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Lesson Title: Mars Pathfinder Egg Drop Challenge
May 11, 2012

Unit: Engineering - Design Process

Grade Levels: 7-9

Connection To Curriculum: Engineering and Technology

Teacher Prep Time: 20 minutes

Lesson Time Needed: 45-90 minutes

Complexity Moderate

Keywords: design process, landing, Newton's laws

Materials:

Materials per team:
1 raw egg or light bulb
Square yard of tightly woven nylon material
5 feet of string
Paper lunch bag
Plastic shopping bag
2 to 3 balloons
2 paper clips
Three 8.5- by 11-inch sheets of paper
Masking tape
Materials per whole group:
Box of paper clips
Ladder
Sensitive scale (e.g.,postal scale)
 

Description
Design, build and drop your "Pathfinder" from a high place and see if your payload (egg) survives.

Objectives
Students will:
• Demonstrate an understanding of the of challenges of soft landing a spacecraft on Mars.
• Design, build and test their own interplanetary lander.


First page of Mars Pathfinder Egg Drop Challenge

Lesson Guide
Lesson Guide
Mars Pathfinder Egg Drop Challenge Lesson
[107KB PDF file]

 

 

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Lesson Activities and Sequence

  1. Mars Pathfinder Egg Drop Activity
    Keywords: design process, landing, Newton's laws

  2. Mars Pathfinder Landing on YouTube

National Standards:

National Science Education Standards, NSTA
Science as Inquiry
• Understanding of scientific concepts.
• An appreciation of "how we know" what we know in science.
• Skills necessary to become independent inquirers about the natural world.
• The dispositions to use the skills, abilities and attitudes associated with science.
Physical Science
• Motions and Forces.
• Transfer of Energy.
Science in Technology
• Abilities of technological design.

ISTE NETS and Performance Indicators for Students, ISTE
Creativity and Innovation
• Apply existing knowledge to generate new ideas, products or processes.
Critical Thinking, Problem Solving and Decision Making
• Plan and manage activities to develop a solution or complete a project.
Research and Information Fluency
• Plan strategies to guide inquiry.
• Locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize and ethically use information from a variety of sources and media.
• Evaluate and select information sources and digital tools based on the appropriateness to specific tasks.
• Process data and report results.
Technology Operations and Concepts
• Understand and use technology systems.
• Select and use applications effectively and productively.
• Troubleshoot systems and applications.
• Transfer current knowledge to learning of new technologies.

 

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Page Last Updated: July 28th, 2013
Page Editor: NASA Administrator