Category Archives: Lesson Plans


NASA STEM Spanish Immersion  Educator Professional Development Workshop SeriesFree Virtual Professional Development Workshop Series: NASA STEM Spanish Immersion. Participants who register and complete all four workshops are eligible to receive five workshop hours towards continuing education units.

NASA’s Digital Learning Network and the Aerospace Education Services Project are presenting a series of professional development workshops tailored to elementary Spanish immersion educators. These free workshops are designed to enhance curriculum activities with NASA-inspired lessons. These professional development workshops will provide hands-on, interactive and engaging activities in Spanish.

Sign up today to join the free four-day workshop series on July 15, July 17, July 23 and July 25, 2013. Each session is 75 minutes long.

For more information, visit

Questions about this opportunity should be directed to Marilé Colon Robles at


Bag of Bones Classroom Activity – Grades K-8

Student and Skeleton

Let’s crunch some bones!

Students test bone density using plastic snack bags, corn puff cereal and a heavy book. They apply the scientific method to determine degrees of bone loss and learn why healthy bones are important in space and on Earth.


Following this activity, the student will be able to

  • Identify the effects of decreased bone mass (osteoporosis)
  • Describe why healthy bones are important in space and on Earth

National Science Standards:

  • Unifying Concepts and Processes in Science
  1. Evidence, models, and explanation
  2. Change, constancy, and measurement
  • Science as Inquiry
  1. Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry
  2. Understanding about scientific inquiry
  • Life Science
  1. Structure and function in living systems
  2. Diversity and adaptations of organisms
  • Science in Perspective
  1. Personal health
  • History and Nature of Science
  1. Nature of science

National Mathematics Standards:

  • Mathematics as problem solving
  • Mathematics as reasoning
  • Mathematical connections
  • Computation and estimation

Materials Needed:

  • Corn puff cereal (approx. 4.5 oz. per group)
  • Ziplock snack bags (6 5/8 inch x 3 ¼ inch) – 5 per group (larger bags holdtoo much cereal to count in a reasonable amount of time)
  • Permanent markers for labeling bags
  • Heavy books (one per group)
  • Student Activity Guide (one per student)
  • Broom and dustpan (for clean-up)

Time Required:

This activity may be spread out over a two- or three-day period. You maywish to use the first day for discussion and baggie preparation, and the second and third days for experimentation, data collection, and discussion.

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Is Global Warming Affecting Portland, Oregon? You Be The Judge.

radiation data

Is Portland, Oregon Experiencing Global Warming? Analyze data to decide for yourself.

Is Portland, Oregon experiencing global warming?

In this lesson plan from My NASA Data, students will use long wave radiation data to determine whether the climate has changed in Portland, Oregon over a 20 year time span.

The lesson, appropriate for grades 6-9, has the following standards based outcomes:

Learning Outcomes:

  • Students will understand the difference between climate and weather.
  • Students will practice line graphing skills.
  • Students will find the longitude and latitude of a city on a world map.
  • Students will learn the definition of longwave radiation and Watts per meters squared.
  • Students will discover that temperature and radiation changes vary on our planet

The lesson plan includes step by step instructions, teacher notes, access to data sets, and resources needed to use the activity in a classroom setting.

The My NASA Data website includes many other lesson plans and projects which use authentic NASA atmospheric and earth science data sets.  This is a great way to involve your students in hands-on, standards based science!

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Climate Change PBL Modules Available for Classroom Pilot Testing – Middle and High School

The Exploring the Environment – Global Climate Change (ETE-GCC) project announces that five modules are ready for pilot testing: Global Temperatures, Ice Caps and Sea Levels, Human Health, Volcanoes, and Drought. These new modules present an updated theoretical approach to problem-based learning (PBL) that focuses on scientific inquiry, use of satellite imagery, and incorporating of teaching strategies recommended in the Next Generation Science Standards. ETE-GCC welcomes the insights and recommendations from middle and high school teachers who are willing to pilot test these problem-based learning activities. Pre-service teachers are also welcome to participate in the process as well.

If you would like to participate in the pilot program, please sign up by sending an email to ete (at), or by requesting access to the site by selecting “Log In” at

Student Flight Mission Challenge – Improving Earthquake Monitoring – NOI Deadline April 16, 2012

AREES 2012

Participate in the Flight Mission Challenge to improve earthquake monitoring - Registration Deadline April 16, 2012

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is gaining a better understanding of earth science processes such as earthquakes through airborne science research platforms. Using a specially modified Gulfstream-III jet, NASA engineers and scientists are using radar to collect data on how quakes change the Earth’s surface, which may eventually help scientists forecast earthquakes. NASA hopes to collect baseline data in critical areas in order to improve our understanding of how quakes affect not only the immediate area of the quake, but also the state of stress in the surrounding faults. This will help them improve their forecast models of quake probability and magnitude.

NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center and Jet Propulsion Laboratory are in process of identifying several new areas to collect baseline data for earthquake studies. Educators, grades 7-9, are invited to engage students in the NASA Student Flight Mission Challenge. Through this challenge, students will have the opportunity to investigate, evaluate, design and present a solution to a real-world problem that will expand our understanding of earthquakes at the global level. Students will form small mission teams to create multimedia presentations that suggest a site for a new earthquake science investigation. The challenge will engage students as practitioners of science through exploration of the airborne science research process that NASA scientists and engineers use to study earth system science. Students will:

— Investigate the science.
— Select a site for earthquake monitoring.
— Prepare a flight plan.
— Develop a multimedia proposal for submittal to NASA.

The challenge can be implemented in a classroom, after-school or other formal and informal teaching environment. One student team proposal can be submitted per educator. Proposals will be reviewed and ranked by NASA staff. Select student teams will receive recognition as earth system science investigators, and up to three teachers will be invited to attend the Airborne Research Experiences for Educators and Students, or AREES, 2012 summer academy.

To submit a Notice of Intent (NOI) for the Student Flight Mission Challenge, visit

The deadline to submit an NOI is April 16, 2012.
The deadline to submit a student team’s proposal is May 21, 2012.

To obtain the curriculum materials and to learn the science and pedagogical content knowledge to prepare students for this challenge, enroll in the online course Earth System Science through NASA’s electronic Professional Development Network at The course is free, self-directed and technology and standards-based.

This activity is offered through the Aerospace, Education, Research and Operations Institute in Palmdale, Calif., in partnership with NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center and the Teaching From Space program at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. The G-III aircraft is operated from the Dryden Aircraft Operations Facility in Palmdale in collaboration with instrument investigators from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.

For more information about the AREES activity, refer to the website at

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Percentage and Volume: Space Food and Nutrition – How Much is Waste? Web Seminar – March 22, 2012

As part of a series of electronic professional development experiences for educators, the NASA Explorer Schools project and project LE&RN are hosting a 60-minute live professional development Web seminar for educators on March 22, 2012, at 8 p.m. EDT. Learn how to guide your students through three mathematical computations to determine usable and unusable portions of foods. Your students determine the mass and volume of a food package before and after repackaging for spaceflight and determine the usable and waste portions of food selected for spaceflight.

For more information and to register online, visit

To learn more about the NASA Explorer Schools project, visit

Email any questions about this opportunity to

Free Webinar – Heat, Temperature and Energy: MESSENGER – Cooling with Sunshades – March 21, 2012

As part of a series of electronic professional development experiences for educators, the NASA Explorer Schools project and the National Science Teachers Association are hosting a 90-minute Web seminar on March 21, 2012, at 8:15 p.m. EDT. Learn how to use the NASA MESSENGER (Mercury Surface, Space Environment, Geochemistry and Ranging) mission to motivate your students to investigate energy and the electromagnetic spectrum. Discover how students can create their own sunshades and measure the effectiveness of different materials in protecting against sunlight and solar radiant energy.

For more information and to register online, visit

To learn more about the NASA Explorer Schools project, visit

Newton’s Laws of Motion: Lunar Nautics Web Seminar – March 19, 2012

As part of a series of electronic professional development experiences for educators, the NASA Explorer Schools project and the National Science Teachers Association are hosting a 90-minute Web seminar on March 19, 2012, at 6:30 p.m. EDT. This Web seminar features three lessons for grades 5-8, focusing on a real-world understanding of Newton’s Laws of Motion and addresses common misconceptions associated with the laws. The featured lessons are Rocket Staging: Balloon Staging, Lunar Landing: Swinging Tray and Lunar Base Supply Egg Drop.

For more information and to register online, visit

To learn more about the NASA Explorer Schools project, visit

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