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Educational Level:
Grade 7  
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

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 the size and area of solar panels used to generate power. Learners will will use integer arithmetic to tally the number of hydrogen, oxygen and carbon atoms in a molecule and determine the number of methane... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

This is a set of one-page problems about the scale of objects in images returned by spacecraft. Learners will measure scaled drawings using high-resolution images of the lunar and martian surfaces. Options are presented so that students may learn... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

This is a set of one-page problems about calculating the volume of objects. Learners may calculate the volume of an asteroid, Vesta, or the stacking of satellites inside an atlas V rocket nose cone. 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)

Learners will construct two different types of trusses to develop an understanding of engineering design for truss structures and the role of shapes in the strength of structures. For optimum completion - this activity should span 3 class periods to... (View More)

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