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Middle school  
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Solar system  
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This is an activity about comet composition. Learners will explore the physical characteristics of comets by reaching into a series of boxes and feeling the materials and structures within. They will describe what they observe and speculate on comet... (View More)

In this activity, learners replicate the scientific processes of observing, forming an explanation, revising and communicating about a model of a comet. Learners construct a model of features of a comet using an assortment of common craft supplies.... (View More)

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)

This series of short articles details the discovery and subsequent impact of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 on Jupiter. The impending impact created quite a buzz among scientists since it marked the first of its kind. Student may work independently or in... (View More)

This is an activity about mission planning. Learners will use the roles of a navigation team, spacecraft, comet, Earth, and Sun to simulate how mission planners design a spacecraft/comet rendezvous. This activity requires at least four active... (View More)

This activity features real images of comets and challenges students to identify the different types of comet tails shown. It is an assessment activity that is based upon what students observed about comet tails in the activity Make A Comet.... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

In this interactive, online activity, students explore the nature and composition of comets by selecting and mixing different elements and compounds found in a comet's nucleus. Students then observe the results of their mixtures upon the appearance... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

Learners can read about the Deep Impact mission to encounter comet Tempel 1, including the mission, the experiment, results, the comet, the team, and how the results were transmitted back to Earth. Includes pre- and post-encounter fact sheets.

Audience: Middle school, High school, Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

In this lesson, learners will use images to observe and compare the surfaces of two comet nuclei from close range. Separate teachers guides and students guides are provided. Supplementary resources needed for the lesson are provided and include... (View More)

Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

This activity is an interactive word find game with words related to comets and NASA's Comet Nucleus Sample Return mission. Accompanying text and pictures describe what comets are and why we are interested in them.

This interactive, online activity allows students to explore myths, legends, and facts connected to the appearance of comets throughout history. Upon completion of this activity students will have read about comet facts, history, and discoveries.... (View More)

Keywords: Reading
Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

This news story describes Comet Siding Spring's close encounter with the planet Mars and its visit to our part of the solar system, including information about encounters between comets and other solar-system planets, the anatomy of a comet, and the... (View More)

Keywords: Reading
Audience: Elementary school, Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

This science news story highlights a Hubble Space Telescope observation of an unusual asteroid. Astronomers hypothesize that the spin rate of the asteroid increased to such an extent that materials were flung off its surface. Star Witness News is a... (View More)

This science news story highlights Comet ISON's travels through our region of the solar system. Star Witness News is a series of articles, written for students, that are inspired by Hubble Space Telescope press releases. Supplemental education... (View More)

Keywords: Reading

Learners will create a physical timeline of comet appearances in art and literature throughout history. Participants use a set of photos depicting comets in art images and science missions and place the images in chronological order, while learning... (View More)

Learners will take and then compare the images taken by a camera - to learn about focal length (and its effects on field of view), resolution, and ultimately how cameras take close-up pictures of far away objects. Finally, they will apply this... (View More)

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