Asteroid Hunters Teaching Aids

Give your students the opportunity to save the world.
Asteroid Hunters

The NEO Deflection App, created by Aerospace in partnership with NASA/JPL, is a science-based tool that aims at using physics and orbital mechanics to model an approaching asteroid that can be deflected using multiple parameters: time, launch vehicles, asteroid type and distance. 

The app, originally designed for one user, has been updated to incorporate groups of participants so they can collaboratively deflect an asteroid headed toward Earth.  In the enhanced version, diverse teams can engage in different scenarios and friendly competition to save Earth from an impending impact.  As they work together, they communicate and simulate possible solutions. 

Soon you will be able to try this app with your high school class and give your students the opportunity to save the world!

Downloadable Teaching Materials

In this lesson, students learn how near-Earth objects (NEO) can threaten the planet. After identifying near-Earth objects through a citizen science exercise and learning about fireballs through an online NASA investigation, students enter a simulation to save Earth from an incoming asteroid.

Students work in teams to divert the asteroid through an interactive app that features critical thinking, mathematics modeling, and competitive team building aspects. Students compete to model the most economical solution to intercept a near-Earth object (NEO) threatening Earth based on specific parameters of velocity, density, diameter, and intercept mode.

The lesson plan includes opportunities for a volunteer from The Aerospace Corporation to share their experience in the field of aerospace while making intentional connections to student learning, including an editable slideshow template and specific notes within the lesson plan to support student success.

1. Near-Earth Object Lesson Plan

2. Near-Earth Object Slideshow for Teachers

3. Near-Earth Object Slideshow for Scientists

4. Near-Earth Object Student Handouts

5. Asteroid Hunters Educators Guide (courtesy of IMAX)

Asteroid Deflection Stars in IMAX Film

An IMAX documentary was filmed at Aerospace’s El Segundo facility to highlight Aerospace’s near-Earth objects (NEOs) expertise on planetary defense and asteroid deflection.