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Instructional Strategies:
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Learning Time:
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SMD Forum - Primary:
Planetary Science  
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In this activity, teams of learners will model how scientists and engineers design and build spacecraft to collect, store, and transmit data to Earth. Teams will design a system to store and transmit topographic data of the Moon and then analyze... (View More)

Learners will simulate the challenges in communications that engineers face when operating a Mars rover from Earth. They will participate as part of a rover team to design and execute a series of commands that will guide a rover (comprised of four... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school, Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

Learners will explore the relationship between angular size, actual size, and distance by using their finger, thumb and fist as a unit of angular measurement. Includes teacher background, student data sheet, and extensions.

This is a lesson about designing and building an effective sunshade for a model MESSENGER craft. Learners will build a model of MESSENGER. They will use a scientific approach to solve problems and work as a cooperative team. They will discover their... (View More)

This activity is about the discovery of water ice on Mars. Learners will record and graph temperature data and use a model of an ice-rich and ice-free surface on Mars to examine how ice content in the martian soil would impact the temperature of a... (View More)

Using remote control cars and other materials, learners will simulate the experience of trying to operate a planetary rover and working as a team to address challenges and meet a common goal. Student information sheets and worksheets as well as... (View More)

Learners will use water balloons to demonstrate meteorite impacts, use geography to assess various terrains for meteorite recovery, attempt to recover simulated meteorite fragments, make experimental predictions, graph the results, and draw... (View More)

This is a lesson about observing and examining meteorites in a Meteorite Sample Disc. Learners will practice scientific techniques, develop skills in acquiring data through the senses, observe, examine, record, and sketch data, use magnifying... (View More)

This lesson is about meteorites. Learners will experiment with simulations that illustrate how chondrites and asteroids formed in the early solar system. It is intended for learners to observe and describe the meteorites in the Meteorite Sample... (View More)

This is a lesson about planet formation. Learners will observe and describe differentiated samples in the Meteorite Sample Disk (or photographs), conduct experiments to model the separation of light and heavy materials within a planetary body,... (View More)

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