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This multi-phased learning package progresses from guided engineering to an open mission-design challenge. Each step is scaffolded and includes easy-to-implement teaching tools, lessons and art activities. Learners, working in collaborative teams,... (View More)

In this activity, children observe common objects and images from close up and from far away to learn the importance of perspective. Comparing a close up image and a satellite image of the Colorado Black Forest fire encourages learners to examine... (View More)

Learners create scale models of Earth, the moon and Mars out of playdough. Based on the size of the models, they must determine the relative distance between them and then display them at that scale. This activity was designed for use in a library... (View More)

Using a plastic tray filled with sand to represent a planetary surface, learners simulate the effects of wind, water and impacts. They will compare the surface effects they create with actual images of planetary surfaces- and determine the causes of... (View More)

This news story describes the search for planets orbiting stars other than our sun, particularly since the discovery of a planet around a sun-like star 20 years ago. Star Witness News is a series of articles, written for students, that are inspired... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school, Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

Students "observe" an imaginary new planet in our galaxy from the relative distances of a ground-based telescope, the Hubble Telescope, and a fly-by mission. After recording their observations and discussing the differences, they compare their... (View More)

Explore lunar phases as viewed from Earth using a golf ball and an ultraviolet light. With the student's head representing Earth, students hold and move the golf ball to demonstrate the cause of the Moon's phases in their correct order. Related Next... (View More)

Explore lunar phases as viewed from Earth using paper plates. While standing in the appropriate spot in the moon's orbit, students hold paper plates that depict the Moon's phase. This activity can be used to assess understanding of lunar phases or... (View More)

The basic chemistry of water, along with a brief glimpse into water's origin on Earth, are discussed in this two page article. The article can be used as a "reading to be informed" activity in a stand-alone fashion or can be incorporated into a... (View More)

Keywords: Water chemistry
Audience: Middle school, High school, Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

This online Flash interactive simulates the process of discovering new exoplanets using the transit method. Learners explore a simulated star field, record data, make measurements and do calculations to discover new planets. Instructional videos and... (View More)

Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free