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The nature of technology  
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High school  
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This activity demonstrates optical properties of water: that different constituents in water affect the transmission, absorption, and scattering of different colors in the visible light spectrum. Inexpensive, off-the-shelf components are used to... (View More)

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)

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)

This activity is about planetary rovers. Learners will simulate the challenges in communications that engineers face when driving a rover on Mars. They will particpate as part of a rover team to design and execute a series of commands that will... (View More)

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 problem-solving skills to develop a mission that meets constraints... (View More)

Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

This story-based lesson presents information on the early investigation into solar and cosmic X-rays, as well as the scientists working in pursuit of X-ray detection and imaging, that set the stage for a program of space-based astronomy. The lesson... (View More)

Audience: 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)

In this engineering challenge, student teams are introduced to the engineering design process, and then construct and test an earthquake-resistant structure. The lesson plan includes teacher support, student worksheets, multimedia assets, and links... (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 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
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