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The nature of science  
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Planetary Science  
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This is an activity designed to develop a working definition of life. Learners will conduct a simple experiment, looking for signs of life in three different "soil" samples. The experiment introduces children to the difficulty that scientists face... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

This is an activity about the requirements of life. Learners will explore what living things need to survive and thrive by creating and caring for a garden plot (outdoors where appropriate) or a container garden (indoors) at the program facility.... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

This activity focuses on how the search for life on Mars is portrayed in fiction and videos. Learners will consider depictions of Mars from science fiction books and video clips. As a group, children discuss what they know about Mars and compare... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

This lesson introduces students to Mars' history through research and discussion. Students read about the history of Mars, Mars observing, and exploration with telescopes and robotic spacecraft. After learning about Mars, students consider how some... (View More)

This is an activity about the Moon's influence on Earth. Learners think like a scientist - with reasoning skills and a healthy amount of skepticism - to sort puzzle pieces containing statements about the Moon into two images. The "Far-out Far Side"... (View More)

This is an activity about the history of the Solar System. Learners work in groups to determine the order of geologic events - such as the formation of the Moon and when the bright crater of Tycho formed - and arrange images depicting those events... (View More)

This is a set of three activities about how scientists study other worlds. Learners will explore and compare the features of Mars and Earth, discuss what the features suggest about the history of Mars, and create a model to help them understand how... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

Learners will record detailed observations of a simulated surface and core sample of Mars, analyze a simulated surface and core sample of Mars, compare and contrast an unknown foreign object with the surface and interior of Mars, and learn... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

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)

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