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Site Review: Jet Propulsion Lab - NASA

Site URL: JPL.NASA.Gov…

Content:  This NASA site has videos, games and projects about outer space, the solar system and space exploration.

Design:  The site isn’t very big, so there is not a lot of opportunity to get creative with design. NASA does, however, make the most of its limited digital real estate. The homepage presents users with a huge content box front and center. From there, the remainder of the content falls blog-style (vertically) down the page. Everything here features a space theme, complete with a starry sky background and futuristic graphics.

NASA JPLReview:  While the site may not be massive, it more than makes up for this lack of size by boasting some truly amazing content. Articles and videos are both timely and evergreen, offering students everything from a description of the Mars rover project to a timeless science lesson on how to make a foam rocket.

In addition to articles that make complex missions like the Mars exploration easy to understand, JPL also ties the current missions to classic science lessons. One lesson asks the question, “Is Mars really red?” Students get an excellent explanation of the natural phenomenon that creates Mars’ red complexion.

Another terrific aspect of the JPL site is students’ ability to interact with the content. Students are encouraged to ask NASA scientists about current space events, and the answers are subsequently published on the site.

Bottom Line:  To give kids a hands-on space experience without leaving your classroom, give NASA’s JPL a look.

 

Article by Jason Tomaszewski, EducationWorld Associate Editor
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