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Students will test various materials to determine if any can shield their "magnetometer" (compass) from an external magnetic field using their own experimental design. If no suitable material is available, they will devise another method to protect... (View More) their instrument. Includes background science for the teacher, worksheets, adaptations and extensions. Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are also identified. (View Less)
This science news story highlights a new initiative by the Hubble Space Telescope to image distant galaxies. The program uses gravitational lenses to image galaxies that are otherwise too distant and faint for the telescope to image. The story... (View More) includes information describing how gravitational lenses are similar to optical lenses. The article also includes a description of parallel fields - a set of observations done in tandem with the gravitational lens observations that will result in six additional HUDF-type observations of the sky. Star Witness News is a series of articles, written for students, that are inspired by Hubble Space Telescope press releases. Supplemental education materials include vocabulary, discussion questions and answers, and identifies relevant Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts. (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)
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) some aspects of our early understanding of Mars included fictitious ideas not based upon science and discuss the differences between science fiction and science fact. Students will illustrate a scene from Mars history with a paragraph description, and place their work along a clothesline in the classroom to create a timeline. This lesson is from “Red Planet: Read, Write, Explore!” which uses literacy, art, and creative expression as a vehicle for learning about Mars science and exploration. Includes alignment to Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for English Language Arts. (View Less)
In this lesson, learners will first use computers to research and learn how solar panels convert sunlight into electricity. Next, they will calculate the surface area of solar panels board a satellite and their total power generated in various... (View More) positions of the satellite, given the dimension of the panels. After, learners will organize and write a report summarizing the information about the MMS mission satellites. This activity requires student access to internet accessible computers. This is lesson four of the MMS Mission Educator's Instructional Guide, which uses examples from the mission to introduce mathematics (focusing on geometry) in a real-world context. The lessons use the 5E instructional cycle. Note: MMS launched March 12, 2015. For the latest science and news, visit the MMS Mission Website under Related & Supplemental Resources (right side of this page). (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.
Learners will investigate, discuss, and determine why humans have always explored the world (and now space) around them. Students determine these reasons for exploration through a class discussion. In the first activity, students use the Internet to... (View More) examine the characteristics of past explorers and why they conducted their exploration. They then examine why current explorers - including the students themselves - want to explore other worlds in the Solar System. By the end of the lesson, the students can conclude that no matter what or when we explore - past, present, or future - the reasons for exploration are the same; the motivation for exploration is universal. Note: The MESSENGER mission to Mercury that is mentioned in this lesson ended operations April 30, 2015. For the latest information about MESSENGER and NASA's solar system missions see the links under Related & Supplemental Resources (right side of this page). (View Less)
The goal of this lesson is for students to understand how to plan a mission to another world in the solar system. They begin by discussing the path of a spacecraft traveling between planets, examining the journey from the Earth to Mars as an... (View More) example. In Activity 1, students determine the pros and cons for different ways we can explore another world, either by observing from the Earth or by sending a spacecraft to fly by, orbit, or land on the world. In Activity 2, the students plan a complete mission to explore another world in the Solar System. By the end of the lesson, the students come to understand that what scientists want to learn about an object determines how they plan the mission, but real-life constraints such as cost and time determine what actually can be accomplished. Note: The MESSENGER mission to Mercury that is mentioned in this lesson ended operations April 30, 2015. For the latest information about MESSENGER and NASA's solar system missions see the links under Related & Supplemental Resources (right side of this page). (View Less)
This interactive website engages children in a story-based scenario that emphasizes concepts of remote sensing and how NASA scientists use satellite imagery to better understand the Earth's environmental changes. The story features a pigeon named... (View More) Amelia and is set in New York City. Amelia's owner, a young girl named Maria, receives a gift from her grandfather-a camera specially designed for strapping on to a pigeon along with copies of old photographs taken of New York City landmarks. Suddenly, Amelia's flights around the city take on new relevance; she visits the Bronx Zoo, Central Park and Battery Park to take updated pictures of those same landmarks from her "birds-eye" perspective. Through Amelia's adventures, and with some help from a NASA scientist, Maria learns about the history of aerial images, the use of images to detect changes over time, the significance of color, texture and shape in interpreting those images, and the importance of images taken from today's NASA satellites to our understanding of Earth. The story is set in New York City, chosen for its size, diversity and the visibility of prominent features in satellite imagery. (View Less)