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Educational Level:
Informal education  
Instructional Strategies:
Nonlinguistic representations  
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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.

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)

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)

Students are introduced to the basic properties, behavior and detection of black holes through a brief discussion of common conceptions and misconceptions of these exciting objects. They "act out" a way black holes might be detected through their... (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 paper model of the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope includes three pages of parts that can be cut out and assembled using common household items. It also provides a short description of the scientific instruments on board Fermi, as well as links... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: 1 cent - $1 per student

This is an activity about boundaries. Participants will imagine they have taken a journey from Earth through the Solar System out into the Milky Way Galaxy. Using images on the front of the My Place in Space lithograph, they will write or draw on... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: 1 cent - $1 per student

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)