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This project engages students in the science and engineering processes used by NASA Astrobiologists as they explore our Solar System and try to answer the compelling question, "Are we Alone?" Students will identify science mission goals and select... (View More) an astrobiologically significant target of interest: Mars, Europa, Enceladus or Titan. Students will then design their mission to this target in search of their chosen biosignature(s). Students will encounter the same considerations and challenges facing NASA scientists and engineers as they search for life in our Solar System. Students will need to balance the return of their science data with engineering limitations such as power, mass and budget. Risk factors play a role and will add to the excitement in this interactive science and engineering activity. Astrobiobound! will help students see how science and systems engineering are integrated to achieve a focused scientific goal. Includes an alignment document for NGSS and Common Core State Standards. (View Less)
This is an activity about planning a planetary mission. Learners will play a card game to design a mission to Mars. This game will allow them to experience the fundamentals of the engineering design process as they use collaboration and... (View More) problem-solving skills to develop a mission that meets constraints (budget, mass, power) and criteria (significant science return). This activity can introduce many activities in technology education, including robotics and rocketry. The lesson models scientific inquiry using the 5E instructional model and includes teacher notes, vocabulary, student journal and reading. (View Less)
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.
"Build It Yourself: Satellite!" is an online Flash game hosted on the James Webb Space Telescope website. The goal of the game is to explain the decision-making process of satellite design. The user can choose to build a "small," "medium," or... (View More) "large" astronomy satellite. The user then selects science goals, wavelength, instruments, and optics. The satellite is then launched on the appropriate rocket (shown via an animation). Finally, the user is shown what their satellite might look like, as well as what kind of data it might collect, via examples from similar real-life satellites. Satellites range from small X-ray missions without optics (like the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer) to large missions with segmented mirrors (like the James Webb Space Telescope). (View Less)
Students confront the challenge of improving global agricultural production in order to feed increasingly larger populations. Students evaluate tables, maps, graphs, photos and satellite images detailing global population growth patterns and... (View More) agricultural production levels in order to formulate recommendations. The role of technology is examined throughout. This investigation includes two activities: 1. Students form six teams representing major world regions to consider the need for increasing agricultural production; 2. Students conduct a case study of Mozambique and conclude by distributing and defending monetary investments for possible agricultural production increases. The URL opens to the investigation directory, with links to teacher and student materials, lesson extensions, resources, teaching tips, and assessment strategies. This is Investigation 3 of three found in the Grades 9-12 Module 2 of Mission Geography. The Mission Geography curriculum integrates data and images from NASA missions with the National Geography Standards. Each of the three investigations in Module 2, while related, can be done independently. (View Less)