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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)
The theme of this unit is the development of an imaginary mission to the asteroid Vesta. It also introduces teachers and students to the Vesta Mappers citizen scientist project, which is part of the CosmoQuest online community. The unit is designed... (View More) to be used in 50-minute periods over 13 days and lessons follow the 5E instructional model. Students will explore not only science content but science and engineering practices as well. An alignment is provided to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). (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)
This is a lesson about the technology as it relates to heat transfer (conduction and convection)on the International Space Station. Learners will investigate how to build a space suit that keeps astronauts cool. This is technology activity 1 of 2... (View More) found in the ISS L.A.B.S. Educator Resource Guide. (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)
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 build an open spectrograph to calculate the angle the light is transmitted through a holographic diffraction grating. After finding the desired angles, the students will design their own spectrograph using the information learned. The... (View More) 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 website about asteroids and comets. Learners can play a physics-based asteroid game, learn about how backyard astronomers are contributing to asteroid research, or simulate an asteroid impact using a Google Earth Impact simulation.... (View More) Includes background information about comets and asteroids and links to multimedia resources. (View Less)