For Educators

Exploration Design Contest

The goal of the Exploration Design Challenge is for students to research and design ways to protect astronauts from space radiation. NASA and Lockheed Martin are developing the Orion spacecraft that will carry astronauts beyond low Earth orbit and on to an asteroid or Mars. Protecting astronauts from radiation on these distant travels is an […]

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Flight Testing Newton’s Laws

“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 […]

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Dietary Impacts on Astronauts’ Bones

Students analyze a chemical reaction that occurs in bones and propose possible ways for astronauts to decrease bone mineral loss. Students will determine mass and volume relationship with an emphasis on mole concepts; and write acid-base reactions. This activity can be found here.

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Learning to Fly: The Wright Brothers’ Adventure

This NASA educator guide has excellent background information about Wilbur and Orville Wright. The guide contains student activity pages and templates for building the 1900, 1901 and 1902 Gliders and the 1903 Flyer. Please find the guide here.

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Better Health From Space to Earth Unit

Students will learn about the importance of good nutrition and exercise. Students will see how researchers and scientists apply the mathematics concepts of measurement and estimation to study the loss of calcium in bones and the loss of muscle mass while astronauts are living and working in space. Students will make connections between NASA research […]

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Do It Again: Aeronautical Testing the NASA Way

Learn how to engage students in the investigation of variables that affect flight patterns of paper aircraft. Students manipulate wing shape to evaluate the affect on flight patterns. Students launch paper aircraft in the classroom to collect, measure, and evaluate data. All materials needed to implement the lesson will be created during the workshop. This […]

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Keeping Your Cool

Spacesuit insulation technologies protect the astronaut from extreme high and low temperatures of the space environment. However, the same insulation technology also works to keep heat released by the astronaut’s body inside the suit. The two investigation activities in this Exploration Brief allow students to demonstrate the principle behind the operation of the space shuttle […]

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Do It Again: The Four Forces of Flight

How do planes fly? What forces are at work creating the ability for a heavier than air craft to lift into the air and soar through the skies? Investigate the four forces of flight (lift, drag, gravity and thrust) as Dr. DoIt performs demonstrations to explain these forces. After seeing the forces in action, learn […]

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The Courage to Soar

This integrated unit allows students to conduct scientific experiments, construct aircraft models, and read selections and research topics about aviation. The 23 lessons in this educator guide support national math, science, technology, geography and language arts standards. The lessons have built-in assessment opportunities. Students will build sled kites, rotor motors, foam airplanes, straw aircraft and […]

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The Case of the Physical Fitness Challenge Unit

Follow the Treehouse Detectives in four video segments as they consult with fitness experts and NASA specialists to learn about good health, physical fitness and proper nutrition. Use the lessons and the questions in the videos to reinforce the concepts discussed in each segment. They can be found here.

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