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This is an extensive collection of Educational Guides from the Civil Air Patrol, NASA, NASA ETO, and other sources. Please scroll the page completely to find all that is available to you in this section.
 
Civil Air Patrol Educational Guides
Civil Air Patrol activity guides related to aerospace science and aviation. These guides contain background information and hands-on student activities.
 
Title
Audience Grade Level
Air Powered Rockets
Complete instructions on how to build paper and plastic bottle rockets. Includes numerous math, physics, and basic science applications. Written by Dr Charley Rodriguez, Ph.D. and Jim Raynovic. Both are Assistant Professors of Aviation Technology at Southern Illinois University.
Educators & Students
7-12
General Doolittle
Activity packet that chronicles the life and events of World War II hero General James H. Doolittle.
Educators & Students
K-4
Charles A. Lindbergh
Activity packet with science and math lessons integrated with the life of Charles Lindbergh.
Educators & Students
5-8
General Daniel James
Activity packet with science and math lessons integrated with the life of General Daniel “Chappie” James, Jr.
Educators & Students
K-4
The Space Shuttle
Short unit with activities that introduce students to the space shuttle launch system.
Educators & Students
K-4
Amelia Earhart
Activity packet with Science and Math lessons integrated with the life of Amelia Earhart.
Educators & Students
5-8
The Space Shuttle
Activity packet that gives detailed information on the space shuttle launch system.
Educators & Students
5-8
Wilbur and Orville Wright
Activity packet that chronicles the lives of Wilbur and Orville Wright.
Educators & Students
K-4
Dr. Robert Goddard
Activity packet with science and math lessons integrated with the life rocket pioneer Robert Goddard.
Educators & Students
5-8
 
NASA Earth to Orbit Educational Guides
The Earth to Orbit Engineering Design Challenges connect students with the challenges NASA engineers face as they design the next generation of space vehicles. With simple and inexpensive materials, students engage in related design challenges in their classrooms under the supervision of their teachers.
 
Title
Audience Grade Level
Thermal Protection System
When spacecraft travel at high speeds through the Earth's atmosphere they generate high temperatures on their surfaces due to frictional heating. Space vehicles must have thermal protection systems to protect them from this heat. In this challenge, students learn about the process of how NASA engineers design lightweight but effective reusable thermal protection systems. Working in two-person teams they design, build, and test a thermal protection system of their own design. They use simple materials such as wood dowels, aluminum foil and screening to build a model that can withstand the heat of a propane torch.
Educators & Students
6-10
Spacecraft Structures
The structural elements that hold together an aerospace vehicle must be strong and as light as possible in order to minimize the fuel needed to get to orbit. NASA engineers continually strive to develop new materials and methods in structural design. In this challenge, students will undertake the problem of designing a strong but lightweight thrust structure that can withstand the launch of a bottle rocket by means of a wooden lever. Using simple materials such as: craft sticks, cardboard, and glue students strive to make their structure lighter while maintaining its' strength.
Educators & Students
6-10
Electrodynamic Propulsion Systems
Current rocket-fueled propulsion satellites are expensive to launch because of the weight of the fuel. Also, the amount of fuel that can be carried is limited to the amount of space available on the spacecraft. NASA engineers are devising a system that uses the Earth's natural magnetism to push satellites into higher and lower orbits around the plants using an electronic conducting wire or "tether". Students will try to move a model "satellite" along a track using their own design with a specific set of materials.
Educators & Students
6-10
Centennial of Flight: Propeller Design Challenge
More than one hundred years ago the Wright Brothers used a design process that is still integral to engineering design today. The Centennial of Flight Challenge focuses on the Wright Brothers' design process and their development of the "Flyer". Students are challenged, like the Wright Brothers were, to design a propeller that generates the maximum possible thrust using a small motor and other inexpensive materials.
Educators & Students
6-10
 
NASA Educational Guides
NASA publishes a number of educator guides related to space exploration. These guides contain background information and hands-on student activities.
 
Title
Audience
Grade Level
Aeronautics
An Educator's Guide with Activities in Science, Mathematics, and Technology
Educators
K-4
Astrobiology
A Teacher's Guide with Activities for Earth and Space Sciences
Educators
5-12
The Brain in Space
A Teacher's Guide with Activities for Neuroscience
Educators
5-12
Exploring Meteorite Mysteries
A Teacher's Guide with Activities for Earth and Space Sciences
Educators
5-12
Exploring the Moon
A Teacher's Guide with Activities for Earth and Space Sciences
Educators
4-12
How High Is It?
An Educator's Guide with Activities Focused on Scale Models of Distances
Educators
5-8
Is There Water on Mars?
An Educator's Guide with Activities for Physical, Earth, and Space Sciences
Educators
9-12
Living with a Star
An Educator Guide with Activities in Sun-Earth Sciences
Educators & Students
K-12
Microgravity Demonstrator
A Tool to Demonstrate the Principles of Microgravity
Educators
5-12
NASA Student Glovebox
An Inquiry-Based Technology Educator's Guide
Educators & Students
5-12
Our Mission to Planet Earth
A Guide to Teaching Earth System Science
Educators
K-4
Planetary Geology
A Teacher's Guide with Activities in Physical and Earth Sciences
Educators & Students
5-College
Rockets
A Teacher's Guide with Activities in Science, Mathematics, and Technology
Educators
K-12
Space-Based Astronomy
An Educator Guide with Activities for Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education
Educators
5-8
Space Food and Nutrition
An Educator's Guide with Activities in Science and Mathematics
Educators
K-8
Thermal Protection System
A Student Project to Design and Test a Heat Shield
Educators
5-12
 
Weather and Climate
Use the hands-on activities and multimedia content from this web site to add excitement to your meteorology unit. This unit includes more than 20 activities divided into four sections: “Weather, Climate, and Society;” “Making Weather in the Classroom;” “Recording and Tracking Weather;” and “What Makes Earth's Weather?”. The free activities on this web site are part of an excellent multi-media program by Passport to Knowledge that includes videos and Internet resources.
Teacher's Guide Passport to Weather and Climate Program Details
 
WebQuest Educational Guides
A WebQuest is an inquiry-oriented activity in which most or all of the information used by learners is drawn from the Web. WebQuests are designed to use learners' time well, to focus on using information rather than looking for it, and to support learners' thinking at the levels of analysis, synthesis, and evaluation.

Students work in teams while completing a WebQuest and often take on the role of different experts. Almost all WebQuests require that students produce a presentation or other authentic product. These activities usually take multiple days, anywhere from 2 days to 2 weeks. Usually, the majority of work can be assigned as homework to reduce the amount of in-class time needed.

If you spend a few hours looking, you can find hundreds of WebQuests on almost any subject that you can think of. Just like everything else on the web, WebQuests also come in a variety of levels of quality. This matrix includes some of the best WebQuests related to Earth and space science.
 
Astronomy
Audience Grade Level
A Traveler's Guide to the Solar System
Overview: Student groups design a travel brochure for the Solar System.
Timeline: 3 days + homework
Educators & Students
4-8
Star Broker
Overview: Students take on the role of a real estate broker of the stars. Of course, in order to sell a star, the students need to complete research on constellations and stars.
Timeline: 2-3 days in class, can be done completely out of class.
Educators & Students
4-12
The King of Tides
Overview: Students use the Internet to determine if tides are caused by the Moon. Students must collect and synthesize data to support their conclusion.
Timeline: 2-3 days, most can be completed outside of class.
Educators & Students
5-12
Mars or the Moon
Overview:
Student teams research the Moon and Mars and debate which one should be colonized.
Timeline: 1 week
Educators & Students
5-9
 
Energy
Audience Grade Level
Meeting our Energy Needs on Mars
Overview:
Students learn about a variety of energy resources as they develop a plan for providing energy for a community on Mars.
Timeline: 2 weeks
Educators & Students
5-12
 
Geology
Audience Grade Level
Will that Volcano Destroy our Party?
Overview:
Students counsel the mayor of a fictitious island city about the dangers of a nearby volcano. This WebQuest could be a great introduction to the study of volcanoes and plate tectonics.
Timeline: 1-2 days
Educators & Students
5-8
EarthKam
Overview: Aliens are taking pictures of Earth! Students investigate natural and human-made images of Earth taken from space to determine why the aliens are interested. This activity is a great introduction to your Earth Science class.
Timeline: 2-3 days
Educators & Students
5-8
Plate Tectonics
Overview: Students research continental movement during the history of Earth. From this research, students must predict the movement of continents in the future and determine where the real-estate will be.
Timeline: 3-5 days
Educators & Students
5-12
 
Life Science
Audience Grade Level

Is It Alive?
Overview:
Students are given a “mystery sample” to investigate for signs of life. As students learn more about biology, they design and conduct their own investigations to determine if the sample meets criteria for life. Instructions for integrating the project into a course with the following units is provided:

  • Unit 1 - The Nature of Life
  • Unit 2 - Atoms and Molecules
  • Unit 3 - Cells
  • Unit 4 - Life processes
  • Unit 5 - Energy Reactions and Enzymes

Timeline: This is a semester long project that can be used in cooperation with the teacher’s normal activities related to the study of life.

Educators & Students
9-12
 
Meteorology
Audience Grade Level
Weather Watchers
Overview:
Students work in groups to record the weather in different geographical regions and apply weather information to decision making. Students compare actual weather to local weather predictions. Students learn about the importance of weather forecasting, clouds, temperature, and weather patterns in different regions of the world. Students use the Internet, newspapers, television, thermometers, and other techniques to gather information.
Timeline:
3 weeks, approximately 30 mins per day.
Educators & Students
K-2
El Nino or El No-No
Overview: Students use the Internet to build background knowledge about El Nino. Students then use real-time data from an actual ocean buoy and historical data to speculate about the winter weather in their area.
Timeline: 3 weeks, can be done outside of class.
Educators & Students
8-12
Acid Rain
Overview: Students take on a variety of roles to study the cause, characteristics, and environmental impact of acid rain.
Timeline: 1 week with out of class work.
Educators & Students
5-12
Global Warming
Overview:
Students take on the role of experts as they investigate global warming and its affects on Earth.
Timeline: 3-4 days
Educators & Students
9-12
 
Oceanography
Audience Grade Level
The King of Tides
Overview: Students use the Internet to determine if tides are caused by the Moon. Students must collect and synthesize data to support their conclusion.
Timeline: 2-3 days, most can be completed outside of class.
Educators & Students
5-12
El Nino or El No-No
Overview: Students use the Internet to build background knowledge about El Nino. Students then use real-time data from an actual ocean buoy and historical data to speculate about the winter weather in their area.
Timeline: 3 weeks, can be done outside of class.
Educators & Students
8-12

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