On the Moon Educator Guide
K-12 Educational Materials
Together, NASA and "Design Squad" have developed the On the Moon Educator Guide. The guide brings hands-on engineering and the adventure of space exploration to life for students.
The educator guide contains 40 activities in which students assume roles of employees of a fictional aerospace company, Lunar Nautics Space Systems, Inc. Lessons include Newton's Laws of Motion, rocket design, microgravity, and studies of the moon.
Lunar Nautics Student Handbook
NASA is one of the largest employers of engineers in the world. "Design Squad®," an award-winning TV show that airs on PBS, engages teams of students in imaginative engineering challenges. Together, NASA and "Design Squad" have developed the On the Moon Educator Guide. The guide brings hands-on engineering and the adventure of space exploration to life for students. The activities are related to NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and NASA's Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite missions. In this guide, students are challenged to design and build:
Field Trip to the Moon
- An air-powered rocket;
- A shock-absorbing system that will protect two marshmallow "astronauts;"
- A rubber band-powered rover;
- A cardboard crane for maximum load-lifting ability;
- A paper cup modified so that it can carry a marble down a zip line and drop a marble onto a target;
- A solar hot water heater to cause the greatest rise in temperature.
Students investigate lunar exploration with classroom activities that investigate the moon's habitability and sustainable resources. These activities culminate with plans for the design and creation of a lunar station. The students are assigned to one of six teams, with four to six students in each team. The teams are each given one of six topics to investigate: ecosystem, geology, habitat, engineering, navigation or medical.
Field Trip to the Moon/LRO Edition
NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite missions will prepare for humans' return to the moon. The Field Trip to the Moon: LRO/LCROSS Edition includes the activities from the original Field Trip to the Moon guide plus activities relating to these two moon missions. The LRO/LCROSS activities allow participants to explore lunar stratigraphy (caused by lava flows), impact craters, the moon's history, spacecraft design in which students build models of the LRO out of edible or non-edible materials, and the future of lunar exploration.
Lunar Meteorite Risks
Based on research by Dr. Bill Cooke, a member of NASA's Space Environments team, one danger to lunar explorers and their equipment will be meteorite impacts (reported on CNN.com, December 4, 2006). Between November 2005 and ovember 2006, Dr. Cooke's team looked for and found lunar flashes resulting from meteoroid impacts (red dots on the image); the team found
12 of these events in a single year. The flashes were caused primarily by large Leonid meteors about 7.6 cm across, impacting the Moon with the equivalent energy of 150-300 pounds of TNT.