Engineering Design Process: On The Moon
Date: Jan. 29, 2014 at 6:30 p.m. EST
Audience: Educators of students in grades 6-8
This 90-minute Web seminar features two activities from NASA’s On the Moon Educator Guide: “On Target” and “Feel the Heat.” In this Web seminar participants will receive an overview of both activities and learn strategies for implementing them in the classroom. In “On Target,” students design and test a method of consistently delivering a payload to a designated target. In “Feel the Heat,” students use the engineering design process to build, test and improve a solar hot water heater. Register today!
NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory, or GRAIL, mission has uncovered the origin of massive invisible regions that make the moon’s gravity uneven, a phenomenon that affects the operations of lunar-orbiting spacecraft.
Because of GRAIL’s findings, spacecraft on missions to other celestial bodies can navigate with greater precision in the future.
GRAIL’s twin spacecraft studied the internal structure and composition of the moon in unprecedented detail for nine months. They pinpointed the locations of large, dense regions called mass concentrations, or mascons, which are characterized by strong gravitational pull. Mascons lurk beneath the lunar surface and cannot be seen by normal optical cameras.
This mission update is a great classroom extension to the NASA Explorer Schools featured lesson, Engineering Design Process: On The Moon. To have your students playing the role of engineers in designing lunar missions, access this set of engineering design challenges on the NES Virtual Campus.
To read more about GRAIL’s discovery, visit https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/grail/news/grail20130530.html.
NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, or LRO, has returned data indicating ice may make up as much as 22 percent of the surface material in a crater located on the moon’s south pole.
The team of NASA and university scientists using laser light from LRO’s laser altimeter examined the floor of Shackleton crater. They found the crater’s floor is brighter than those of other nearby craters, which is consistent with the presence of ice. This information will help researchers understand crater formation and study other uncharted areas of the moon. The findings are published in the journal Nature.
This story features the lunar exploration mission LRO and is directly related to NASA Now: Lunar Mathematics and Mapping, as well as the NASA Explorer Schools featured lesson “Engineering Design Process: On the Moon.” To view this edition of NASA Now or to use this lesson in your classroom, visit: http://explorerschools.nasa.gov.
One of two NASA spacecraft orbiting the moon has beamed back the first student-requested pictures of the lunar surface from its onboard camera. Fourth grade students from the Emily Dickinson Elementary School in Bozeman, Mont., received the honor of making the first image selections by winning a nationwide competition to rename the two spacecraft.
To read more about this student opportunity and see the image, visit the NASA feature story page. This story details an opportunity NASA opened to students to rename two spacecraft and of students getting involved in moon research serves as an excellent extension to the NASA Explorer Schools featured lesson, Engineering Design Process: On the Moon. Be sure to share this with your students who have completed this activity. To access this lesson, visit the NES Virtual Campus.
Patricia Smeyers, a teacher from Secaucus Board of Education, has a great idea for a Lunar Rover Project. Students design a new lunar rover for the future. They create their designs using cloud-based 3-D modeling software and present their engineered 3-D model and research.
The students used an online educational collaborative website to create their presentation and used a wikispace to house their projects.
This activity reinforces the best practice — use of technology to facilitate student collaboration — while incorporating NES materials and NASA opportunities.
Read the article in NEON to find out about specific websites and programs supporting the educational goals of this project.
NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter team released the final set of data from the mission’s exploration phase along with the first measurements from its new life as a science satellite.
With this fifth release of data, striking new images and maps have been added to the already comprehensive collection of raw lunar data and high-level products, including mosaic images, that LRO made possible. The spacecraft’s seven instruments delivered more than 192 terabytes of data with an unprecedented level of detail. It would take approximately 41,000 typical DVDs to hold the new LRO data set.
Read the NEON article to learn more about how LRO has given us the best view of the moon we’ve ever had and how to incorporate the LRO mission into the activities in NASA Explorer Schools’ On the Moon Educator Guide teaching modules.
Link to the NES Virtual Campus home page.