Lesson scenarios

Below we present the materials which are part of the Space Schools Programme. We encourage you to read the document, which presents the general characteristics of the programme, including its assumptions and goals. The second part contains an analysis of the programme’s scope in relation to the Polish education system.

 

Lesson scenarios

A base on Mars
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A base on Mars

Lessons will be in the form of presentations of general knowledge about space missions (manned/unmanned), types of space experiments, phases of mission progress, types of satellite instruments and their tasks. Students will learn the principles of space apparatus design, taking into account environmental and technical requirements.

Attachments:

A base on Mars_lesson outline

A base on Mars_introduction to lesson 1_presentation

A base on Mars_introduction to lesson 2_presentation

Quiz Kahoot with answers

SuperEarths and searching life beyond Solar System
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SuperEarths and searching life beyond Solar System

Super-Earths are extrasolar planets larger than Earth, but smaller than Neptune. They usually move very close to their home star. Their orbit resembles that of Mercury or may be smaller Some of them move much further, in particular inside the habitable zone, i.e. in a place where water, if it occurs on its surface, may be in a liquid state. Given the fact that they are probably planets made up of components similar to Earth, they can be a potential place for life.

The purpose of this lesson is to familiarize students with the methods of discovering extrasolar planets, to indicate those exoplanets (in particular Super-Earths) where favorable conditions for the existence of life may occur.

Materials:

Super-Earths and searching life beyond Solar System_lesson outline

Worksheet - SuperEarths and searching life beyond Solar System

Ecospheres

Super-Earths_presentation

Movies:

gravitational_microlensing

astrometry

direct_imaging

radial_velocity

transit_method_single_planet

Life in orbit
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Life in orbit

Interdisciplinary lessons concern:

  • short history of Space Age,
  • inventions hailing from space technologies,
  • observation ISS (International Space Station) and other satellites flying over the night sky,
  • watching Earth from the ISS,
  • orbital motion principle,
  • perform free fall and hydrostatic pressure loss experiment,
  • perform the Newton’s cannon experiment.

Materials:

Life in orbit - lesson outline

Astronomical Instruments
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Astronomical Instruments

The classes describe astronomical instruments which are used for exploring the Universe. Students will learn:

  • basic of history of the invention of the telescope;
  • types of telescopes and how they are divided into lens, mirror, and mixed (lens-mirror) telescopes;
  • on radio telescopes;
  • space telescopes;
  • interplanetary probes and what they have achieved;
  • a spectrograph is and what it is used for;
  • what is the Extremely Large Telescope and the European Southern Observatory;
  • where astronomical observatories are located;
  • what are the main optical systems aberrations;
  • what the adaptive optics system is and what it is used for;
  • how to operate an amateur astronomical telescope.

Attachements:

Astronomical Instruments _lesson outline

Astronomical Instruments _Quiz

Extreme life in ocean worlds
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Extreme life in ocean worlds

The lessons intends to familiarize students with the concept of ocean worlds, display their important role in astrobiology, and help define Earth as one of them. During the lessons students:

  • will read „Colorful extremophiles” presentation,
  • will check the understanding the presentation through a quiz,
  • will discover water color dependence on the presence of microorganisms using satellite data,
  • will discuss and vote on the choice of the life discovery space mission target,
  • will present information about selected target useful for potential life discovery using remote sensing methods.

Attachments:

Extremophiles_lesson outline

Extremophiles_students_worksheet

Extremophiles_Kahoot quiz - sample questions

Orion constellation
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Orion constellation

Interdisciplinary classes on:

  • measures of distances in space,
  • a 3D model of the Orion constellation, based on calculated distance scale,
  • using Stellarium and NASA’s Eyes software,
  • observations of an astronomical phenomena with the use of the software.

Attachments:

Orion constellation

Observing the Sun
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Observing the Sun

The classes presents information on solar activity, the Sun-Earth interaction and safe methods of observing Sun with a telescope. During classes students will learn:

  • what is solar activity and phenomena,
  • what is a coronagraph telescope,
  • what is space weather,
  • about chosen space missions dedicated to Sun observation,
  • and familiarize with the largest ground-based solar telescopes,
  • how to safely observe the Sun with a telescope,
  • what space missions have been launched to examine the Sun,
  • how auroras are formed.

Attachments:

Observing the Sun_lesson outline

Observing the Sun_Quiz

Global Warming and CO2 emissions_Climate change
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Global Warming and CO2 emissions

The activity is focused on the greenhouse effect, global warming and CO2 emissions. During the activity pupils will:

  • solve the quiz, which introduces the subject of greenhouse effect and global warming;
  • analyze spatial and temporal changes in CO2 content in the atmosphere using satellite data from OCO-2 NASA mission (Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2);
  • earch for the correlation between natural or economic phenomena and CO2 emissions in different geographical regions;
  • compare conclusions drawn for different regions;
  • conduct a debate about phenomena, which has influence on the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere and their regional differences. As the result of the debate the pupils will decide what phenomena they will search and where in order to describe the influence of global warming on the natural environment and human activity and life conditions;
  • calculate their own individual CO2 emissions (carbon footprint).

Attachments:

Global Warming and CO2 emissions_Lesson outline

Global Warming and CO2 emissions_Worksheet

Global Warming and CO2 emissions_Climate change - Kahoot quiz

Global Warming and CO2 emissions_Worksheet - example

Space debris and other threats from Outer Space
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Space debris and other threats from Outer Space

Interdisciplinary classes, during which students will learn:

  • the scale and characteristics of the phenomenon: the number of objects launched and remaining in Earth orbits, the estimates regarding the remains of defragmented objects;
  • the scale and characteristics of the phenomenon: the typology and amount of celestial bodies constituting a potential threat to Earth;
  • simulators of the effects of planetoid impact on the surface of Earth.

Attachments:

Space debris

 

Solar System. Weighning planets
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Solar System. Weighing planets.

Interdisciplinary classes about the planets and smaller bodies in the Solar System, during which students learn about:

  • physical and chemical data of planets, dwarf planets, asteroids, comets, and interplanetary dust;
  • space probes sent to explore these worlds;
  • the search methods for extrasolar planets;
  • how to observe the Galilean moons of Jupiter;
  • how to determine the mass of Jupiter based on measurements of the motion of its satellites.

Attachments:

Solar System. Weighning planets_lesson outline

 

The problem of light pollution
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The problem of light pollution

Interdisciplinary lesson showing:

  • basic information on the problem of light pollution and factors that are causing it,
  • how to conduct an experiment with counting stars with the naked eye,
  • how to work with the world light pollution map,
  • how to minimalize harmful, excessive lighting.

Attachments:

The problem of light pollution

 

 

The World of Galaxies
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The World of Galaxies

Interdisciplinary classes on the evolution of galaxies, their classification, ways of studying their past and long-term processes. The lesson is based on freely available videos and graphic materials illustrating the diversity of galaxy forms in the Universe.

Attachment:

The World of Galaxies

Cosmic civilizations
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Cosmic civilizations

In the proposed lesson we will explore the hypothesis, that alien civilizations have been born randomly in time and their lifetime is finite. The proposed lesson will consist of the theoretical introduction necessary to work in the practical part. In particular, students will learn (and discuss in practical part) about reasons why cosmic civilizations (if existed/exist) may fall. During this exercise, it is worth mentioning to student that these reasons may also apply to our civilization.

Attachements:

Cosmic civilizations_lesson outline

Cosmic civilizations_worksheet 1

Cosmic civilizations_worksheet 2

Cosmic civilizations_presentation

Cosmic civilizations_additional material

Cosmic civilizations_presentation attachement

Saturn's e-moon - mission project
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Saturn's e-moon - mission project

The launch of the Cassini-Huygens spacecraft took place in 1997, the probe reached the vicinity of the planet in 2004, its task was to study the moons and rings of Saturn. The lessons will consist in introducing students to the tasks of the Cassini mission and familiarizing them with the most interesting moons of the planet. The result of these lessons will be for students to plan a research mission to the selected moon. It is proposed to use the reverse lesson method, where students become familiar with the general knowledge of Saturn and its moons in advance.

Attachements:

Saturn's e-moon - mission project_lesson outline

Cassini mission Instruments

Saturn's moon_presentation

 

Navigation and Communication Satellites
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Artificial satellites that orbit the Earth are a daily source of reliable information used in many industries. The first artificial satellite - Sputnik 1 - was launched on October 4, 1957, ushering in an era of space conquest. For several decades, we have been observing the efforts of engineers and scientists to make the apparatuses placed on artificial satellites and space probes as light as possible, as small as possible and to provide the most accurate data. These activities generate technological advances that translate into improved quality of life for human communities. We will focus on the use of satellite data, which is expertly referred to as downstream (upstream are orbital lift-off activities from the Earth's surface). The lesson covers information about communication and navigation satellites and their use, the so-called user segment.

Attachments:

Navigation and communication satellites_lesson outline

Artificial Satellites – Communication and Navigation_presentation

 

Technology transfer and innovations
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Technology transfer and innovations

  • What technology really is?
  • What is an innovation?
  • How are innovations implemented?
  • Protection of intellectual property
  • Space Technology Transfers

Attachments:

Technology Transfer_presentation

Hackathon –waking up passion & creativity
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The material was prepared for teachers, educators and anyone who wants to help students find their own strengths and talents and grow into STEM. It summarizes two hackathons organized by the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw and provides tips based on lessons learned and other POLSA activities.

Attachments:

Hackathon - Hackathon –waking up passion& creativity_presentation

Return of people to the Moon
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Return of people to the Moon

The main idea of the lesson is to familiarize the students with the lunar exploration programs, that is to say, their objectives and methods used to accomplish these objectives, and introduce them to the ideas of space resources, space mining, and space stations. The lesson is supposed to show the students that the space industry pursues ambitious and interdisciplinary plans in which all students, regardless of their interests, can find their scientific niche for the next two decades. In particular, the lesson is meant to encourage the students to solve problems related to human colonization of the Moon and other celestial bodies.

Attachments:

Return of people to the Moon_lesson outline

2020-2030_The years of return to the moon_presentation