Transform STEM learning and build "engineering literacy" with this FREE Maker-based program. Developed by Eurekus and McREL International for NASA's Discovery & New Frontiers Programs, MISSIONMakers features an exciting collection of scaffolded projects to foster design thinking and engineering skills through Maker experiences.
SIMPLE MACHINE SHOEBOX ROVER
Simple Machines form the foundation of all engineering and complex NASA missions still employ their use! Learners build crucial engineering skills with our Shoebox Rover project. This exciting activity features all six simple machines - lever, wedge, screw, pulley, inclined plane and wheels & axles - which are also combined to create more complex, kinetic systems. Students are inspired by real NASA missions while gaining critical mechanical skills, design-thinking principles and physical science concepts. Shoebox Rover also incorporates geometry, measurement and storytelling. Designed with all learners in mind, the activity needs only basic materials and is scalable for all ages - an excellent, 8-10 session project for after school programs, summer camps, in-class investigation and to explore at home!
OSIRIS-REx MOTORIZED MOBILES
Learners work in teams to create motorized mobiles of NASA's new sample return mission OSIRIS-REx. Traveling to asteroid Bennu in 2016, students investigate science goals, design features and engineering solutions unique to this unprecedented mission. Working in groups paralleling real NASA teams, learners create mini scale models of the OSIRIS-REx mission. Through a guided approach, teams utilize their simple and complex machine knowledge to make kinetic systems and create their own asteroid. Teams then add a tech pack - tape circuit, battery base and tiny motor - to create an exciting mobile with emerging technologies. Throughout collaboration is emphasized and the project is scalable for all ages.
INSIGHT TECH LANDER
Explore complex engineering and emerging technologies with this exciting project for the more advanced leaner. Students design their own mission inspired by NASA's new Mars lander, InSight. Using NASA's modular bus system, students create a kinetic model employing more complex machines and engineering systems - actuator legs, movable lever arms, solar panel systems, etc. Students then add a micro-controller, battery pack and tape circuit to power LED lights. Throughout, students are encouraged to create custom engineering solutions through a sequence of Open Design Challenges. Once learners have created a working prototype, they have the perfect project to convert to 3D printed designs. Our InSight lander is the synthesizing project for the MISSIOMakers program and fosters more advanced engineering skills.