Collaborative Decision Making: NASA's Deep Impact Mission
This is a highly-developed unit plan involving collaborative problem solving using data. The subject is the launch of a probe to investigate the composition of a comet. The students will engage in quantitative risk analysis, role-playing, persuasive writing and speaking, and group decision-making procedures. The students will study the objectives and the risks of the project and make decisions about how to deal with them from the perspectives of NASA scientists, engineers, and members of the public involved with the project.
- Learn how NASA collects data about the Solar System.
- Study the interactions between the various shareholders in NASA projects.
- Develop collaboration and communication strategies.
- Make quantitative risk analyses from data.
- Practice group decision-making procedures.
Context for Use
Materials for all of the lessons are available at or through the NASA's Deep Impact Mission ( This site may be offline. ) website and in a pdf version. For one of the lessons, the students need access to reference material (including computers with Internet connections) and for the other, they will need presentation materials. There is also a spreadsheet that the students will download.