Module 2: Space

Space

Lesson 4 – Launching Explorations: Satellites and Orbits

Grade Level Content Standards for 6-8th
Subjects Physical Science, Earth & Space Science or Math
Duration Preparation:     Collect materials 2-3 weeks in advance    

Activity:  5 hours class time

Setting Classroom with internet, access to youtube and powerpoint

Outside space for rocket launch

Objectives:

In this lesson students will

  1. Be able to understand how satellites are launched into space
  2. Be able to describe how satellites are able to stay in orbit, as well as the various orbits and their uses
  3. Understand orbital space clutter concepts and challenges

Activity Summary

This is the introduction lesson to engage students on the relationship of GPS to air and space.  The activity options in this lesson include launching a model rocket and building a satellite. It is suggested that the lesson begin with the introductory video of astronauts in the Space Station (formerly called the “International Space Station”), which introduces all relationships of satellites, orbits and the benefits of space exploration to the human race.    

Materials



Lesson 5 – Living Weightless: The Space Station

Grade Level Content Standards for 6-8th
Subjects Physical Science, Earth & Space Science or Math
Duration Preparation:     Collect materials 2-3 weeks in advance    

Activity:  7 hours class time

Setting Classroom with internet, access to YouTube and PowerPoint

Objectives:

In this lesson students will

  1. Understand what the Space Station (SS) is and how it benefits Earth
  2. Be able to describe the challenges of working in space
  3. Be able to explain how we supply, navigate, and operate the ISS both on Earth and in orbit
  4. Be able to describe the roles of Earth-based team members who support space missions (launches, operations, and returns)

Activity Summary

This is an overview of the Space Station (formerly called the International Space Station) and how GPS technologies support it. The lesson will provide an understanding of what it is like to live in space and how the SS is maintained over many years. Activities in this lesson include building a space station, calculating a resupply mission,  and protecting satellites against micrometeoroids. There are a number of videos available to supplement this lesson or assign as supplemental viewing at home. Teacher time and discretion will determine if all are utilized.     

Materials



Lesson 6 – Orbital Rendezvous: Calculating Resupply for the Space Station

Grade Level Content Standards for 7-8th
Subjects Physical Science, Earth, Space Science and Math
Duration Preparation:     0.5 hours prior to class                                 

Activity:  50 minutes class time

Setting Classroom with internet and video/movie capabilities

Objectives:

In this lesson students will

  • Use geometric definitions to describe the properties of circles
  • Find the circumference of circles
  • Calculate arc lengths
  • Find the measure of central angles
  • Use the properties of similarity, such as scale factor

Activity Summary

This is a hands-on lesson where students will utilize geometry math concepts to learn how to apply those concepts in the context of space exploration.  The focus is to promote inquiry through real world applications. Doing so will place students in the role of NASA scientists, engineers and researchers who work in teams to accomplish tasks.  In this lesson, students will use circle properties to predict and monitor the positions of the Space Station (aka International Space Station or SS) versus a space shuttle launched from Kennedy Space Center as they attempt to dock in space. The lesson will promote cooperative learning, problem solving and the use of technology. This lesson will take 1 class session.

Mathematics is an essential component of contemporary science and engineering and this lesson can be a valuable supplemental component for students as it exposes them to the limitless options in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM fields.  Students should have prior knowledge of the geometric principles of circles, circumference, central angles, arc length and scale factor.

Materials

2 Replies to “Module 2: Space”

  1. In lesson 5 – the following two references have the same link:

    Link to current location of the ISS – click this link to go to website
    Additional reference on Spacecraft Communications – click this link to download

    They both refer to the Current Location of the ISS.

    1. Wendy,

      Thanks so much for your comment! We’ve corrected the error on the website and made the “Additional reference on Spacecraft Communications” link point to the correct material. Thanks so much for trying out the GPS-STEM Curriculum.

      Best,
      John

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