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## Edu News | January 26, 2022

24 stem lessons you can quickly deploy in the classroom.

Calling all teachers pressed for time, substitutes looking for classroom activities that don't require a lot of prep, and others hoping to keep students learning in especially chaotic times: We've got a new collection of lessons and activities that you can quickly deploy.

Read on to explore our collection of Quick and Easy STEM lessons and student activities , organized by grade band. Get everything you need to guide students through standards-aligned lessons featuring connections to real NASA missions and science as well as links to student projects, which can be led by teachers or assigned as independent activities.

Grades 9-12

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## Make a Paper Mars Helicopter

In this lesson, students build a paper helicopter, then improve the design and compare and measure performance.

Subject Engineering

Time 30-60 mins

## Student Project: Make a Paper Mars Helicopter

Build a paper helicopter, then see if you can improve the design like NASA engineers did when making the first helicopter for Mars.

## What Tools Would You Take to Mars?

Students decide what they want to learn from a robotic mission to Mars and what tools they will put on their robot to accomplish their goals.

Subject Science

## Rockets by Size

Students cut out, color and sequence paper rockets in a simple mathematics lesson on measurement.

Subject Math

## Rocket Math

Students use rocket manipulatives to help them develop number sense, counting, addition and subtraction skills.

## Tangram Rocket

Students use tangrams to create rockets while practicing shape recognition.

Time 1-2 hrs

## Student Project: Build a Rover and More With Shapes

Use geometric shapes called tangrams to build a rover and other space-themed designs!

Time Less than 30 mins

## Student Project: Build a Rocket and More With Shapes

Use geometric shapes called tangrams to build a rocket and other space-themed designs!

## Mineral Mystery Experiment

Students explore the science behind an intriguing planetary feature by creating saline solutions and then observing what happens when the solutions evaporate.

Grades 2-12

Time 2 sessions of 30-60 mins

## Student Project: Do a Mineral Mystery Experiment

Dissolve salts in water, then observe what happens when the water evaporates.

## What Do You Know About Mars?

Students decide what they want to learn from a robotic mission to Mars.

## Melting Ice Experiment

Students make predictions and observations about how ice will melt in different conditions then compare their predictions to results as they make connections to melting glaciers.

## Parachute Design

Students design and test parachute landing systems to successfully land a probe on target.

## Planetary Poetry

In this cross-curricular STEM and language arts lesson, students learn about planets, stars and space missions and write STEM-inspired poetry to share their knowledge of or inspiration about these topics.

## Student Project: Write a Poem About Space

Are you a space poet, and you didn't even know it? Find out how to create your own poems inspired by space!

## Ocean World: Earth Globe Toss Game

Students use NASA images and a hands-on activity to compare the amounts of land and surface water on our planet.

## Simple Rocket Science Continued

Students gather data on a balloon rocket launch, then create a simple graph to show the results of the tests.

## Spaghetti Anyone? Building with Pasta

Students use the engineering design process to build a structure to handle the greatest load and gain first-hand experience with compression and tension forces.

## Student Project: Building With Spaghetti

Use spaghetti to build a tower modeled after the giant structures NASA uses to talk to spacecraft.

## Simple Rocket Science

Students perform a simple science experiment to learn how a rocket works and demonstrate Newton’s third law of motion.

## Soda-Straw Rockets

Students study rocket stability as they design, construct and launch paper rockets using soda straws.

## Student Project: Make a Straw Rocket

Create a paper rocket that can be launched from a soda straw – then, modify the design to make the rocket fly farther!

## Rocket Activity: Heavy Lifting

Students construct balloon-powered rockets to launch the greatest payload possible to the classroom ceiling.

## Design a Robotic Insect

Students design a robotic insect for an extraterrestrial environment, then compare the process to how NASA engineers design robots for extreme environments like Mars.

## Student Project: Design a Robotic Insect

Design a robotic insect to go to an extreme environment. Then, compare the design process to what NASA engineers do when building robots for Mars!

## How Far Away Is Space?

Students use measurement skills to determine the scale distance to space on a map.

## Student Project: How Far Away Is Space?

Stack coins and use your measurement skills to figure out the scale distance from Earth's surface to space.

## Planetary Travel Time

Students will compute the approximate travel time to planets in the solar system using different modes of transportation.

## The Ring Wing Glider

In this simple engineering design lesson, students turn a piece of paper into an aircraft wing and then try to improve upon their design.

## Student Project: Make a Paper Glider

Turn a piece of paper into a glider inspired by a NASA design.

## How Do We See Dark Matter?

Students will make observations of two containers and identify differences in content, justify their claims and make comparisons to dark matter observations.

Grades 6-12

## Let's Go to Mars! Calculating Launch Windows

Students use advanced algebra concepts to determine the next opportunity to launch a spacecraft to Mars.

Find our full collection of more than 250 STEM educator guides and student activities in Teach and Learn .

For games, articles, and more activities from NASA for kids in upper-elementary grades, visit NASA Space Place and NASA Climate Kids .

Explore more educational resources and opportunities for students and educators from NASA STEM Engagement .

TAGS: Lessons , Teachers , Educators , Parents , Substitutes , Activities , Students , Science , Engineering , Quick and Easy

Kim Orr , Web Producer, NASA-JPL Education Office

Kim Orr is a web and content producer for the Education Office at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Her pastimes are laughing and going on Indiana Jones style adventures.

FREE K-12 standards-aligned STEM

curriculum for educators everywhere!

Find more at TeachEngineering.org .

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