The Module explores the scientific process as applied to solving engineering and design problems within a context of constraints, and to exploring a phenomenon of nature by asking a question of that phenomenon, framing experimental pathways to acquire data, and interpreting that data in the context of a greater body of knowledge.
The Staying Cool education unit explores the basic concepts of light, heat, and energy to investigate how spacecraft such as MESSENGER can study planets using light and radiation without being damaged by the harsh high-temperature, high-radiation environment in which they have to operate. The unit can be told as a story in three chapters. Each chapter asks a question which is addressed in the corresponding lesson. Click on the titles below to find an overview and downloadable version of the lesson.
|How can we study Mercury?||Are there any problems we might face?||Are there ways to solve these problems?||Design Challenges|
|Pre-K-4||Sensing Energy||Cooler in the Shadows||Design Challenge: What will keep my lunchbox cool?|
|Design Challenge: How do you keep things from getting too hot?|
|5-8||Sensing the Invisible: The Herschel Experiment||Snow Goggles and Limiting Sunlight||My Angle on Cooling—Effect of Distance and Inclination||Design Challenge: How to keep gelatin from melting|
|9-12||Star Power! Discovering the Power of Sunlight||Dangers of Radiation Exposure||Cooling with Sunshades||Design Challenge: How to keep items cool in boiling water|
Staying Cool was developed by the Carnegie Institution of Washington Carnegie Academy for Science Education (grade level preK-1 and 2-4 components), and the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (grade level 5-8 and 9-12 components.)