Can You Hear Me Now?—Communicating with Spacecraft

This Can You Hear Me Now?—Communicating with Spacecraft lesson plan also includes:

Radio signals transmitted to Pluto take five hours to reach their destination! In these two activities, young scientists explore data communication in space. In activity one, pupils learn how data is gathered and sent back to Earth. Activity two analyzes how tremendous amounts of data can be compressed, sent back to Earth, and still be translatable and accurate. 

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CCSS: Adaptable
NGSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Explore and compare the resolution of learners' phone cameras; discuss how this data is transmitted between phones and computers
Classroom Considerations

  • Duration of activity may take 1.5 - 3 hours depending upon the level of learners and length/depth of discussions
  • Assumes pupils have heard of computer "bits" 
  • Part three in a series of three
Pros

  • Activity includes worksheets, answer keys, extensive background information, teacher tips, and additional resources/activities
  • Only materials needed are some copies of worksheets, a book, a stopwatch, and potentially a computer, making prep work simple
Cons

  • None
Common Core

NGSS