Exploring Force and Energy
Learn about the scientific concepts of force and motion along with potential and kinetic energy and the engineering design process.
Amusement parks are one of the best places to feel firsthand what astronauts experience while in space. Learn how roller coasters help teach forces of motion and energy transformations (PE and KE). Calculate the average speed of the marble (s = d/t, where s = speed, d = distance, and t = time).
Activity Featured: Marble Run
Related Link(s): https://er.jsc.nasa.gov/seh/amuse_park_physics.pdf
Explorando Fuerza y Energía [Video En Español]: https://youtu.be/J7dB_bYMsfg
Exploring Sound Effects
In this NASA Quickbits video, you will learn about the Sound Effects Activity where students at home or at school can learn about the principles of sound and the engineering design process. Students will use the engineering design process to construct a speaker to amplify sound and then they will be challenged to find a solution to reduce the perceived sound volume. We will also highlight NASA Aeronautical Research with the creation of their newest X-Plane the X-59.
Related Link(s): https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/atoms/files/sound_effects_may508.pdf
Explorando Efectos del Sonido [Video En Español]: https://youtu.be/RBmK2YpSLF4
Testing a Scientific Explanation of Life Characteristics
With NASA’s Mars 2020 rover, Perseverance, now on its way to Mars to look for signs of past life on the Red Planet, one might be wondering, “how can one search for possible life on another planet?” While it might be easy to recognize life in large objects, it may not be so simple when studying tiny organisms or fossilized materials. In this Quick-Bits video, students are challenged to use the scientific method to observe, hypothesize, and then test possible characteristics of life. In doing so, students and their parents will gain a deeper appreciation for the process by which NASA seeks to answer the age-old question, “are we alone in our Universe?”
Related Link(s): https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/edu/teach/activity/looking-for-life/, https://astrobiology.nasa.gov/, https://www.nasa.gov/gravity-assist, https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/
Prueba de una explicación científica de las características de la vida [Video En Español]: https://youtu.be/X7IQLP4yIqk
Exploring the Story of an Aquatic Habitat
There is a reason that astrobiologists use the presence of water as a prime indicator of habitability. On our planet, life exists in nearly every body of water, from the largest ocean to the smallest puddles. This NASA Quick-bits video explores a wonderfully hands-on section of The Water Wonders activity associated with the storybook “Discoveries at Willow Creek”. These activities and more are found at NASA’s GLOBE Program website: https://www.globe.gov/web/elementary-globe/overview/water.
Related Link(s): www.globe.gov, www.mynasadata.larc.nasa.gov
Explorando un Hábitat Acuático [Video En Español]: https://youtu.be/wqFb0DMr7n4
Exploring Forces of a Falling Object
This NASA Quick-bits video explores forces and motion. Participants are challenged to use the engineering design process to plan, construct, test and analyze a prototype parachute to slow the descent of an egg and minimize the impact when it reaches the floor. Newton’s 2nd and 3rd Laws of Motion are demonstrated in this activity. This activity is part of the Next Gen STEM Commercial Crew Program and can be found at this website https://www.nasa.gov/stem-ed-resources/eggstronaut-parachute-challenge-educator-guide.html.
Related Link(s): https://www.nasa.gov/stem-ed-resources/eggstronaut-parachute-challenge-educator-guide.html
Explorando las Fuerzas que Actúan en un Objeto en Descenso [Video En Español]: https://youtu.be/40-pohjVMkw
The Importance of Soil
Explore the scoop on soils. This Quick-bits will focus on an inquiry experience. Learn how NASA’s SMAP mission collects data about soil moisture. Explore the Elementary GLOBE resources including Teacher guides, ELA storybooks and related STEM activities designed for grades K-5. The SYEM activity promotes problem solving while engaging the students in learning that is both fun and relevant to their everyday lives.
Activity Featured: Just Passing Through
Related Link(s): Just Passing Through: https://www.globe.gov/documents/352961/353899/Just+Passing+Through/06f90bc2-1e4e-4830-b36d-dba1e170914e, Just Passing Through Beginners Version: https://www.globe.gov/documents/352961/353899/Just+Passing+Through+(Beginner+Version)/c5712e79-6e0b-4f71-9aa8-5b9a075775ef, The Scoop on Soils: Elementary GLOBE: https://www.globe.gov/web/elementary-globe/overview/soils
Explorando la Importancia de la Tierra, [Video En Español]: https://youtu.be/ZZPGGoNQ4Mk
Make Handprint Art Using Ultraviolet Light
The big idea in this NASA Quick-bit video is that the Sun, our closest star and center of the solar system produces heat and light for the Earth. This video begins with 10 facts about our Sun. Then we watch a video about the relationship between our Sun and the Earth. Participants then learn about two types of energies that Earth receives from the Sun. One that allows us to see and one we can’t see but we can certainly feel its effects if we stay out in the Sun for too long without protecting ourselves. Join in the activity Make Handprint Art Using Ultraviolet Light that demonstrates what happens when we stay out in the sun too long without protecting our skin.
Activity Featured: Make Handprint Art Using Ultraviolet Light
Related Link(s): https://spaceplace.nasa.gov/sunscreen-activity/en/
Hacer Arte Con Huellas De Manos Usando Luz Ultravioleta, [Video En Español]: https://youtu.be/DV0CI5VYLd4
Natural Selection And Adaptations In Bird Beaks
NGSS Disciplinary Core Idea OR NGSS Engineering and Science Practice: MS-LS4-4
Construct an explanation based on evidence that describes how genetic variations of traits in a population increase some individuals’ probability of surviving and reproducing in a specific environment.
NASA continues to study birds by collecting data through satellites that show how weather and climate change is affecting birds and by following eBird to help us understand our bird populations. This NASA Quick-Bits video is designed for students to think critically, explore and discover, and use the inquiry process as they examine bird beaks. Participants will investigate how the shape and structure of beaks affects the type of food that birds are able to eat, describe how different types of bird beaks have adapted to feed on different foods within a specific habitat and learn that birds with beaks that are better adapted will have a better rate of survival.
Activity Featured: Bird Beaks and What They Eat
Related Link(s): https://www.globe.gov/globe-community/blogs/community-blogs/-/blogs/17604575/maximized, https://www.globe.gov/documents/355050/355098/land_la_birdbeak.pdf, https://climatekids.nasa.gov/extreme-weather-birds/, https://spaceplace.nasa.gov/birds/en/
Selección Natural y Adaptaciones En Picos De Aves, [Video En Español]: https://youtu.be/2rPepA9CAr4
Finding an Object’s Center of Gravity (CG)
NGSS Disciplinary Core Idea OR NGSS Engineering and Science Practice: Defining & Delimiting Engineering Problems [ETS1.A], Developing Possible Solutions [ETS1.B] and Optimizing the Design Solution [ETS1.C] (Link: https://ngss.nsta.org/DisciplinaryCoreIdeasMid.aspx?id=6)
Summary: “Named after one of the largest constellations in the night sky, …Orion will serve as the exploration vehicle that will carry the crew to [the vicinity of the Moon and Mars], provide emergency abort capability, sustain astronauts during their missions and provide safe re-entry from deep space return velocities” (NASA, 2017). In July 2019, NASA tested Orion’s Launch Abort System [LAS], which is critical for keeping astronauts safe during future Artemis launches. In this Quick-Bits video, students construct and then optimize a representative Orion LAS model in order to balance it around its center of gravity in a process similar to what NASA engineers do when they model and calculate center of gravity for the Orion LAS prior to its integration with the Space Launch System rocket.
Activity Featured: Orion Ascent Abort-2 (AA-2) Launch Abort System (LAS) Mass Properties Activity
Related Link(s): NASA STEM EPDC Balancing Act-Spacecraft Mass Properties Educator Badge (https://nasa-epdc.pensarlearning.com/login; free account log-in needed)
NASA Glenn Research Center’s Center of Gravity Resources: https://www.grc.nasa.gov/www/k-12/rocket/cg.html, https://www.grc.nasa.gov/www/k-12/airplane/acg.html, https://www.grc.nasa.gov/www/k-12/rocket/rktcg.html
Encontrar el Centro de Gravedad de un Objeto (CG), [Video En Español]: https://youtu.be/45UqaVEQAAg
Bone Density in Microgravity
NGSS Disciplinary Core Idea OR NGSS Engineering and Science Practice:
Next Generation Science Standards:
- 4-LS1-1. Construct an argument that plants and animals have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior and reproduction.
- MS-LS1-1. Conduct an investigation to provide evidence that living things are made of cells: either one cell or many different numbers and types of cells.
- MS-LS1-3. Use argument supported by evidence for how the body is a system of interacting subsystems composed of groups of cells.
- Crosscutting Concepts: Cause and Effect.
- Science and Engineering Practices: Asking questions; planning and carrying out investigations; analyzing and interpreting data; constructing explanations.
Today’s Big Idea is about bone density in microgravity. Learn about an activity where you can test how an impact can affect bones of different densities using a piece of cereal to represent a bone cell. Some bones have more cells which means they have higher density. Disuse or inactivity will lead to a decrease in bone density. Watch how astronauts on the International Space Station use exercise on orbit and dive into the science behind what happens to bones and muscles in microgravity.
Activity Featured: Bone Density and Muscle Stress in Microgravity
Related Link(s): https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/atoms/files/bone-density-and-muscle-stress-in-microgravity.pdf
Modelando la Densidad del Sistema Óseo, [Video En Español]: https://youtu.be/L2u1w3Aii1k
Exploring the Scale of the Solar System
NGSS Disciplinary Core Idea OR NGSS Engineering and Science Practice:
Next Generation Science Standards:
- MS-ESS-3: Analyze and interpret data to determine scale properties of objects in the solar system.
Join us to learn how to create a solar system pocket scroll based on the ratios of our solar system. Explore applications of fractions, conversions and scale with hands-on, standards-aligned NASA STEM activities. Engage our universe as you apply scale to distance, time, size, and models. With the sun being at 0 and the Kuiper Belt (Pluto) being at 1, all other planets and the asteroid belt can be placed using fractions, allowing the activity to extend to create the solar system within a classroom, a football field or any other designated distance.
Activity Featured: Solar System Scroll