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Educational Level:
Grade 8  
SMD Forum - Primary:
Planetary Science  
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This classic video explains the history, debate and continuing discussion of the definition of a planet.

Keywords: Dwarf planet
Audience: Middle school, High school, Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

Become a crime scene investigator! Learners model Dawn Mission scientists, engineers, and technologists and how they use instrumentation to detect distant worlds. After a briefing to build context, students explore interactions between different... (View More)

This activity is about planetary rovers. Learners will simulate the challenges in communications that engineers face when driving a rover on Mars. They will particpate as part of a rover team to design and execute a series of commands that will... (View More)

This paper model shows the orbit of Comet ISON (late 2013) with respect to the innermost planets of the solar system. After reading background information about comets - how they form and where they come from - students cut out and tape together the... (View More)

This is a set of one-page problems about mass and power of spacecraft. Learners will use multi-step equations to solve several diverse problems. Options are presented so that students may learn about different types of power systems to generate... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

This is a set of one-page problems about distance craft travel on Mars. Learners will use the Pythagorean Theorem to determine distance between a series of hypothetical exploration sites within Gale Crater on Mars. Options are presented so that... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

This is a set of one-page problems about the size of planets compared to Earth. Learners may use ratios to compare planets within our solar system or those outside of our solar system with the Earth. Options are presented so that students may learn... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

This 12-lesson unit includes inquiry-based lessons about the surface features of the Moon and the Earth and how these two worlds formed and continue to evolve. Students participate in real science as they help lunar scientists map the surface of the... (View More)

Learners will investigate how lateral velocity affects the orbit of a spacecraft such as the International Space Station (ISS). Mathematical extensions are provided. This is science activity 1 of 2 found in the ISS L.A.B.S. Educator Resource Guide.

Keywords: Gravity

Leaners will grow a sugar crystal and learn how this relates to growing protein crystals in space. The lack of gravity allows scientists on the space station to grow big, almost perfect crystals, which are used to help design new medicines. This is... (View More)

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