Introducing SpaceMath@NASA

SPACEMATH: The 'M' in STEM education for science and math educators.

SpaceMath@NASA introduces students to the use of mathematics in today's scientific discoveries. Through press releases and other articles, we explore how many kinds of mathematics skills come together in exploring the universe. [Press Release]

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Math in the News

A behind-the-scenes look at the math in NASA press releases

  • Problem 694: Exploring Bright Fireballs on Earth. Students work with a map of bright fireballs detected by NASA since 1994 to estimate how often, and how far away an average observer is from such events. (PDF).

  • Problem 693: Exploring the Surface of a Comet. Students work with the latest image of the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenkoand which is being explored by the European Rosetta mission. In November, 2014 it successfully placed the lander Philae on the comet's surface. (PDF).

    New Math Problems from Supporting NASA Missions

    Special collections of problems created for featured NASA missions and programs

    InSight: Seismographic station on the surface of Mars! [ Archive ]
    • [ Grade 3-5 ].....Comparing the InSight Landing Area to a City Block
    • [ Grade 6-8 ].....Seismic Wave Arrival Times
    • [ Grade 9-12 ]...The Distance to the Martian Horizon.
    SAGE-III: Measuring aerosols in the atmosphere from the ISS! [ Archive ]
    • [ Grade 3-5 ].....A Scale Model of Aerosol Sizes
    • [ Grade 6-8 ].....Exploring Aerosol Size, Mass and Concentration
    • [ Grade 9-12 ]...Sunrise and Sunset Geometry
    Solar Probe Plus: Exploring the sun's outer atmosphere! [ Archive ]
    • [ Grade 4-7 ].....Exploring Spacecraft Systems Using Fractions
    • [ Grade 8-10 ]...The Orbital Speed of the Solar Probe Plus Spacecraft
    • [ Grade 9-12 ]...Having a Hot Time Near the Sun!

    Van Allen Belt Probes: Exploring the Van Allen Belts! [ Archive ]

    • [ Grade 3-5 ].....Electricity from Sunlight Using Solar Panels
    • [ Grade 6-8 ]...Estimating the Total Mass of the Van Allen Belts
    • [ Grade 9-12 ]...An Improved Model for Van Allen Belt Radiation Dose

    | Problems from Last Year | Problems from This Year |

    Spanish Translations

    ¿Que hora es? -What time is it? - Students work with a simple Time Zone problem involving Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and Local Time in various countries.

    Crateres en la Luna - Craters on the Moon - Students use a photograph of the moon's surface, and a ruler, to measure the sizes of craters on the moon, then determine the actual sizes of the craters in kilometers.

    Notacion Cientifica - Scientific Notation In this exercise, students will convert some very large and very small decimal numbers into Scientific Notation form.

    Conversion de Unidades - Unit Conversions Converting gallons to liters and many more fun conversions!

    Calcular la Masa Molecular -Calculating Molecular Mass The structure formula of a molecule adefovir dipivoxil is presented and students count the number of atoms it contains to determine the mass of the molecule.

    Un Sobrevuelo del Asteroide Lutetia -Spacecraft Views Asteroid Lutetia The surface is seen closeup to reveal hundreds of craters. Students measure the sizes of craters.

    LRO ve el modulo de aterrizaje del Apolo 11 en la Luna- Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Sees Apollo-11 Lander on the Moon The spectacular image lets students measure the sizes of craters near the Apollo-11 lander, and determine from the Lander's shadow length the elevation of the sun above the horizon.