New Educational Resources Available From JPL Education

Are you looking for ways to bring the latest NASA science and mission news into your classroom? Education specialists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California have the resources to help you do just that! The "Teachable Moments" blog brings together news, activities and education tips on the latest happenings at NASA. 

Check out the latest offerings from JPL Education.

Teachable Moment: May the Force = mass x acceleration — Grades 6-12
Star Wars Day, May the Fourth, was earlier this week, and the education team at JPL has a Teachable Moment that connects Star Wars, JPL’s Dawn Mission and Newton’s Laws of Motion. This article contains a primer on the physics behind the ion propulsion engines that drive the Dawn spacecraft, as well as a lesson that shows students how to calculate additive velocity on a hypothetical ion-propelled spacecraft. The spreadsheet model addresses both Next Generation Science and Common Core Math Standards for grades 6-12. Check it out at

Coming Soon! Teachable Moment: Transit of Mercury — Grades 5-12
May 9 marks the first transit of Mercury since 2006. The movement of Mercury across the sun’s disk, as seen from Earth, provides an opportunity for teachers to engage students in authentic, real-world problems that address Common Core Math Standards. On May 6, the education team at JPL will release a Teachable Moment related to the transit of Mercury that will provide background on the importance of planetary transits, mathematics activities appropriate for middle and high school students, and extensions to enhance student learning. 

Looking for more? Check out the "Teachable Moments" archives for more resources.

Nathan Smith

Nathan Smith is Director of Technology for the College of Education and Human Services at Utah State University. In that role, he also directs The Adele & Dale Young Education Technology Center (The YETC) located in room 170 of the Education Building on Utah State University's Logan campus. The YETC is a combination student open­access computer facility, a K­12 curriculum materials library, a NASA Educator Resource Center for Utah, and a technology training center. Nathan served eight years (2004­2012) on the Board of Directors for the Utah Coalition for Education Technology (UCET) He was re­elected in 2014 to serve another two year term on the board. A former elementary school teacher, Nathan has taught students every age from young children to senior citizens. He has had the opportunity beginning in 2011 to train international high school teachers from all over the world about technology in education, through the U.S. State

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