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Solar system  
The nature of science  
SMD Forum - Primary:
Planetary Science  
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Invisible Mars is a Science on a Sphere (SOS) and planetarium program that examines the story of water on Mars. NASA’s MAVEN mission (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission) is providing new information about the atmosphere of Mars and its... (View More)

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)

Students use the research topic questions generated in the earlier lesson entitled, “Mars Image Analysis,” to refine testable questions and develop hypotheses. The lesson is part of the Mars Education Program series; it models scientific inquiry... (View More)

Keywords: NSTA2013; MSIP
Audience: Elementary school, Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

Using an online interactive platform, learners will explore our solar system from the perspective of the Sun. They will observe the motion of different worlds to determine their location in the solar system. Then they will launch probes to search... (View More)

This is an activity about the rotation of the Moon. Learners use a penny and a quarter to model that the Moon does indeed spin on its axis as it orbits the Earth. They find that the Moon keeps the same face toward the Earth, but receives... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

In this lesson about cosmic rays, students will describe why cosmic rays are dangerous to astronauts. Includes information about student preconceptions. This is activity 3 of 4 from The Cosmic Ray Telescope for the Effects of Radiation (CRaTER).

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

This is a lesson about the science supporting the design and operation of an ion propulsion engine. Learners will study the concepts of formation and discharge of charged particles, attractive and repulsive forces between charged particles, and the... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

This is a lesson about the path of one xenon ion through an ion propulsion engine. Learners will focus on what a single xenon ion sees and does as it goes through the reactions and processes that provide the ion jet propulsion engine's thrust. They... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

This is a lesson about the variety of careers in space exploration. Learners will examine the want ads and discuss the types of jobs advertised, brainstorm ideas for careers of the future, and then write want-ads for a future paper. This is lesson... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school
Materials Cost: Free

Learners will research a past, present, or future mission to Mars and share their findings with the group. The group will then create an overall Mars exploration timeline. A script, links for background sources and suggested materials are available.... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school
Materials Cost: Free
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