MMS: Take the MMS Challenge

Program Element / Activity Title:
MMS: Take the MMS Challenge
E/PO Project Name:
Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) Mission
Contact Information:
Code 672
Greenbelt, MD 20771
Program Element / Activity Website:
Program Element / Activity Partners within NASA:
MMS Scientist and Educators
Short Description:

This is a challenge-based activity set designed to have students explore and research the Magnetospheric MultiScale Mission (MMS). Students will explore the purpose and relevance of the mission as well as the scientific methodologies. Activities include application of the scientific method, problem solving strategies, research, collaboration, critical thinking and communication. Links to resources and appropriate web 2.0 tools are provided through a shared livebinder at

Program Element / Activity Image / Visual:
Screen shot of 'Take the MMS Challenge' Livebinder
Program Element / Activity Status
Audience Metrics
Who is the primary audience of your program element / activity?:
National Priorities and Coordination Approaches as Articulated in CoSTEM:
  • Increase and Sustain Youth and Public Engagement in STEM
What are the goals and objectives of your program element / activity?:
Students will understand that: 1) MMS investigates how the Sun's and Earth's magnetic fields connect and disconnect, explosively transferring energy from one to the other a process that occurs throughout the universe, known as magnetic reconnection. 2) MMS reveals, for the first time, the small scale 3D structure and dynamics of the key reconnection regions where the most energetic events originate. 3) By observing magnetic reconnection, MMS studies the ultimate driver of space weather, which affects modern technological systems such as communications networks, GPS navigation, and electrical power grids. 4) The four identically instrumented MMS spacecraft fly in an adjustable pyramid like formation that enables them to observe the 3D structure of magnetic reconnection. 5) Use of four spacecraft endows MMS with the multipoint measurements needed to determine whether reconnection events occur in an isolated locale, everywhere within a larger region at once, or traveling across space. 6) Magnetic reconnection taps the energy stored in a magnetic field and converts it rapidly into heat and kinetic energy in the form of individual charged particle acceleration and large scale flows of ionized gas. 6) The scientific method is the common procedure shared by all scientists. The six steps are: State the problem, Collect data, Make a Hypothesis, Test the Hypothesis, Draw Conclusions and Communicate Results. 7) The Internet was designed for communication and sharing results by scientists and offers many venues to share information. 8) Space exploration and knowledge gained can have a positive effect on their lives
What is the design of the evaluation process for your program element / activity?:
Post product analysis
What are the main impacts of your effort to date and how do they correlate to the project's goals and objectives:
Not available yet