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Earth and space science  
Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes  
Resource Type:
Student guide  
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Developed as a planetarium show, this video describes the unique environment of our solar system planets and a few satellites, along with some of the challenges and possible solutions for potential human habitation on each. Two versions of the video... (View More)

This is a lesson about using light to identify the composition of an object. Learners will use a spectrograph to gather data about light sources. Using the data they’ve collected, students are able to make comparisons between different light... (View More)

This is a lesson about elemental spectra. Learners will compare known elemental spectra with spectra of Titan and Saturn’s rings from a spectrometer aboard the NASA Cassini spacecraft. They identify the elements visible in the planetary and lunar... (View More)

This is a lesson about emission spectra. Learners will look at various light sources (including glow sticks and christmas lights) and make conjectures about their composition. The activity is part of Project Spectra, a science and engineering... (View More)

Learners will build an open spectrograph to calculate the angle the light is transmitted through a holographic diffraction grating. After finding the desired angles, the students will design their own spectrograph using the information learned. The... (View More)

In this activity, student teams design and conduct a scientific investigation in which they explore the conditions necessary for life. They conduct observations of environmental conditions both indoor and outdoor, and determine the range of... (View More)

The impacts of natural disasters are described in imaginary pen pal letters from peers who reside in the pathways of four authentic natural disasters: a volcanic lava flow in Hawaii, a volcanic ash cloud in Russia, a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school
Materials Cost: 1 cent - $1

This activity is about planetary distances. Learners will create a model of the solar system using beads and string, and compare planetary sizes using common types of fruit and seeds. The lesson models scientific inquiry using the 5E instructional... (View More)

In this activity, students compare and contrast the visual perspectives that result when viewing objects from different distances. In part one of this lesson, students view simple shapes from varying distances and record their observations. Then, in... (View More)

This is a lesson about describing meteorites. Learners will observe and describe physical characteristics of an edible sample in preparation for describing rock or meteorite samples. They will work cooperatively in a team setting and use both oral... (View More)