Asteroid Day: June 30

Rocks are hurling through space right now and Earth is hit by them all the time. Luckily those are smaller rocks, but it’s only a matter of time until a large asteroid comes in contact with Earth again. The last major asteroid impact happened around 66 million years ago! NASA and other space agencies are working together to launch a new mission called DART (Double Asteroid Redirection Test). This mission will test the effectiveness of changing an asteroid’s path by slamming a spacecraft into the asteroid!

Here’s an activity that you can complete at home to model the DART mission. Select an object to represent the Earth, an asteroid, and the DART spacecraft.

  • Earth Options: Circle of paper, a globe, a box, a chalk drawing of Earth on the sidewalk
  • Asteroid Options: Basket ball, soccer ball, other large rolling object
  • DART Spacecraft Options: Marble, tennis ball, bouncy ball

Roll the “asteroid” towards “Earth” and roll the “spacecraft” to hit the moving target. How does the collision impact the “asteroid’s” path? Test out different objects to represent the asteroid and spacecraft. Which “spacecrafts” are the most effective? Does the speed of the “spacecraft” make a difference? Is it easier to change the direction of a lighter or heavier “asteroid”?

Here are some resources on the upcoming mission with NASA and the ESA.

5 Steps to Preventing Asteroid Impact: a Random Space Fact Mini-series: Watch these short videos on how scientists find asteroid in the night sky and use that information to predict where they’ll go.

Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART): Learn more about what NASA’s plan to slam its spacecraft into an asteroid.

Hera: Our Planetary Defense Mission: Watch a video describing the European Space Agency’s part of the mission and how it will make measurements for DART’s impact.

Asteroid or Meteor – What’s the difference?: Learn about the terminology of space objects including meteorites, comets, and asteroids.

Weekly Web Findings: Biomimicry, volcanoes, COVID 19 news and more!

June 5, 2020

Here are our weekly collection of useful web resources. Let us know in the comments what you find useful!

Meet ACE2, the Enzyme at the Center of the Covid-19 Mystery: Read up on how scientist unlock another part of the COVID 19 puzzle.

Japanese Scientists Unveil ‘Nuclear’ Periodic Table of Elements: Take a look at a proposed update to the classic periodic table.

Mitosis Match Up: Use this activity from Carolina to reinforce the stages of mitosis with your students.

“We can soon thank butterfly tongues for better cancer treatments and vaccines”: Learn about technologies inspired from traits found in nature.

Scientists Gene-Hack Human Cells to Turn Invisible: Learn how science can genetically engineer cells with some inspiration from squid.

The 10 Most Dangerous Volcanoes in the U.S. Ranked”: Learn about volcanoes across the U.S and see some amazing photos!

Weekly Web Findings: Science at home and online, glowing slime, meatpacking robots and more!

May 28, 2020

Here are our weekly collection of useful web resources. Let us know in the comments what you find useful!

At home experiments from Carolina Biological: engage your students or restless children with these engaging at home science experiments.

How to Make Magic Mud – from a Potato: Learn how to make glow in the dark slime using everyones favorite vegetable!

Surface tension of water and alcohol: Learn about (and test at home) the difference in surface tension between water and isopropyl alcohol.

COVID-19 Makes the Case for More Meatpacking Robots”: Read an article about how Denmark is combating COVID in the meatpacking industry.

Weekly Web Findings: Celebrate student writing, at home STEM activities, endocrine system and more!

May 19, 2020

Here are our weekly collection of useful web resources! Let us know what you find useful!

Endocrine system from Carolina Biological: engage your students with this reading and informational poster all about the endocrine system. Be sure to check out the microscope images of the different tissues!

100 free at-home learning resources and activities for kids of all ages: Scroll through this comprehensive list of activities from Johns Hopkins to discover your childs next STEM project.

“Bacteria Bombs, Fat Tongues and Microrobots: The Winners of Our STEM Writing Contest”: Read student written articles explaining science topics.

Wild Kratts from PBS: Go on natural history adventures to learn about animals all over the world.