Summer Fun Activity: Exploring the Extreme ~ Free NASA Educator's Guide

Here is a great Summer Fun Activity to keep them learning: “Exploring the Extreme” is an Educator’s Guide from NASA geared at K–8 students that focuses on math, science, and technology. This free 88-page download covers gravity, jet propulsion, and more!

With some simple inexpensive materials, you can mount an exciting and productive unit for children that incorporates science, mathematics, and technology education. The many activities contained in this teaching guide emphasize hands-on involvement, prediction, data collection and interpretation, teamwork, and problem solving. The guide also contains background information about aeronautical research that can help students learn how airplanes fly.

The guide begins with a detailed look at the F-15 fighter jet, exploring pitch, roll, and yaw, and how the various parts of the airplane are designed to control these motions.

Next up, the lessons. K–4 lessons include:

  • Finding the center of gravity using rulers.
  • Finding the center of gravity using plumb lines.
  • Changing the center of gravity using motion arms.

The lessons for 5–8 step it up a bit. Younger students will enjoy observing them. These lessons include:

  • Jet propulsion.
  • Vectoring (how thrust affects movement).
  • Center of gravity, pitch, yaw.
  • Fuel efficiency.

Many of the lessons and experiments involve creating a model of the F-15 with the included templates. The download also includes some great printables including diagrams, worksheets, data charts, scientific method recording sheets, and more. Most of these will work very well with notebooking.

The lessons use everyday objects that you probably already have on hand, but that are otherwise easy to locate. The lessons are not too long (some are broken up into more than one part) so they should not be too weighty.
If you are using the guide in a more formal setting or are simply curious about the disciplines being covered, curriculum matrices are provided for each activity.

A detailed, illustrated glossary is included in the back.

Excellent summer learning guide — and it’s free!

Free Guide

Additional Resources
10 Ways to Use Notebooking: #7 Science

10 Ways to Use Notebooking: #7 Science
How to create a science-related notebook.

The Story of American Aviation {Free eBook}
Free book that goes well with the guide.

Flight Adventures Unit Study {Free}
For those ready to take it a step further.

NASA Rockets Educator Guide ~ Free
Another free NASA educator’s guide.

View All of the Summer Fun Activities:
Summer Fun Activities
Summer Fun Activities


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