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Space Math @ NASA


Found In: Mathematics, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12

Space Math @ NASA lets students explore how mathematics skills are applied in space exploration. Problems can be accessed by grade level: 3-5, 6-7, Algebra I and II, Geometry, and Calculus or by specific subject areas under the sciences and engineering. Teachers can keep up with the latest problem postings and new resources by joining the SpaceMath Listserve.

Free Downloadable E-Books

A Books section has collections math problems by year or by special topic area, such as black holes, image scaling, space weather, and astrobiology. All collections are in PDF format and gather problems for grades 4-8 and beyond. The books are full-color and contain additional explanatory materials about content and how topics align with national mathematics and science standards identified by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and the National Science Teachers Association. Other Space Math products in PDF format are available as well. The PDFs are large, ranging 3.6 MB - 21.6 MB.

The Books section also has additional math resources for grades 1-12 developed by other NASA missions.

Multimedia Math Modules

A Videos section links to multimedia math modules for grades K-12.

  • NASA eClips provides brief videos for K-5, 6-8, and 9-12. Teachers will find educator guides, a blog, and a toolbox.
  • Holt-McDougal provides middle school math modules featuring video segments, press releases, and interactive on-line solar system models.
  • Eyes on the Solar System is an interactive 3-D model of the solar system that includes the trajectories of all operational NASA spacecraft. Students can manipulate their viewing location, measure distance between objects, study spacecraft up-close, and explore the moons of Jupiter, Saturn and beyond.

Archival Resources

Inquiry Resources is an archive of astronomical data that can lead to answering very interesting questions. It provides a data source for science fair projects, or classroom activities.

Under Additional resources, a game section challenges students to compare two, full-page photos and search for differences between them in Find the Changes! An answer key is provided in the 3-page, PDF files.

The site has an archive of articles, documents and publications that give tips and step-by-step introductions on how to discover the math content behind NASA press releases and other resources. One PowerPoint presentation, The Earth Science Connection (powerpoint icon PPT, 5.5 MB, 42 slides), lists another valuable site: The Space Educators’ Handbook: NASA Space Mathematics. The Space Educators’ Handbook has more than 5,000 curriculum supplements designed for high school students.

 

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