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Lesson Title: Survivor - The Space Environment
May 11, 2012

Unit: Life Science - Survival

Grade Levels: 4-6

Connection To Curriculum: Science, Technology and Engineering

Teacher Prep Time: 1.5 hours

Lesson Time Needed: 8 hours

Complexity Moderate

Keywords: human needs, physical stress, food properties, menu selection, balanced meals, challenges, food web, population, data, ultraviolet radiation, solar, DNA, electromagnetic, solar cycle

Materials:

(Basic materials are listed. The complete list can be found in each activity.)
String or yarn
Spring-hinge clothespin
Scissors
Stopwatch
Various food samples
Gum drops (five colors)
Candy orange slices
Plain flat toothpicks
Colored pencils
Paper towels
Dark-colored construction paper
Permanent markers
Sunscreen (five different SPFs)
 

Description
Students explore and compare the space environment and Earth's environment to determine the resources needed for humans to survive in both environments.

Objectives
Students will:
• Describe how a change in a population within a food web can have widespread effects on the other populations there.
• Create a food and activity plan for healthy eating and modify the plan for 17th-century travel and 21st-century space travel.
• Compare the differences in challenges faced by 17th-century and 21st-century explorers.
• Construct a model of a DNA molecule.
• Understand that DNA can be damaged from radiation.
• Investigate the effects of solar UV radiation on an object and analyze the effectiveness of different Sun Protection Factors (SPF).


First page of Survivor: The Space Environment

Lesson Guide
Survivor: The Space Environment Lesson
[121KB PDF file]

 

 

Professional Development Training Modules for This Lesson

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› Exploration Then and Now Training Module  →
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› Solar Radiation Training Module  →
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Lesson Activities and Sequence

  1. Exploration Then and Now - Human Needs
    This activity investigates human needs and how humans adapt to new environments. Students experiment to understand the effects of physical stress on muscles. They also identify food properties that make foods suitable for space flight and travel during colonial times. Using the new food-guide pyramid, students create a food and activity plan for healthy eating and then modify this plan based upon what they learn about past and present exploration.
    Keywords: environments, human needs, physical stress, food properties, menu selection, balanced meals, challenges

  2. Chain Reaction
    This activity demonstrates to students how changes in a population within a food web will have widespread effects on the other local populations. Page 31
    Keywords: food web, local populations, population density

  3. Solar Radiation and SPF Levels
    In this activity, students will investigate the effects solar ultra-violet (UV) radiation has on an object or person and to analyze the effectiveness of different Sun Protection Factors (SPF) found in sunscreen products. Page 62
    Keywords: solar radiation, ultraviolet radiation, analysis of data, SPF, sun protection factors, suncreen effectiveness, scientific method

  4. Modeling Radiation-Damaged DNA
    In this activity, students will use candy (or Styrofoam balls) to construct a model of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and will then alter the model to visualize what happens to DNA when it is damaged by radiation. Page 42
    Keywords: solar radiation, DNA, alter DNA, electromagnetic spectrum, molecules, modeling, space weather, radiation applications, radiation levels, doses, ionization, atoms, elements, risks, cosmic radiation, measuring radiation, radiation sources, biological effects, solar cycle

National Standards:

National Science Education Standards, NSTA
Science as Inquiry
• Understanding of scientific concepts.
• Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry.
• Skills necessary to become independent inquirers about the natural world.
• The dispositions to use the skills, abilities and attitudes associated with science.
Life Science
• Characteristics of organisms.
• Organisms and environments.
• Structure and function in living systems.
• Populations and ecosystems.
• Diversity and adaptations of organisms.
Physical Science
• Transfer of energy.
Earth and Space Science
• Structure of the earth system.
Science and Technology
• Abilities to distinguish between natural objects and objects made by humans.
Science in Personal and Social Perspectives
• Personal health.
• Types of resources.
• Changes in environments.
• Populations, resources and environments.
• Natural hazards.
• Risks and benefits.
• Science and technology in society.

ISTE NETS and Performance Indicators for Students, ISTE
Creativity and Innovation
• Apply existing knowledge to generate new ideas, products or processes.
• Use models and simulations to explore complex systems and issues.
Research and Information Fluency
• Process data and report results.
• Locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize and ethically use information from a variety of sources and media.
Critical Thinking, Problem Solving and Decision Making
• Identify and define authentic problems and significant questions for investigation.
• Plan and manage activities to develop a solution or complete a project.
• Collect and analyze data to identify solutions and/or make informed decisions.
• Use multiple processes and diverse perspectives to explore alternative solutions.


 

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