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Solar system  
Learning Time:
2 to 4 hours  
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This is a lesson about how to plan a mission to explore another world in the Solar System. Learners will discuss the path of a spacecraft traveling between planets, examining the journey from the Earth to Mars as an example. In Activity 1, students... (View More)

This is an educators guide to accompany the Journey to the Stars planetarium show. The materials for grades 6-8 include suggestions for activities to do before and after viewing the planetarium show, including class discussions about our Solar... (View More)

Audience: Middle school, Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

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, learners replicate the scientific processes of observing, forming an explanation, revising and communicating about a model of a comet. Learners construct a model of features of a comet using an assortment of common craft supplies.... (View More)

This is an activity about shadows and how the Sun's location affects the direction of a shadow. Learners will first identify what they already know about shadows and will be asked to share any questions they may have. Then students will be taken... (View More)

Keywords: NSTA2013
Audience: Elementary school

This is a lesson about the shape of objects in space. Learners will observe the surface of rotating potatoes to help them understand how astronomers use variations in reflective brightness to determine the shape of asteroids.

This is a series of five activities about geology on the moon. Learners will explore lunar stratigraphy (caused by lava flows), impact craters, the moon's history, spacecraft design in which students build models of the LRO out of edible or... (View More)

This is a lesson about the characteristics of planets, comets, asteroids, and trans-Neptunian objects. Learners will classify objects and then apply what they have learned by participating in a formal debate about a solar system object discovered by... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

In this activity, students will create their own travel brochure or poster inviting people to visit a place where they could see an aurora. It is recommended that the class complete Lesson 1 in this series - What I know about the Aurora - prior to... (View More)

This is a lesson about the definition of planet. Learners will use direct vocabulary instruction to learn the new definitions of planet, dwarf planet, and asteroid. The publicity generated by the International Astronomical Union’s definition of... (View More)