together... (View More) to make the model. The accompanying information sheet has details about the systems in the satellite including the Dual-frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR), the GPM Microwave Imager (GMI), the High Gain Antenna, avionics and star trackers, propulsion system and solar array, as well as a math connection and additional engineering challenges. (View Less)
Learners will take and then compare the images taken by a camera - to learn about focal length (and its effects on field of view), resolution, and ultimately how cameras take close-up pictures of far away objects. Finally, they will apply this... (View More) knowledge to the images of comet Tempel 1 taken by two different spacecraft with three different cameras, in this case Deep Impact and those expected/obtained from Stardust-NExT. This lesson could easily be adapted for use with other NASA missions. (View Less)
This activity uses an episode of poor air quality over the Midwest and Eastern seaboard to engage students in an exploration of the collection, comparison, analysis and utilization of air quality data. With the aid of a camera, the EPA website and... (View More) Google Earth, students will determine local visibility. Students will also interpret images taken with the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument aboard both the Terra and Aqua satellites to distinguish between three aerosols-smoke, dust and haze. Then students will then find online satellite images of the local area to determine aerosol types and possible sources. Four lesson extensions are included. (View Less)
This short video (4:44) helps audiences understand and appreciate the importance of measuring precipitation globally. The role of the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission to better understand, model and predict where and when too much... (View More) rainfall will occur (resulting in floods and landslides) and where too little rain will fall (resulting in droughts) is examined. (View Less)
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)
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) for students to conduct Web-based investigations. Authentic assessments, a multiple choice test, and rubrics are included. This is an optional extension activity associated with the resource, Flight Mission Challenge: Improving Earthquake Monitoring, a 3 part, multiple-day Earth science and engineering investigation. (View Less)
This is a math-science integrated unit about spectrographs. Learners will find and calculate the angle that light is transmitted through a holographic diffraction grating using trigonometry. After finding this angle, the students will build their... (View More) own spectrographs in groups and research and design a ground or space-based mission using their creation. After the project is complete, student groups will present to the class on their trials, tribulations, and findings during this process. The activity is part of Project Spectra, a science and engineering program for middle-high school students, focusing on how light is used to explore the Solar System. (View Less)
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.