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Topics/Subjects:
Planets  
Educational Level:
Middle school  
Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes  
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Developed as a planetarium show, this video describes the unique environment of our solar system planets and a few satellites, along with some of the challenges and possible solutions for potential human habitation on each. Two versions of the video... (View More)

Learners work in teams to determine a landing site for their Mars Rover that best relates to their scientific question. They use technology skills to research Gale Crater through an online interactive module and learn about features of Mars through... (View More)

Learners will review what they have learned about scientific and engineering investigation, construct a valid scientific question that can be answered by data and/or modeling, and choose an appropriate mission for their rover that will answer their... (View More)

Students will learn about the Spitzer Infrared Observatory and a recently observed dust ring around Saturn through reading a NASA press release and viewing a NASA video segment. Then students will use scientific notation to perform calculations to... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

Students will learn about the Transit of Venus through reading a NASA press release and viewing a NASA eClips™ video that describes several ways to observe transits. Then students will study angular measurement by learning about parallax and how... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

Colored beads and string are used to create a model of the solar system in order to explore size and distance relationships among planets. A second model for comparing planetary sizes uses common types of fruits and seeds(either actual fruits or the... (View More)

Learners will compare known elemental spectra with spectra of Titan and Saturn’s rings from a spectrometer aboard the NASA Cassini spacecraft. They identify the elements visible in the planetary and lunar spectra. The activity is part of Project... (View More)

Learners dynamically dynamically model the growth of asteroids from specks of matter. Similar to tag, the children run around, have fun, and burn off energy. Different from tag, there is science involved! The end of activity debriefing discusses... (View More)

This is an activity about ellipses, their focal points, and how the mathematics involved pertains to planetary orbits. Learners will draw their own ellipse using a string and pencil and calculate the minimum and maximum distance from the Sun for... (View More)

This series of short articles details the discovery and subsequent impact of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 on Jupiter. The impending impact created quite a buzz among scientists since it marked the first of its kind. Student may work independently or in... (View More)

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