Solar System Treks

NASA’s Solar System Treks is an online, browser-based portal that allows you to visualize, explore, and analyze the surfaces of other worlds using real data returned from a growing fleet of spacecraft. With a host of 3D visualization tools, including features for virtual reality exploration and hands on 3D printing, Solar System Treks is a fun, easy way to explore the solar system!

Eclipse in a Cup

Grades 6-12
Why are eclipses relatively rare?  It’s due to the relationship of the moon’s orbit around Earth and Earth’s orbit around the sun.  This experiment helps students understand those orbits and why it’s difficult for the earth, moon, and sun to align in a way that results in an eclipse.

Build your own Telescope

Grade Level 2-6
Telescopes are a great way for us to get a closer view of something that is far away – like the moon and stars!  Your students can make and decorate a simple, usable telescope following this activity from Science Buddies.  Note that you can use 2 paper towel tubes instead of cardstock (cut 1 tube lengthwise so it can fit inside the other tube).

Pi in the Sky 5

Grade Level 6-12
In the fifth installment of this illustrated problem set, students use the mathematical constant pi to solve real-world science and engineering problems. Students will use pi to reveal the size of a planet outside our solar system, find out how much helium is raining out from Jupiter’s cloud tops, locate a seismic event on Mars called a “marsquake,” and study an interstellar object detected in our solar system.

Spacecraft Materials and the Chemistry of Space Exploration

Grade Level 5-12
In this lab activity, students will become materials scientists for a day. Working with NASA to design a satellite or a rover means understanding the properties of metals under conditions very unlike those on Earth. Which material should we use to construct a rover going to a planet like Venus? What if we were traveling to an icy planet or even underwater? The answer can be found in chemistry!

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