Lesson Plans, Activities & Programs for Formal Education
The James Webb Space Telescope: Why space telescopes are important (pdf) - A lesson plan by teachers Ryan Hannahoe and Peter Detterline for grades 6-8 on why space telescopes are important. Features the Hubble and James Webb Space Telescopes.
OPSPARC- OPSPARC invites high school and middle school students to work cooperatively as engineers and scientists to solve real-world problems related to the James Webb Space Telescope. There is a classroom part to the challenge, as well as a virtual portion. College students also participate as team leaders. (The Real World/In World Engineering design challenge, is currently a part of OPSPARC.)
Scope It Out! - An educational game for middle and high school students, which compares a simple telescope to both the James Webb Space Telescope and the Hubble Space Telescope. Approved by the NASA Education Product review. Lesson plans available.
Build-It-Yourself: Satellite! - An educational game for high school and college age students, where they get to be the scientist by building their own satellite. Approved by the NASA Education Product review.
Space Math @ NASA - Visit this NASA resource to download hundreds of math problems for grades K12 featuring a behind the scenes look at NASA press releases and discoveries. The problems range from simple scaling and proportions to algebra and calculus, and cover topics spanning all NASA science and engineering activities. Here are the Space Math problems that use the James Webb Space Telescope: http://spacemath.gsfc.nasa.gov/mission.html#Webb A few are below.
- Detecting the Most Distant Supernova in the Universe (.pdf) - Students use a graph to compare the brightness of supernova produced by three different masses of stars, and predict whether the Webb Space Telescope can see them. [Grade: 6-8 | Topics: Analyzing a graph; interpreting mathematical models]
- Exploring the Cosmos with Supercomputers (.pdf) - Students use two images created by a supercomputer calculation to explore the size and accuracy of computer models of the distanct universe. [Grade: 7-9 | Topics: scale model; proportions; Scientific Notation]
- Seeing the Distant Universe Clearly (.pdf) - Students calculate the angular sizes and scales of distant objects to study how different sized telescopes see details with varying degrees of clarity. [Grade: 7-9 | Topics: solving a simple equation for X; angular measure; Scientific Notation]
- The Cosmological Redshift - Changing the light from a galaxy (.pdf) - Students learn about the redshift unit of measurement in astronomy, and solve a simple linear equation to explore how the light from very distant galaxies is reddened compared to nearby galaxies. [Grade: 8-10 | Topics: solving a simple equation for X]
- STEM module featuring Webb. Students will learn about the technology of cryogenics where engineers and scientists work with very cold gases and liquids. They will use a simple equation to convert from the Fahrenheit to the Celsius temperature scales and to the Kelvin scale which is used in cryogenics. They will also view a NASA eClips video and read a press release dealing with very cold gases and liquids.
Formal Education from Our Partner Institutions
Taking a Closer Look: Examining Light and Telescopes (.pdf) - A program of activities appropriate for grades 3-9, from Northrop Grumman, which can be presented in approximately 1 hour. Students explore how lenses gather and focus light by examining images using magnifying glasses and telescopes.
Build the Webb's Mirror - An activity from Ball Aerospace to learn about how the Webb's mirror is segmented. For younger children.
Everything Emits Infrared Energy - Even You! - An activity from Ball Aerospace to learn about infrared energy/light.
- NIRCam Education & Outreach - This is the website for EPO material associated with the Near InfraRed Camera (NIRCam) instrument (by University of Arizona). There are activities available, which were developed and are used regularly for their workshops with the Girl Scouts.
Links to other Education & Outreach Resources
- Amazing Space: A set of Web-based activities from the Space Telescope Science Institute. These are primarily designed for classroom use, but made available for all to enjoy.
- Cool Cosmos: Learn more about infrared light, astronomy, and the world around us. Spectacular images, fun games, resources for educators, and more!