in the Universe Curriculum
"Life in the Universe" project was created by the SETI Institute
in collaboration with NASA and NSF. The goal was to create a supplementary
science curriculum for elementary and middle school students. The hands-on
activities were designed and tested by teachers. Additionally, this
site has samples of downloadable classroom-ready lessons (Adobe Acrobat
required). These lessons include:
activity for grades 3-4 takes students on the journey of Amelia Spacehart,
who is trying to find the source of a radio signal.
SETI Academy Planet Project
1 Volume 2
|This three volume
series is designed for grades 5-6. These activities have students
exploring the Earth’s history for clues to life beyond our
Search for Life on Venus and Mars
||For grades 7-8,
this activity has students investigating life through different disciplines
Haystack: The Search for Life in the Galaxy
activity for grades 8-9 has students exploring the scale and structure
of the Milky Way Galaxy.
Universe At Your Fingertips
The Universe At
Your Fingertips is a key product of Project ASTRO, a national program
that links astronomers with classroom teachers. A loose-leaf notebook available for
purchase contains exemplary classroom activities selected by teachers
and astronomers, a comprehensive resource list and bibliographies,
brief background material on astronomical topics, and teaching ideas
from experienced educators. This site also contains sample online lessons:
Center for Educational Resources (CERES) Project
with NASA, faculty at Montana State University and classroom teachers
have developed a series of web-based K-12 educational materials for
teaching astronomy. Each of the 28 curricular units is based on one of the
three themes: Sun-Earth Connection, Search for Origins, and
Structure and Evolution of the Universe. Within each unit are multiple
lessons that include classroom-ready materials and assessment tools.
Some of the units include:
Paths: Studying the Movement of Celestial Objects
is a basic, open-ended observing activity for young children, in which
they learn awareness of motions in the day and night sky, and discuss
how sky-related myths might have come about.
Images: From Satellites to the Internet
shows middle school students how images are converted into digital
bits, and how they can communicate simple information using black
and white squares.
Impact on Earth's Temperature
||Middle and high
school students will use web data to examine planetary temperatures
and weather patters, and then test hypotheses about the Sun's effects
on planetary climates
||In the Process
of Science activity students are divided into research teams
to make recommendations for building a new observatory for NASA. Students
will evaluate scientific and cultural data for five potential sites
in Antarctica, Japan, Chile and the United States and make presentations
to a formal review panel.
The Science Education
Gateway (SEGway) is part of the Center for Science Education at the
Space Sciences Laboratory located at the University of California, Berkeley.
It is a national consortium of scientists, museums and educators working
to bring teachers and students together with the latest science
research. This site has over 20 space science related lessons for the
K-12 classroom. Some of these lessons include:
a Spin Through the Solar System
in grades 7-12 use the Web to gather information and images to help
determine the rotation rate of bodies in the Solar System
Radiation on Trial
more routine suggestions for investigating radiation at the high school
level, there is a gem of an idea: to stage a trial about whether one
or more bands of the electro-magnetic spectrum have done more good
or more harm for humanity.
Mars Team Online
Sponsored by NASA,
the Mars Team Online project allows classrooms to explore the Red Planet.
Targeted for middle school students, this site contains a series of
educational activities that follow the Mars Pathfinder mission. Some
Shadows, Surface Structure, and the Face on Mars
use modeling clay and a bright light source to explore the kinds of
shadow features on another planet might cast, and then examine the
shadows on Mars and the infamous “Face on Mars” image
to understand what role shadows play in the misinterpretation of such
Magnetic Material in Martian Soils
simulate some Pathfinder experiments by devising methods of collecting
and measuring magnetic substances in pseudo-Martian soil.
Incredible Light Bulb-Egg Drop Challenge
||In this Process
of Science activity students will simulate the dropping of
the Mars Pathfinder spacecraft on Mars. Using airbags, teams of students
are challenged to find a way to drop an egg or light bulb with enough
cushioning to prevent it from breaking
This site was created
by the Laboratory of High Energy Astrophysics at NASA/Goddard Space
Flight Center. It contains lesson plans for middle and high school.
Each lesson covers both mathematical and science standards. Some lessons
this Process of Science activity middle school
students learn about the use of binary numbers in science and technology.
They then have the opportunity to decode messages using a binary
examines the idea of periodic behavior and how it is determined
from a set of data. Through a hands-on lab that involves a simple,
student-made pendulum, students will analyze data received from
high-energy satellites of various binary star systems' orbital periods
or stellar rotation periods.
Space Science Education Resource Directory
The Space Science
Education Resource Directory is a convenient way to find NASA space
science classroom resources. This site allows you to search for lessons
and other classroom resources by grade level, subject, or topic.
An archive of lessons
aimed at bringing NASA research into the classroom. These online lessons
were prepared by professional educators and scientists.