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Upper elementary  
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Students analyze and interpret the accompanying large-format images of Mars taken by NASA’s Mars Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) camera. The analysis involves identifying geologic features, calibrating the size of those features, and... (View More)

This lesson plan teaches how to select the landing site for a planetary surface investigation, using the 5E learning cycle. Students will be able to determine a landing site for their Mars rover; work with their team to summarize information and... (View More)

Common materials such as sand, gravel, pebbles, shells, etc. are used to represent crustal materials from an unknown planet. Students begin by sorting, classifying, and making observations about the sample. Using that information, they must then... (View More)

In this lesson, learners will first watch a video about the orbit and formation of the MMS satellites to learn about their flight configuration. After, they will research similar facts about other types of satellites. Next, learners will compute the... (View More)

In this lesson, learners will first use computers to research and learn how solar panels convert sunlight into electricity. Next, they will calculate the surface area of solar panels board a satellite and their total power generated in various... (View More)

This lesson introduces students to Mars' history through research and discussion. Students read about the history of Mars, Mars observing, and exploration with telescopes and robotic spacecraft. After learning about Mars, students consider how some... (View More)

Using Google Earth/Mars and the recommended reading, students will compare and contrast Earth and Mars using graphic organizers. Includes background, separate student pages, and extensions. This lesson is from "Red Planet: Read, Write, Explore!"... (View More)

The lessons in this book focus on scale and proportion as mathematical topics, using the 5E instructional cycle. Students explore lunar images, and a number of hands-on activities are also provided to allow students to create and explore... (View More)

Keywords: Lunar images; Craters
Audience: Elementary school

This is an activity about perspective. Learners will examine pictures of objects up close and far away to try and figure out what they are. Then, given an image of a star and the Sun and through discussion about the differences and similarities of... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school
Materials Cost: Free

This is an activity involving observations of the Sun. Learners use pinhole cameras, solar telescopes, and/or solar viewing glasses to make solar observations, draw what they see, and identify sunspots, if they are present. Then, learners go online... (View More)

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