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Topics/Subjects:
The nature of science  
SMD Forum - Primary:
Planetary Science  
Learning Time:
1 to 2 hours  
Educational Level:
Elementary school  
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Common materials such as sand, gravel, pebbles, shells, etc. are used to represent crustal materials from an unknown planet. Students begin by sorting, classifying, and making observations about the sample. Using that information, they must then... (View More)

Learners will brainstorm possible solutions for the scientific question generated in lesson 5 of this unit and determine the reasonableness of solutions. The lesson uses the 5E instructional model and includes: TEKS Details (Texas Standards... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school
Materials Cost: Free

Learners will brainstorm ideas to be developed into a team skit, work cooperatively to assign duties and write the skit, and collaborate with team members to complete the Mars Rover Manual. The lesson uses the 5E instructional model and includes:... (View More)

Leaners will grow a sugar crystal and learn how this relates to growing protein crystals in space. The lack of gravity allows scientists on the space station to grow big, almost perfect crystals, which are used to help design new medicines. This is... (View More)

After creating a model of multiple volcanic lava flows, students analyze the layers, sequence the flows, and interpret the stratigraphy. Students use that same volcanic layering model to investigate relative dating and geologic mapping principles-... (View More)

Learners will use data from the Student Dust Counter (SDC) Data Viewer to establish any trends in the distribution of dust in the solar system. Students record the number of dust particles, or hits, recorded by the instrument and the average mass of... (View More)

Learners will investigate, discuss, and determine why humans have always explored the world (and now space) around them. Students determine these reasons for exploration through a class discussion. In the first activity, students use the Internet to... (View More)

This is a lesson about society and space exploration. Learners will survey the public about their different opinions about space exploration and the use of robotics in space exploration. Then they will represent and analyze the results. This is... (View More)

This is a lesson about solar system exploration. Learners will understand that combining information gathered by a variety of robots gives us a more comprehensive understanding of our solar system. Learners will explore a planet made up of a... (View More)

Learners will research a past, present, or future mission to Mars and share their findings with the group. The group will then create an overall Mars exploration timeline. A script, links for background sources and suggested materials are available.... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school
Materials Cost: Free
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