Narrow Search

Filters: Your search found 119 results.
Educational Level:
Informal education  
SMD Forum - Primary:
Planetary Science  
Sort by:
Per page:

Now showing results 1-100 of 119

Hear from a NASA scientist and a NASA engineer as they describe their roles in the design and development of one aspect of the James Webb Space Telescope. The video reveals the importance of collaboration in continually moving exploration forward.... (View More)

Invisible Mars is a Science on a Sphere (SOS) and planetarium program that examines the story of water on Mars. NASA’s MAVEN mission (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission) is providing new information about the atmosphere of Mars and its... (View More)

This series of investigative activities for Cadette Girl Scouts begins with an overview of our inner solar system, emphasizes the planetary histories of Mars, Earth and Venus, then concludes with evidence for the greenhouse effect on Earth. The... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

This paper and pencil activity pad includes simple activities (e.g., connect the dots, fill in the blanks, drawing), fun facts, and information about the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST).

Keywords: Space telescopes
Audience: Informal education

Using a plastic tray filled with sand to represent a planetary surface, learners simulate the effects of wind, water, and impacts. They will compare the surface effects they create with actual images of planetary surfaces- and determine the causes... (View More)

Explore lunar phases as viewed from Earth using paper plates. While standing in the appropriate spot in the moon's orbit, students hold paper plates that depict the Moon's phase. This activity can be used to assess understanding of lunar phases or... (View More)

Students "observe" an imaginary new planet in our galaxy from the relative distances of a ground-based telescope, the Hubble Telescope, and a fly-by mission. After recording their observations and discussing the differences, they compare their... (View More)

Learners create scale models of Earth, the moon, and Mars out of playdough. Based on the size of the models, they must determine the relative distance between them and then display them at that scale. This activity was designed for use in a library... (View More)

Using an online interactive platform, learners will explore our solar system from the perspective of the Sun. They will observe the motion of different worlds to determine their location in the solar system. Then they will launch probes to search... (View More)

In this activity, children use common craft materials and ultraviolet (UV)-sensitive beads to construct a person (or dog or imaginary creature). They use sunscreen, foil, paper, and more to test materials that might protect UV Kid from being exposed... (View More)

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

Students are tasked with virtually designing a spacecraft to withstand the harsh environment of the Van Allen Radiation belts- the location of many communication, GPS and weather satellites. The details of the challenge, along with videos on... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

Developed as a planetarium show, this video describes the unique environment of our solar system planets and a few satellites, along with some of the challenges and possible solutions for potential human habitation on each. Two versions of the video... (View More)

Microscopic meteorites routinely reach Earth's surface. While challenging to find and identify, this activity provides techniques for searching for them in the local environment.

Each lesson or activity in this toolkit is related to NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). The toolkit is designed so that each lesson can be done independently, or combined and taught in a sequence. The Teacher Implementation Guide provides... (View More)

This is a mini comic book about cosmic rays. Learners will construct the comic book and then read about cosmic rays, their effect, and how the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter's Cosmic Ray Telescope for the Effects of Radiation (CRaTER) detects them.

Learners will visit a sequence of stations to discover how the dark and light areas and craters we see on the Moon's face today record major events of its lifetime. While they may visit the stations in any order, the stations trace the Moon's... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

Learners go outside on a clear evening and view the sky to see the Moon for themselves. Using sky charts, children navigate the Moon’s impact craters, flat plains (maria), and mountains with the naked eye and binoculars or telescopes. This outdoor... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

Learners read or listen to a cultural story describing a shape identified in the Moon's surface features. Then, they consider how the features formed over the Moon's 4.5-billion-year history and investigate Earth rocks that are similar. Children may... (View More)

Learners use a Styrofoam ball, sunlight, and the motions of their bodies to model the Moon's phases outdoors. An extension is to have children predict future Moon phases. This activity is part of Explore! Marvel Moon, a series of activities... (View More)

This is an activity about the way the moon interacts with sunlight. Learners consider a ball, wrapped in aluminum foil, and experiment with a flashlight to make it appear bright. The children compare the foil-wrapped ball to a Moon globe and... (View More)

This is an activity about the rotation of the Moon. Learners use a penny and a quarter to model that the Moon does indeed spin on its axis as it orbits the Earth. They find that the Moon keeps the same face toward the Earth, but receives... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

This is an activity about the tides. Learners discover how the Moon's gravitational pull causes the level of the ocean to rise and fall twice a day along most coastlines. Six children represent the oceans, solid Earth, Moon, and Sun and move their... (View More)

Learners color images of the latest scientific data depicting the Moon's formation to create their own comic strips of our Moon's birth. The children use different-colored balls of Play-Doh® to model the impact between Earth and a small planet 4.5... (View More)

Learners explore Earth's rotation and the Moon's role in our 24-hour day, using their bodies to explore and model the Earth's daily motions in this kinethetic exploration. They relate the motion of the Earth about its axis (rotation) to the... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

Learners hear a story, song, or (silly or serious) poem that celebrates the Moon's different phases. They recreate the shapes of the lunar phases using the frosting from Oreo® cookies, and then they place them in correct order to reveal the... (View More)

This is an activity about the Moon's formation, changes over time, gravitational connection to Earth, or influence on our culture and urban legends. Learners share their learning by creating zines: small, self-published magazines inexpensively... (View More)

This is an activity about Lunar samples. Learners will see snapshots of the Moon's history and hold an important artifact of American history with a Lunar Sample Disk. Earth rocks and soil of similar types as the lunar samples may be provided and... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

Learners create edible models of the interior composition of the Earth and Moon. Common food items are used to construct the cores, mantles, and crusts of both planetary objects. They then compare their structure as they are eating their models.... (View More)

Learners select from a variety of fruits to construct a scale model of the Moon, Earth, and Sun. After determining the correct sizes and distances for their models, they remove the Moon. They consider what it would be like if the nearby Moon were no... (View More)

Learners model how Earth's tilt creates the seasons. They use their bodies to review the Earth's daily motions before investigating the reason for Earth's seasons in this kinesthetic exploration. The motion of the Earth about its axis (rotation) and... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

This is an activity about how scientists use craters to determine the ages of lunar surface. Learners work in pairs: one child keeps time while the other creates a painting for the other to interpret. Cotton balls coated in different colors of paint... (View More)

This activity is about viewing the planet Mars (and others) through a telescope. Learners will go outside on a clear evening to view the planets and other celestial bodies for themselves. Using sky charts and other resources, and possibly in... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

This module focuses on ultraviolet radiation on Earth and in space and how it affects life. Learners will construct their own "martian" using craft materials and UV beads. They will explore how UV radiation from the Sun can affect living things,... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

This is an activity about similarities and differences between the Earth and Mars. Learners will investigate how Mars compares to the Earth, working together to create an Earth-Mars Comparison Poster to post in the program facility/library and share... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

This is a set of two improv-style activites that encourage participants to participate in learning about living and nonliving things. Learners will get to know each other through an icebreaker activity and state their ideas and previous experience... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

This is an activity designed to develop a working definition of life. Learners will conduct a simple experiment, looking for signs of life in three different "soil" samples. The experiment introduces children to the difficulty that scientists face... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

This is an activity about the requirements of life. Learners will explore what living things need to survive and thrive by creating and caring for a garden plot (outdoors where appropriate) or a container garden (indoors) at the program facility.... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

This activity focuses on the relationship between science of looking for life and the tools, on vehicles such as the Mars Rover, that make it possible. Learners will create their own models of a Mars rover. They determine what tools would be... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

This activity focuses on how the search for life on Mars is portrayed in fiction and videos. Learners will consider depictions of Mars from science fiction books and video clips. As a group, children discuss what they know about Mars and compare... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

This is an activity about the Moon's influence on Earth. Learners think like a scientist - with reasoning skills and a healthy amount of skepticism - to sort puzzle pieces containing statements about the Moon into two images. The "Far-out Far Side"... (View More)

In this activity, community members of all ages are invited to contribute photographs - taken with cell phones, film cameras, or more sophisticated equipment - of the Moon. The images are collected over the course of a month or more and posted in... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

This is an activity about the history of the Solar System. Learners work in groups to determine the order of geologic events - such as the formation of the Moon and when the bright crater of Tycho formed - and arrange images depicting those events... (View More)

Learners model how the Moon's volcanic period reshaped its earlier features. The children consider that the broad, shallow impact basins contained cracks through which magma seeped up. A plate in which slits have been cut is used to represent an... (View More)

This is a set of three activities about how scientists study other worlds. Learners will explore and compare the features of Mars and Earth, discuss what the features suggest about the history of Mars, and create a model to help them understand how... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

Learners model how impacts throughout the Moon's history have broken rocks down into a mixture of dust, rocks, and boulders that covers the lunar surface. They consider how the dust will continue to hold a record of human exploration - in the form... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

Learners create art inspired by authentic NASA planetary image data while learning to recognize the geology on planetary surfaces, uniquely inspiring learner engagement. This presentation and accompanying activity use the elements of art - shape,... (View More)

This is a kick-off activity about the solar system and Jupiter. Learners will discuss what they know, work in teams to read about the Sun, eight planets, asteroid belt, and the dwarf planet, Pluto. They use their knowledge to create a poster about... (View More)

Keywords: Jupiter

This is a lesson about the size and scale of the planets in the solar system. Learners will help create and then navigate an outdoor course of the traditional planets (including dwarf planet Pluto), which are represented by small common objects. By... (View More)

Learners and their families are encouraged to go outside on a clear evening and view the sky to see the planets for themselves. Using sky charts and other resources, and possibly in partnership with a local astronomical society, children navigate... (View More)

Learners will build edible models of Jupiter and Earth to compare their sizes and illustrate their internal layers. They discuss how the Juno mission will infer details about Jupiter's interior by measuring its gravity field and magnetic field. This... (View More)

This is a series of seven brief activities about Jupiter's atmosphere and weather. Learners will look at Jupiter's distinct banded appearance, violent storms, and clouds of many different colors. The activities are part of Explore! Jupiter's Family... (View More)

Keywords: Jupiter

Leaners will investigate the composition of unseen materials using a variety of tools - a process that mimics how scientists discover clues about the interiors of planets with cameras and other instruments onboard spacecraft. This activity is part... (View More)

Keywords: Jupiter

This is an activity about magnetic fields. Learners will study magnetic fields at four separate stations: examining magnetic fields generated by everyday items, mapping out a magnetic field using a compass, creating models of Earth's and Jupiter's... (View More)

Learners will explore Jupiter's origins through three stories. First, they model their own lifetimes by tying knots in lengths of yarn to represent key events in their pasts. Then, children listen to and act out a cultural origins story, such as the... (View More)

Learners will weigh themselves on scales modified to represent their weights on other worlds to explore the concept of gravity and its relationship to weight. They consider how their weights would be the highest of all the planets while standing on... (View More)

Keywords: Jupiter; Mass; Weight

This is a demonstration about the density of the planets. Learners will compare the relative sizes and masses of scale models of the planets as represented by fruits and other foods. They will then dunk the "planets" in water to highlight the fact... (View More)

Learners will shrink the scale of the solar system to the size of their neighborhood and compare the relative sizes of scale models of the planets, two dwarf planets, and a comet as represented by fruits and other foods. This activity requires... (View More)

Keywords: Jupiter

Learners will model the gravitational fields of planets on a flexible surface. Children place and move balls of different sizes and densities on a plastic sheet to develop a mental picture of how the mass of an object influences how much effect it... (View More)

Keywords: Jupiter; Gravity

In this concluding activity, children create a scrapbook or poster display documenting their trips to Jupiter. Learners will use their "My Trip to Jupiter" journals and select common craft items to represent the characteristics of each aspect or... (View More)

Keywords: Jupiter

This is an activity about albedo, which is a measurement of the reflectance of a planetary surface. Learners will classify areas on an image in terms of albedo values and then sketch their own portion of an image from space. These sketches are... (View More)

Learners will create a physical timeline of comet appearances in art and literature throughout history. Participants use a set of photos depicting comets in art images and science missions and place the images in chronological order, while learning... (View More)

Learners will shape mashed potatoes into their own odd-shaped asteroids. They can then bake them in the oven to turn them (more or less) asteroid color, and eat them for dinner.

This activity is an interactive word find game with words related to comets and NASA's Comet Nucleus Sample Return mission. Accompanying text and pictures describe what comets are and why we are interested in them.

On this webpage, learners will read fun facts about Pluto and explore why it is no longer considered a planet.

These short leader guides are designed for a novice user to pick up and implement the activities with ease. They address a range of topics all related to asteroids - most especially Asteroid Vesta. Activities are tagged to quickly find ones that are... (View More)

This interactive illustrates how images from space get to Earth and how we interpret the images. Users are encouraged to experiment with images to get a firm grasp of how scientists use color filters to interpret data. Click on the initial image at... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

This full-dome planetarium show takes learners on a futuristic journey through our Solar System. They explore the inner and outer planets, then the moons: Titan, Europa, and Callisto as possible places to establish a human colony.

Audience: Informal education

Learners will make a "star finder" toy and play a game to find a constellation in the night sky.

Learners create a "sound cone" and use it to understand how the Deep Space Network antennas pick up radio communications from space.

Learners will explore the binary and hexidecimal systems and how engineers use them to translate spacecraft data into images.

Learners will decide on the appropriateness of items to take on a long trip to Mars and take into consideration the effects of zero gravity, limited electrical power, etc.

Learners will use virtual foam balls to explore the different compression methods (lossless, lossy, and superchannel) used by the Earth Observing 3 mission.

Learners dynamically dynamically model the growth of asteroids from specks of matter. Similar to tag, the children run around, have fun, and burn off energy. Different from tag, there is science involved! The end of activity debriefing discusses... (View More)

This kick-off activity sets the stage for further explorations and activities in Explore! To the Moon and Beyond! - a resource developed specifically for use in libraries. As a group, learners will discuss what they know about Earth's Moon. They... (View More)

This is a lesson about NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). Learners will sing about the LRO mission to the Moon, learn that craters on the Moon may harbor water ice, and they discover how LRO is searching for this and other resources needed... (View More)

Keywords: Lunar exploration
Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

Learners will work in teams to apply their knowledge about the Moon, its environment, and the LRO mission to match responses to Moon questions. With the correct responses, they build a picture of the Moon. This activity is part of Explore! To the... (View More)

Learners will create their own models of lunar orbiters out of edible or non-edible materials. They determine what tools would be necessary to help us better understand the Moon and plan for a future lunar outpost. Then they incorporate these... (View More)

Learners will experiment to create impact craters and examine the associated features. Then they observe images of lunar craters and explore how the mass, shape, velocity, and angle of impactors affects the size and shape of the crater. This... (View More)

In this activity, learners draw conclusions about where on a planetary body scientists might look for ice and why. They use a clay ball, ice cubes, and a heat lamp to model the permanently-shadowed polar regions of planets and moons that may harbor... (View More)

In this two-part activity, learners compare how soil forms on Earth and the Moon. They examine different soil samples and compare them to lunar "soil" simulant. They explore how water, wind, and impactors help to make soil. This activity is part of... (View More)

In this activity, learners work in teams to assess environmental conditions, resources, and scientific relevance of different locations on the Moon using data collected from previous lunar missions. Each team selects the site they believe has the... (View More)

This is an online sorting game that compares the lifetime risk of death from an asteroid impact to other threats. For example, are you more likely to be killed by an amusement park ride or an asteroid impact? It is part of the Killer Asteroids Web... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

This is a children's science story about gravity (title translated: The World of Copocuqu: Queen Gravity and King Mass). Learners will read about the force of gravity and how it relates to the mass of a body. The story takes place in an asteroid in... (View More)

Keywords: Graphic novel; Gravity
Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

This is a multi-level, physics-based game that asks players to save Earth by using their spaceship to deflect an incoming asteroid. It is designed to accurately reflect the physics of space and could be used to help confront preconceptions about... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

This is a game about light curves that will test your ability to figure out things about an asteroid from just a graph of its brightness. Astronomers use telescopes to collect light curves - measurements of the brightness of distant asteroids over... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

This is a game which focuses on the challenge of moving a "rubble pile" asteroid. Players have the option of using bombs, impactors, or "pusher" ships. It is a simpler version of Rubble! and part of the Killer Asteroids Web Site. The site also... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

This is a website about asteroids and comets. Learners can play a physics-based asteroid game, learn about how backyard astronomers are contributing to asteroid research, or simulate an asteroid impact using a Google Earth Impact simulation.... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

This online game allows players to choose any location on Earth and impact it with a variety of different sized asteroids and comets. They can see how big the blast radius will be, and determine what size object it would take to wipe out their town.... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

In this activity, learners consider the requirements for human life beyond Earth's protection: air to breathe, plentiful food, shielding from ultraviolet light, power, etc. They then work in teams to design and construct a model of a space colony... (View More)

This is a graphic novel about NASA's search for life in the universe. It tells the story of some of the most important people and events that have shaped the NASA Exobiology and Astrobiology science.

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

This is a legacy site for videos and animations related to the Deep Impact mission and encounter with Tempel 1. Learners can watch videos about the mission, encounter, science, and results.

Audience: Middle school, High school, Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

This is a lesson about the Discovery Program's exploration of the solar system. Learners will identify and communicate to others the varied space science explorations carried out by the Discovery Program and dig into one mission in depth. They can... (View More)

In this full-dome, digital planetarium show, NASA source material is used to build an environment where historical Mars footage is combined with real characters and computer simulations to present a possible future in which the planet is explored by... (View More)

Learners will explore the physical characteristics of comets by reaching into a series of boxes and feeling the materials and structures within. They will describe what they observe and speculate on comet characteristics being modeled in each box,... (View More)

In this activity, learners replicate the scientific processes of observing, forming an explanation, revising and communicating about a model of a comet. Learners construct a model of features of a comet using an assortment of common craft supplies.... (View More)

This episode of the Space Place Live animated talk show features an interview with Andre Dress, the Deputy Project Manager for the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) program. During the course of the interview, viewers are... (View More)

Keywords: Careers
Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

Learners can read about the Deep Impact mission to encounter comet Tempel 1, including the mission, the experiment, results, the comet, the team, and how the results were transmitted back to Earth. Includes pre- and post-encounter fact sheets.

Audience: Middle school, High school, Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

In this lesson, students observe the surface of rotating potatoes to help them understand how astronomers can sometimes determine the shape of asteroids from variations in reflective brightness.

Learners will read about missions to asteroids and comets, consider the measurements and math required for the robotic spacecraft to visit these objects, and are invited to finish the story themselves. The provided extension explains how to use a... (View More)

«Previous Page12 Next Page»