Status Report

New Educational Materials Available at

By SpaceRef Editor
June 30, 2011
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The Educational Materials section of NASA’s Web site offers classroom activities, educator guides, posters and other types of resources that are available for use in the classroom. Materials are listed by type, grade level and subject. The following items are now available for downloading.

High Flyers Alphabet Activity Book — Grades K-2

NASA conducts aeronautics research. The High Flyers Alphabet Activity Book introduces basic aeronautics terms. Students can color and practice letter writing, learn new words, solve simple addition problems and more.

Why Do We Explore? Storybook — Grades K-4

Read along with this animated storybook about exploration, or allow the storybook to read to you.

Blue Marble Matches — Grades 3-12

This 5-E lesson connects the shape of Earth’s surface (and the names of the features that correspond to those shapes and textures) to the processes that form them. It also will introduce students to how scientists use Earth to gain a better understanding of other planetary bodies in the solar system.

In this lesson, students will: — Identify common characteristics to describe features in images. — Identify geologic features and how they form on Earth. — Create a list of criteria to identify geologic features. — Identify geologic features in images of other planetary bodies. — List observations and interpretations, and draw conclusions about processes that shape the surface of other planetary bodies.

The guide includes students’ pages and adaptations for younger students.

New Horizons Mission Student Dust Counter Lessons — Grades 8-10

The Student Dust Counter is an instrument aboard the NASA New Horizons mission to Pluto, launched in 2006. As it travels to Pluto and beyond, SDC will provide information on the dust that strikes the spacecraft during its fourteen-year journey across the solar system. These observations will advance our understanding of the origin and evolution of our own solar system, as well as help scientists study planet formation in dust disks around other stars.

Speaking Volumes About Dust In this lesson, students explore the concept of density before using the online Student Dust Counter interface to determine the density of dust grains in a volume of space in the solar system.

The White Glove Test: Discovering Dust in the Solar System In this lesson, students explore the SDC data interface to establish any trends in the dust distribution in the solar system. Students record the number of dust particles, “hits,” recorded by the instrument and the average mass of the particles in a given region.

Flight Testing Newton’s Laws — Grades 9-12

“Flight Testing Newton’s Laws” uses aircraft to stimulate students’ interest in the physical sciences and mathematics during the course of ten lessons with corresponding videos. The main emphasis lies in showing how Newton’s three Laws of Motion and the four forces of flight apply to flight testing an aircraft. Students solve problems involving kinematics and dynamics. Complementary areas of trigonometry, vector addition, weight and balance, and resolution of forces are employed. The collection includes an educator’s guide that is presented in the format of a flight instructor’s manual to help guide teachers and students through each lesson.

SpaceRef staff editor.