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Educational Level:
Upper elementary  
Informal education  
Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes  
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In this activity students investigate cloud opacity, including transparent, translucent, and opaque cloud characteristics. The activity is a companion resource to an episode of the PBS series, SciGirls. The episode, titled "SkyGirls," featured NASA... (View More)

Explore the size relationship between the sun and Earth by using tape and stickers. Learners estimate, then place and count the number of one-inch diameter stickers (representing Earths) that would fit across the diameter of a nine-foot circle of... (View More)

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)

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)

Using different perspectives- the unaided eye, a magnifying lens, and a satellite- provides different information. Children make observations of common objects- along with images of butterflies, the Mississippi River, a fire in the Colorado Black... (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)

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)

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.

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