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Microscopic meteorites routinely reach Earth's surface. While challenging to find and identify, this activity provides techniques for searching for them in the local environment.
Become a crime scene investigator! Learners model Dawn Mission scientists, engineers, and technologists and how they use instrumentation to detect distant worlds. After a briefing to build context, students explore interactions between different... (View More) frequencies/wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum and matter as they investigate the different ways scientists gather and understand remote sensing data, using Dawn instruments as examples. This module is organized around a learning cycle, engaging students through several experiences to activate students' prior knowledge and assess conceptual understanding, informing next steps. (View Less)
This paper model shows the orbit of Comet ISON (late 2013) with respect to the innermost planets of the solar system. After reading background information about comets - how they form and where they come from - students cut out and tape together the... (View More) pieces of the model provided to show its orbital pathway (a single page of parts that can be assembled using just scissors and adhesive). Links are provided to related classroom activities and additional resources. (View Less)
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) scientific question. The lesson uses the 5E instructional model and includes: TEKS Details (Texas Standards alignment), Essential Question, Science Notebook, Vocabulary Definitions for Students, Vocabulary Definitions for Teachers, four Vocabulary Cards, and supplements on Writing a Scientific Question and Mission Choices. This is lesson 5 of the Mars Rover Celebration Unit, a six week long curriculum. (View Less)
Learners will explore Jupiter's origins through three stories. First, they model their own lifetimes by tying knots in lengths of yarn to represent key events in their pasts. Then, children listen to and act out a cultural origins story, such as the... (View More) Skytellers stories told by Native American master storytellers. Finally, they explore Jupiter's story by modeling a timeline from today back to its "birthday." They use the timeline to visually demonstrate that the Big Bang occurred much earlier in the past. Children will discover how the Juno mission to Jupiter will help unveil how our solar system - including Earth - came to be. The activities are from Explore! Jupiter's Family Secrets, a series designed to engage children in space and planetary science in libraries and informal learning environments. (View Less)
Learners will 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 scientific question. The lesson uses the 5E instructional model and includes:... (View More) TEKS Details (Texas Standards alignment), Essential Question, Science Notebook, Vocabulary Definitions for Students, Vocabulary Definitions for Teachers, four Vocabulary Cards, and supplements on writing a scientific question and possible Mission Choices. This is lesson 5 of the Mars Rover Celebration Unit, a six week long curriculum. (View Less)
Students will use observation to make their own geologic map of the Moon’s Copernicus Crater. The students will identify crater features in a photogeologic image and use those observations to color their map with the appropriate geologic units.
This kick-off activity sets the stage for further explorations and activities in Explore! To the Moon and Beyond! - a resource developed specifically for use in libraries. As a group, learners will discuss what they know about Earth's Moon. They... (View More) read books to learn more about the lunar environment and history of exploration. They use their knowledge to create a drawing or model of the landscape (optional). (View Less)
In this final lesson of the Dancing Lights curriculum, students will reflect on and discuss what they learned about the aurora. First, students will compare what they know now with what they knew at the beginning of the program, and discuss their... (View More) answers with a partner using Think, Pair, Share. The entire class will create a new KWL (Know/Want-to-know/Learned) chart on the board before turning in their individual work. (View Less)
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) each of the planets. This activity requires access to the Space Weather software and is Solar System Activity 5 in a larger resource, titled Space Update. (View Less)