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The nature of technology  
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Integrated instruction  
SMD Forum - Primary:
Planetary Science  
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This is an annotated, topical list of science fiction novels and stories based on more or less accurate astronomy and physics ideas. Learners can read fictional works that involve asteroids, astronomers, black holes, comets, space travel where... (View More)

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... (View More)

Learners will construct a mock-up of planetary surface rover. They begin by exploring the importance of engineering in our society and work as a team to build a prototype of the team's rover using student science notebooks and team sketches as a... (View More)

Keywords: Spacecraft Design
Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: $5 - $10 per group of students

This activity focuses on the relationship between science of looking for life and the tools, on vehicles such as the Mars Rover, that make it possible. Learners will create their own models of a Mars rover. They determine what tools would be... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

Learners will construct a mock-up of a planetary surface rover. They begin by exploring the importance of engineering in our society, and work as a team to build a prototype of the team's rover using student science notebooks and team sketches as a... (View More)

Learners will identify, become familiar with and use the Engineering Design Process, use the engineering design process to sketch a reasonable drawing of the rover that will be built, use the steps of the engineering design process to build a Mars... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

This is a lesson about Saturn. Learners will organize their knowledge of Saturn and Cassini to prepare to write one of the following types of nonfiction for their final piece: descriptive (poetry), compare and contrast, or summary. This is lesson 11... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school
Materials Cost: Free

In this concluding activity, learners will use notes from an earlier lesson to write a nonfiction piece about Saturn or Cassini. These final projects provide a way for children with varying learning styles to consolidate and share their learning.... (View More)

This is a lesson about Saturn. Learners will listen to a read-aloud of the history of Saturn discoveries. Next, they learn two reading comprehension strategies (visualizing and wondering) that they can use to become more powerful readers of... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school
Materials Cost: Free

This is a lesson about the Cassini Spacecraft. Learners will engage in basic problem-solving as they design and construct their own small model of a spacecraft. Through writing and illustration, students will document their work and will complete a... (View More)

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