Terminal Velocity

Through research articles, inquiry-based activities, videos, games, and other multimedia, students investigate and analyze the dynamics of forces and motion.

Through their expeditions, students will:

  • Investigate how an understanding of velocity, momentum, and acceleration is key to designing cars that can absorb energy during a crash and save lives.
  • Explore how scientists use Newton's three laws to land a one ton rover safely on the surface of Mars.
  • Analyze how simple and complex machines are being used to clean up a devastating oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Meet exciting host researchers engaged in all of these important projects and learn about their work.


Available in print and online editions, Terminal Velocity is designed to fit within school districts' core curriculum. It provides at least five to nine weeks of material with suggested lesson plans, extensions, interdisciplinary connections, and other teacher resources.

The Terminal Velocity curriculum includes...


Student Edition
This 136-page, full-color magazine introduces the host researchers and Argonaut teams, and provides the science background knowledge and the tools to help students solve each expedition challenge. It also contains a "getting started" tutorial, an introduction to mapping, reference charts, a glossary, and interdisciplinary connections.


Teacher Edition
This 160-page, two-color manual includes facsimile Student Edition pages, wrap-around teacher notes, lesson plans, extensions, worksheets, and resources.



This 60 minute DVD introduces teachers and students to some of the world's top explorers and key science concepts. Our video content is seamlessly woven throughout the curriculum, offering a gateway into the exciting world of exploration and adventure.


Online Resources
The JASON Mission Center Web site contains online curriculum, Digital Labs and games, teacher classroom management tools, and online community features. Students and teachers can explore the limitless possibilities of the world of JASON with their JASON Mission Center account.


Digital Labs and Games
Available inside the JASON Mission Center, Digital Labs and games allow students to explore the work of Operation: Terminal Velocity through an exciting gaming environment. Learn more about Commander of the Nautilus, JASON's Digital Lab where you Join Doctor Katy Croff Bell and travel around the world to explore some of the most exciting places in the ocean.


Expedition 1: Critical Measurements – The Quest for Exactness

Host Researcher:
Dan Sawyer
Mechanical Engineer
Precision Engineering Division, National Institute of Standards and Technology
Gaithersburg, MD

Understand the importance of accurate and precise measurements to help society.


Expedition 2: A Universe of Motion - Motion, Velocity and Momentum

Host Researcher:
Matt Brumbelow
Mechanical Engineer
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
Arlington, VA

Investigate and analyze the factors that describe motion and position.


Expedition 3: Fundamental Forces – Forces and the Laws of Motion

Host Researcher:
Kobie Boykins
Staff Mechanical Engineer
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Apply your knowledge of forces and Newton’s Laws of Motion to explore the universe around you.


Expedition 4: Make It Work - Work, Power, and Machines

Host Researcher:
Lisa Jones
Research Fish Biologist
Biloxi, MS

Evaluate the technological and societal applications of work, power, and machines.