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Solar system  
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This is a lesson about detecting atmospheres of planets. Learners will explore stellar occultation events (by interpreting light curves) to determine if an imaginary dwarf planet “Snorkzat” has an atmosphere. The activity is part of Project... (View More)

The goal of this lesson is for students to understand how to plan a mission to another world in the solar system. They begin by discussing the path of a spacecraft traveling between planets, examining the journey from the Earth to Mars as an... (View More)

This is a unit of 8 sessions about the Sun-Earth system. Learners will construct a model to show the relative size and scale of the Sun-Earth system, investigate the visible and electromagnetic spectrums, discuss solar flares and solar weather,... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

This is an activity about cause and effect. Learners will calculate the approximate travel time of each solar wind event identified in the previous activity in this set to estimate the time at which the disturbance would have left the Sun. Then,... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school, Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

This is a unit in 11 sessions about the solar system. Learners will explore the terms planet and moon, they will sort and classify various solar system bodies into categories, and use this context to discuss if Pluto is a planet. They will also... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

This is an activity to reinforce concepts learned about the Sun, the Sun, Earth, and Moon system and eclipses. Learners will communally discuss their knowledge of these concepts briefly, and will then complete a series of worksheets and writings to... (View More)

Keywords: NSTA2013
Audience: Elementary school

This is a unit in 7-8 sessions about objects outside of our solar system, including galaxies and the universe. Learners will investigate the contents of the universe, why light years are used to measure distances in space, the lifespan of a star,... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

This is an activity about searching online data archives for solar wind events. Learners will find at least three episodes of increased solar wind activity impacting Earth using direct measurements of solar wind velocity and density. Then, they will... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school, Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

In this activity, learners construct a classroom-based Space Weather Action Center and use it to obtain, analyze, and record real solar data on a weekly basis. A set of sequential activities are also provided to engage the audience in making... (View More)

This activity is designed to introduce students to planetary geologic features and processes. First, students will use NASA satellite images to identify geologic surface features on the "Blue Marble" (Earth), and will explore the connection between... (View More)