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Educational Level:
Middle school  
Instructional Strategies:
Project-based learning  
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This is a lesson about states of matter. Learners will explore the conditions required for water to be in a liquid state. They discover that temperature is the essential variable. They then explore how temperature affects the motion of molecules and... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

This is the introductory lesson to Astro-Venture. Learners will be introduced to the overall goals and concepts of Astro-Venture and given the background information for the Astronomy unit and final project. Students research the requirements for... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

This is a lesson about the temperature on differnt planets in our solar system. Learners will explore the planetary temperature system. They explore how each aspect (e.g., mass, temperature and gravity) influences the system and the consequences of... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

This is a lesson about the particulate nature of matter. Learners will use their bodies to model the connections between molecules in the three states of matter. They then create a poster that illustrates and explains these connections. The lesson... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

This is a lesson about measuring temperature. Learners will apply their knowledge of how temperature affects matter to understand how a thermometer works. They then read about the history of the thermometer and the temperature scales that make the... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

This activity explores how ancient Sun observers made use of natural and built structures to mark solar alignments observed at different times of the year, particularly around the solstices and equinoxes. In Part 1, the teacher prepares a horizon... (View More)

This is a lesson about the survival of humans in space. Learners will predict how human survival requirements are met by characteristics of our solar system and planet. They engage in an online Astronomy Training module in which they make changes to... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

This is a lesson about the amount of atmosphere a planet is likely to have. Learners will look for the relationship between atmospheric mass and other characteristics of the planet. When the results are not completely conclusive, the students... (View More)

Keywords: habitable zone
Audience: Middle school

In this activity, students learn the basics of the horizon, direction and the rising and settings of the Sun and stars by making a schoolyard "medicine wheel" with sidewalk chalk on playground asphalt. Medicine wheels are stone rings constructed by... (View More)

In this activity, students engage in long-term systematic observation to learn about the apparent annual motion of the Sun caused by the Earth’s orbit around the Sun. Students put a dot on a window where sunlight enters the classroom (or any room... (View More)