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  • Penny Axelrad
By Land, Sea or Air
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In this lesson, students learn that navigational techniques change when people travel to different places land, sea, air and in space. For example, an explorer traveling by land uses different methods of navigation than a sailor or an astronaut.

Subject:
Engineering
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Denise Carlson
Denise W. Carlson
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Matt Lippis
Penny Axelrad
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Classroom Triangles
Conditions of Use:
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Students use bearing measurements to triangulate and determine objects' locations. Working in teams of two or three, they must put on their investigative hats as they take bearing measurements to specified landmarks in their classroom (or other rooms in the school) from a "mystery location." With the extension activity, students are challenged with creating their own maps of the classroom or other school location and comparing them with their classmates' efforts.

Subject:
Education
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Janet Yowell
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Matt Lippis
Penny Axelrad
Date Added:
10/14/2015
Close Enough?
Conditions of Use:
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Rating

Accuracy of measurement in navigation depends very much on the situation. If a sailor's target is an island 200 km wide, sailing off center by 10 or 20 km is not a major problem. But, if the island were only 1 km wide, it would be missed if off just the smallest bit. Many of the measurements made while navigating involve angles, and a small error in the angle can translate to a much larger error in position when traveling long distances.

Subject:
Education
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Janet Yowell
Jeff White
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Matt Lippis
Penny Axelrad
Date Added:
10/14/2015
Computer Accuracy
Conditions of Use:
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Accuracy of measurement in navigation depends very much on the situation. If a sailor's target is an island 200 km wide, sailing off center by 10 or 20 km is not a major problem. But, if the island were only 1 km wide, it would be missed if off just the smallest bit. Many of the measurements made while navigating involve angles, and a small error in the angle can translate to a much larger error in position when traveling long distances.

Subject:
Education
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Janet Yowell
Jeff White
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Matt Lippis
Penny Axelrad
Date Added:
10/14/2015
Find Your Own Direction
Conditions of Use:
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Students create their own simple compasses using thread, needle and water in a bowl and learn how it works.

Subject:
Engineering
Education
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Abby Watrous
Janet Yowell
Jay Shah
Jeff White
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Matt Lippis
Penny Axelrad
Date Added:
10/14/2015
GPS Art
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Students design their own logo or picture and use a handheld GPS receiver to map it out. They write out a word or graphic on a field or playground, walk the path, and log GPS data. The results display their "art" on their GPS receiver screen.

Subject:
Education
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Janet Yowell
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Matt Lundberg
Penny Axelrad
Date Added:
10/14/2015
GPS Receiver Basics
Conditions of Use:
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Students familiarize themselves — through trial and error — with the basics of GPS receiver operation. They view a receiver's satellite visibility screen as they walk in various directions and monitor their progress on the receiver's map. Students may enter waypoints and use the GPS information to guide them back to specific locations.

Subject:
Education
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Janet Yowell
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Matt Lundberg
Penny Axelrad
Date Added:
10/14/2015
GPS Scavenger Hunt
Conditions of Use:
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Students go on a GPS scavenger hunt. They use GPS receivers to find designated waypoints and report back on what they found. They compute distances between waypoints based on the latitude and longitude, and compare with the distance the receiver finds.

Subject:
Education
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Janet Yowell
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Matt Lundberg
Penny Axelrad
Date Added:
10/14/2015
GPS on the Move
Conditions of Use:
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Rating

During a scavenger hunt and an art project, students learn how to use a handheld GPS receiver for personal navigation. Teachers can request assistance from the Institute of Navigation to find nearby members with experience in using GPS and in locating receivers to use.

Subject:
Engineering
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Janet Yowell
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Matt Lundberg
Penny Axelrad
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Getting it Right!
Conditions of Use:
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Rating

In this lesson, students will investigate error. As shown in earlier activities from navigation lessons 1 through 3, without an understanding of how errors can affect your position, you cannot navigate well. Introducing accuracy and precision will develop these concepts further. Also, students will learn how computers can help in navigation. Often, the calculations needed to navigate accurately are time consuming and complex. By using the power of computers to do calculations and repetitive tasks, one can quickly see how changing parameters likes angles and distances and introducing errors will affect their overall result.

Subject:
Engineering
Mathematics
Geometry
Trigonometry
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Janet Yowell
Jeff White
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Matt Lippis
Penny Axelrad
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Getting to the Point
Conditions of Use:
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Rating

In this lesson, students learn how to determine location by triangulation. We describe the process of triangulation and practice finding your location on a worksheet, in the classroom, and outdoors.

Subject:
Engineering
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Janet Yowell
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Matt Lippis
Penny Axelrad
Date Added:
09/18/2014
How to be a Great Navigator!
Conditions of Use:
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In this lesson, students will learn how great navigators of the past stayed on course that is, the historical methods of navigation. The concepts of dead reckoning and celestial navigation are discussed.

Subject:
Engineering
Mathematics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Janet Yowell
Jeff White
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Penny Axelrad
Date Added:
09/18/2014
It's About Time
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In past times, ocean navigators tossed a piece of wood over the side of their ships and noted how long until the ship passed the wood. They used this time measurement and the length of the ship to calculate their speed and estimate how far they had traveled. In this activity, students act the part of a GPS signal traveling to the receiver to learn how travel time is converted to distance.

Subject:
Education
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Janet Yowell
Jeff White
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Penny Axelrad
Date Added:
10/14/2015
Nautical Navigation
Conditions of Use:
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Rating

In this activity, students explore the importance of charts to navigation on bodies of water. Using one worksheet, students learn to read the major map features found on a real nautical chart. Using another worksheet, students draw their own nautical chart using the symbols and identifying information learned.

Subject:
Education
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Denise Carlson
Janet Yowell
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Matt Lippis
Penny Axelrad
Date Added:
10/14/2015
Navigating at the Speed of Satellites
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For thousands of years, navigators have looked to the sky for direction. Today, celestial navigation has simply switched from using natural objects to human-created satellites. A constellation of satellites, called the Global Positioning System, and hand-held receivers allow for very accurate navigation. In this lesson, students investigate the fundamental concepts of GPS technology trilateration and using the speed of light to calculate distances.

Subject:
Engineering
Astronomy
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Janet Yowell
Jeff White
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Matt Lippis
Penny Axelrad
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Navigating by the Numbers
Conditions of Use:
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In this lesson, students will learn that math is important in navigation and engineering. Ancient land and sea navigators started with the most basic of navigation equations (Speed x Time = Distance). Today, navigational satellites use equations that take into account the relative effects of space and time. However, even these high-tech wonders cannot be built without pure and simple math concepts basic geometry and trigonometry that have been used for thousands of years. In this lesson, these basic concepts are discussed and illustrated in the associated activities.

Subject:
Engineering
Mathematics
Geometry
Trigonometry
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Janet Yowell
Jeff White
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Penny Axelrad
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Nidy-Gridy
Conditions of Use:
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Rating

Normally we find things using landmark navigation. When you move to a new place, it may take you awhile to explore the new streets and buildings, but eventually you recognize enough landmarks and remember where they are in relation to each other. However, another accurate method for locating places and things is using grids and coordinates. In this activity, students will come up with their own system of a grid and coordinates for their classroom and understand why it is important to have one common method of map-making.

Subject:
Education
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Janet Yowell
Jeff White
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Matt Lippis
Penny Axelrad
Date Added:
10/14/2015
The North (Wall) Star
Conditions of Use:
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Rating

Celestial navigation is the art and science of finding one's geographic position by means of astronomical observations, particularly by measuring altitudes of celestial objects sun, moon, planets or stars. This activity starts with a basic, but very important and useful, celestial measurement: measuring the altitude of Polaris (the North Star) or measuring the latitude.

Subject:
Engineering
Physical Geography
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Janet Yowell
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Matt Lippis
Penny Axelrad
Date Added:
10/14/2015
Northward Ho!
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Students create and use their own simple compasses, which are each made from a bowl of water, strong magnet, stick pin and Styrofoam peanuts. They learn how compasses work and about cardinal directions. They come to understand that the Earth's magnetic field has both horizontal and vertical components.

Subject:
Engineering
Physical Geography
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Janet Yowell
Jeff White
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Matt Lippis
Penny Axelrad
Date Added:
10/14/2015
Not So Lost in Space
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Students learn how engineers navigate satellites in orbit around the Earth and on their way to other planets in the solar system. In accompanying activities, they explore how ground-based tracking and onboard measurements are performed. Also provided is an overview of orbits and spacecraft trajectories from Earth to other planets, and how spacecraft are tracked from the ground using the Deep Space Network (DSN). DSN measurements are the primary means for navigating unmanned vehicles in space. Onboard spacecraft instruments might include optical sensors and an inertial measurement unit (IMU).

Subject:
Engineering
Astronomy
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Janet Yowell
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Penny Axelrad
Date Added:
09/18/2014