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Science Modules

Genesis in EducationGenesis science modules capture student interest by using the Genesis mission as a real-world link. Aligned with the content, instruction, and assessment guidelines set forth by the National Research Council, Genesis science modules can be easily inserted in place of traditional units within a typical secondary school science curriculum. Materials include online lesson plans, teacher guides and student activities, suggested assessments, and lists of additional resources and references.
Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry Mini Module (pdf)
This mini-module focuses on the analysis of the Genesis solar wind samples.
Genesis E-news Best of 2001–2003” Genesis mission e-newsletters.
      Container of multi-colored beads for use in activity to study elemental abundances


The large clear plastic container represents one Genesis collection wafer—yellow beads depicting atoms in the wafer and other colors representing embedded solar wind particles.

What Are We Made of? The Sun, Earth, and You
By studying the chemical elements of the sun, we can learn about the essential building blocks for all that exists in the universe, including planets like Earth, and even the human body.

The Genesis Sample Return Mission provided a way for scientists to capture some of these vital elements and brought them back to Earth for analysis, including the separation of these elements from the particles found in the solar wind.

Don Sweetnam presenting in classroom  

In the extraction phase of the activity, students count the number of beads of each color in their cup for further analysis.


The Genesis Mission has provided countless educational opportunities for students nationwide to gain a better understanding of these fundamental elements that make up the universe. By counting elements extracted from a simulated Genesis sample, students learn how the extraction of atoms from the Genesis samples help scientists have a better understanding of the abundance of elements from the solar wind.

Another exciting activity is for students to watch an interactive video explaining the process by which Genesis determined the relative abundance of elements in the solar wind. Students can then collect simulated data based on real Genesis findings to analyze the different percentages of elements within their samples. This activity is available on-line (please see links below).

+ What Are We Made Of? Teacher Guide (PDF, 268 k)
+ What Are We Made Of? Student Activity (PDF, 108 k)
+ Data Chart (XLS, 101k)  (PDF, 27k)

Don Sweetnam presenting in classroom  

Don Sweetnam captures students' attention by his hands-on presentation at a San Diego elementary school about the Genesis mission and the importance of chemistry.


Genesis in the Classroom
Genesis Project Manager , Don Sweetnam made a presentation to Ms. McKelvey's and Ms. Harris's 3rd grade class at Marie Curie Elementary School, San Diego, CA. He hand carried a case with moon rocks to share with the classes and also told the kids about the Genesis mission and why chemistry is so important in our mission science. His visual aid for such was his T-shirt. The kids loved it. That evening, he provided a telescope and assisted parents and children at the school's annual Astronomy Night star party.
Genesis Adapted Curriculum Enhancement (ACE) Materials Leveling the Playing Field
Scientific principles are challenging to understand, and even more challenging when you can't see what the teacher's talking about. Up until recently, visually impaired students struggled to keep up with others when it came to science concepts. Now it's different. Now there are teaching and learning materials specifically designed to meet the needs of visually impaired students.
+ Full story on the NASA portal  >>

+ ACE Web site  >>
Student involved in a tactile Learning environment
>>Student Engaged in Spongy Universe Activity adapted from Genesis Cosmic Chemistry: Cosmogony module
JPL Solar System Ambassadors and Educators are located nationwide. Check out their activities in your area.
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