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The nature of technology  
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High school  
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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)

Students combine science and systems engineering to develop a mission to search for life in our solar system. The mission must meet budgetary, mass and power constraints while still producing significant science. An extensive set of "equipment... (View More)

In this game, students use the accompanying "playing cards" to plan a mission to Mars. The mission must produce significant science returns while also meeting several constraints such as budget, mass and power. The lesson is part of the Mars... (View More)

Learners will simulate the challenges in communications that engineers face when operating a Mars rover from Earth. They will participate as part of a rover team to design and execute a series of commands that will guide a rover (comprised of four... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school, Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

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)

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)

Audience: High school

Learners will explore the binary and hexidecimal systems and how engineers use them to translate spacecraft data into images.

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

Learners will explore how engineers minimize the use of fuel by utilizing gravity. In Activity 1, students explore the physical conservation laws by observing the behavior of balls colliding with other objects. In Activity 2, the students use an... (View More)

Audience: High school

Learners will investigate various ways to improve mission design to maximize the scientific return. In the first activity, students examine how the use of flowcharts can help make computer programs error-free and efficient, in this way making the... (View More)

Audience: High school
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