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Topics/Subjects:
Comparative planetology  
Learning Time:
2 to 4 hours  
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This is a lesson about planetary atmospheres. Learners will interpret real spectral graphs from missions to determine what some of Earth, Venus, and Mars’ atmosphere is composed of and then mathematically compare the amount of the greenhouse gas,... (View More)

This is a lesson about remote sensing. Learners will investigate how much you can learn about something just by looking at it. In Activity 1, students study aerial photographs to identify geologic features, determine how they differ from one... (View More)

In this activity, student teams design small-scale physical models of hot and cold planets, (Venus and Mars), and learn that small scale models allow researchers to determine how much larger systems function. There is both a team challenge and... (View More)

In this activity, students build a simple computer model to determine the black body surface temperature of planets in our solar system: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. Experiments altering the luminosity and... (View More)

This activity is about planetary climate. Once familiar with the factors that determine a planet's surface temperature, learners will use an interactive spreadsheet model of a planet's atmosphere to determine if greenhouse gases, luminosity of the... (View More)

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

This is a lesson about passive cooling methods. Learners will construct a simple device to measure how effective different materials are for protecting against sunlight, explain how heat relates to the motion of atoms and molecules, describe how... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: $1 - $5 per group of students

This is a detailed lesson about space and how Earth fits in it. Learners will consider the essential question, "What is space?" Activities include small group miming, speaking, drawing, and/or writing about space and the evidence for ice in space.... (View More)

This is a detailed historical lesson about comets, distant icy worlds often visible to observers on Earth. Learners will consider the essential question, "What are comets?" They will practice observation and "noticing" skills as they enact a story... (View More)

This is a lesson about the search for life on Mars. Learners will participate in three activities. In the first activity (Imaginary Martians) learners will compare a fictional organism with what they know about life on Mars today. In the second... (View More)

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