Remote Sensing Beta Test – Engineering Activity 2: Hidden Minerals

Remote Sensing - Engineering A2 Front

Activity Timing

  • 5 min. Introduction
  • 20 min. Detect Minerals Using Sound
  • 10 min. Detect Minerals Using Light, Part 1
  • 20 min. Detect Minerals Using Light, Part 2
  • 5 min. Reflect

60 min. Total

Prep Snapshot

Prep Time: 10 min 

Print and cut materials and set up Materials Table. 

NOTICE: There is significant preparation needed for Activities 4-6. This is a good time to check and plan accordingly.

A2 Educator Guide

A2 Test Sites

Data Collection Grid

A2 Engineering Notebook

This snapshot intended for quick reminders and is not a replacement of the guide. Be sure to use the guide for detailed preparation instructions and implementation scripts.


21st Century Skills Connection

Collaboration, Communication, Critical Thinking

Habits of Mind

  • Innovate processes, methods, and design 

Activity Overview

Youth work to distinguish between minerals by processing data presented in different forms. 

Guiding Question

How can we gather remote sensing data to help scientists find out about minerals from a distance? 

Youth Will Do

  • Investigate how colored cellophane filters light to distinguish patterns.
  • Design scraping technologies to distinguish between materials based on their textures. 
  • Develop ideas for combining technologies to collect data from a distance. 

Youth Will Know

  • Engineers design technologies that process complex data to make it easier to understand/use for different purposes.  
  • Materials have properties that make them better for some purposes than for others.  
  • Engineers must investigate the properties of materials to inform their design choices.  
  • Technologies can change how data is received and measured. 

Additional Resources

Connecting Across Activities

  • In Engineering Activity 1, youth explored the properties of mirrors to design light redirection systems to gather data.
  • In this Activity, they explore the properties of filters and scrapers to gather more data, specifically about minerals.
  • In Engineering Activity 3, they will explore how to use straws to design LiDAR systems to gather data on an additional subject: topography.