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Topics/Subjects:
Solar system  
Learning Time:
2 to 4 hours  
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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 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

This is a lesson about the temperature on different planets in our solar system. Learners will explore the planetary temperature system. They explore how each aspect (e.g., mass, temperature and gravity) influences the system and the consequences of... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

Learners will predict how human survival requirements are met by characteristics of our solar system and planet. They engage in an online Astronomy Training module in which they make changes to the astronomical conditions of our solar system and... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

Learners will look for the relationship between atmospheric mass and other characteristics of a planet. When the results are not completely conclusive, the students explore possible causes of discrepancies in the data. They conclude that gravity,... (View More)

Keywords: habitable zone
Audience: Middle school

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 heat can be transmitted from one place to another,... (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)