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Topics/Subjects:
The nature of technology  
Instructional Strategies:
Cues, questions, and advanced organizers  
Hands-on learning  
Materials Cost:
$1 - $5  
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In this activity, learners select the scientific instruments for their satellite, calculate the power requirements for all the subsystems, and construct a scale model of their very own Earth observing satellite using building blocks and/or Legos.... (View More)

This is a lesson about how to answer a scientific or engineering question. Learners will refine the scientific question they generated in Lesson 5 so that it can be answered by data and/or modeling, brainstorm possible solutions for the scientific... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: $1 - $5 per group of students

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)

Learners will simulate the experience of operating a rover on Mars, by giving specific commands to construct a Lego model with their partners. This will introduce students to the fundamental communication skills necessary for successful robotic... (View More)

Learners will collaboratively design and build a descent and landing system for an egg. The students will also practice their writing skills by writing a letter or article about the success or failure of their spacecraft design. This is lesson 15 of... (View More)

This is a lesson about the Cassini Spacecraft. Learners will engage in basic problem-solving as they design and construct their own small model of a spacecraft. Through writing and illustration, students will document their work and will complete a... (View More)

This is a lesson about spacecraft design. Learners will use the information learned in previous lessons, combined with their own creativity and problem-solving skills, to design and test a parachuting probe that will withstand a fall from a high... (View More)

This is a lesson about designing and building an effective sunshade for a model MESSENGER craft. Learners will build a model of MESSENGER. They will use a scientific approach to solve problems and work as a cooperative team. They will discover their... (View More)

This is a activity about applying the scientific method to a design challenge. Learners will design and build a platform that will be placed on a heat source. The platform is expected to serve as an insulator for a cube of gelatin. The goal is to... (View More)

This activity is about planetary rovers. By designing the FIDO (Field Integrated Design and Operations) & Athena Long-Range Rover, learners will be able to identify instrumentation aboard the rover and then create and explain the instrumentation on... (View More)

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