Radio JOVE is definitely a project for partnering. Link up with local radio operators (see info in the Education tab), grab a few tech-inclined parents, or locate an Intro to Engineering class at the community college. Your goal is to find people with the technical know-how and interest to get equipment up and running while you focus on content and scientific practices for students. If your class is small, everyone can participate in start-up. With larger classes, you may want to have enthusiastic kids volunteer or even charter a short-term extracurricular group for the purpose. Funding is also something to keep in mind; try a PTSO mini-grant or enlist kids in a school-based fundraiser. Use Radio JOVE lesson plans as-is or as a framework as you explore content kids will need in order to engage in the project successfully.Continue reading Show less
NASA’s Radio JOVE project invites classrooms and amateur astronomers to build a radio telescope, gather signals from the sun, Jupiter, and (yes) the galaxy, and then share and analyze data. Visitors to the project’s homepage should look for the two grey, horizontal menu bars, one above and one below the colorful Radio JOVE title. Of the 12 tabs, Joining In is an informative place to begin, while Education is a definite stop for teachers. Find standards info (though not NGSS) as well as detailed lesson plans here.
Visitors will find the website abounds in technical details, many related to the building and operating of a radio receiver and antenna array. Kits for these are available for order (about $200) via the Education tab (and through other links on the site). Other materials, tools, and software are required; these are helpfully listed, along with plentiful tips.
Engineering design, meet citizen science: Build your own radio telescope (problem-solving along the way) and share collected data with NASA. Students practice following highly technical directions and communicating their experiences. Gathered data provides a chance for students to develop a model of space and use this to guide next investigations. For classrooms not connected to a telescope, archived data and streamed data can be used.
However, the time investment needed for successful experiences may not be feasible in many classrooms. This is not just the 8+ hours of telescope-building and subsequent positioning and tweaking. It’s also the content background kids will need to make sense of radio data and long-term patterns. Expect some kids to grapple with the idea that this telescope isn’t one you look through; it's one you use to listen and examine evidence of things not seen.
Key Standards Supported
Earth’s Place in the Universe
Use mathematical or computational representations to predict the motion of orbiting objects in the solar system.
Design a solution to a complex real-world problem by breaking it down into smaller, more manageable problems that can be solved through engineering.
Evaluate a solution to a complex real-world problem based on prioritized criteria and trade-offs that account for a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics, as well as possible social, cultural, and environmental impacts.
Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions.
Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
Analyze data from tests to determine similarities and differences among several design solutions to identify the best characteristics of each that can be combined into a new solution to better meet the criteria for success.
Waves and Their Applications in Technologies for Information Transfer
Communicate technical information about how some technological devices use the principles of wave behavior and wave interactions with matter to transmit and capture information and energy.
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