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Solar system  
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This is a lesson about the kinds of stars that are suitable for supporting human life. Learners will characterize stars on a HR diagram and identify the characteristics of those most suitable for supporting human life. They then explore the... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

In this activity, students pose several hypotheses for what will happen if you continue heating or supplying energy to the hot and cold planet models (Mercury, Mars, Venus, and Earth) and then test their hypotheses using a spreadsheet based... (View More)

In this kinesthetic activity, the concept of energy budget is strengthened as students conduct three simulations using play money as units of energy, and students serve as parts of a planetary radiation balance model. Students will determine the... (View More)

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 lesson about the distance to Saturn. Learners will use simple props to create a playground model for size and distance for the Sun, Earth, and Saturn — then walk on their scale model to Saturn. Writing activities engage students in... (View More)

In this activity, students consider the sudden release of a tremendous amount of kinetic energy when an extraterrestrial object strikes the Earth. In small groups, they study satellite images that show possible evidence of impact events. To... (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)

This is a lesson about the connection between meteorites and asteroids, focusing on remote-sensing techniques using light. Learners will make and record observations and measurements; analyze data and draw analogies; compare samples; measure and... (View More)

This is a lesson about gathering information, applying scientific identification processes, and identifying unknown rocks. Learners will conduct an investigation, observe and record the physical characteristics of an unknown rock (meteorite),... (View More)

This is a lesson about near-miss meteorites. Learners will simulate possible responses to a meteorite impact, write newspaper articles, and role play as different professionals participating in a panel discussion. They will also evaluate the... (View More)