Space-Faring: The Radiation Challenge

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nasaIn collaboration with NASA, this innovative project combined a dramatic fictional video story of astronauts encountering a massive solar storm while they are en-route to Mars with a set of co-curricular activities for middle and high school students centering on the nature of space weather and radiation, its effects on the human body, and NASA’s countermeasure technology to protect astronauts.

This unique teacher guide focuses on Radiation biology which is an interdisciplinary science involving biology, physics, astrophysics, planetary science and engineering – and also examines the effects of radiation on living systems. The Space Faring: The Radiation Challenge educator guide links these disciplines in the context of a lunar outpost by providing background, discussion and research questions, objectives, and inquiry-based activities to introduce radiation biology to middle school students. The guide includes a pretest, lessons, student sheets and answer keys.

Radiation Guide activities include:

  • Radiation: Radiation Exposure on Earth
  • Radiation Damage in Living Organisms: Modeling Radiation-Damaged DNA
  • Protection From Radiation: Space Weather Forecasting
  • A section on Applications to Life on Earth: Radiation as a Tool is also included.

Supplemental videos include:

  • Space Faring: The Radiation Challenge Act 1: What Is Radiation and Where Does It Come From?
  • Space Faring: The Radiation Challenge Act 2: Space Radiation and Human Health
  • Space Faring: The Radiation Challenge Act 3: Protection From Space Radiation

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