New NASA Dawn Education Materials Released
Dawn Education and Public Outreach has developed a module of activities unpacking the concepts of how Dawn's instruments gather and analyze data: Interactions of Energy and Matter: Dawn Instrumentation. Ideal for high school physics, chemistry and integrated science classes.
During the summer of 2011, NASA’s Dawn spacecraft began its orbit around Vesta, one of the two protoplanets it will orbit during its mission in the asteroid belt. The mission will address the role of size and water in determining the evolution of the planets by measuring their mass, shape, volume, and spin rate with imagery, and gravity. Through this investigation, scientists aim to characterize the conditions and processes of the solar system’s earliest epoch.
The Dawn curriculum materials are standards-driven, pedagogically appropriate, and designed to meet the needs of all students, including disadvantaged and underserved. Through their educational resources and materials, the Dawn E/PO team aims to improve students’ understanding of the formation of the solar system, interest in solar-system science, and opportunities to conduct science within real-life contexts. The Dawn E/PO effort also intends to help science educators gain a better understanding of how to implement inquiry processes that lead to improved practices.
Students completing this module will gain an understanding of:
- The electromagnetic spectrum (specifically gamma ray radiation, infrared radiation, and visible light)
- Visual analysis of images and remote sensing data
- Mapping mass concentration using Doppler shifts from gravity science
- Mineral identification of a surface using multiple instrument data
For more information about the Dawn mission visit the website