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This article describes the work being done by scientists to determine the origin of water found in Earth's oceans. A supplemental exploration of the Herschel Space Observatory is included. The article is targeted to children ages 10-12.
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) necessary to help them better understand Mars (and something about life on Mars/its habitability). Then they work in teams to complete a design challenge where they incorporate these elements into their models, which must successfully complete a task. Teams may also work together to create a large-scale, lobby-sized version that may be put on display in the library to engage their community. The activity also includes specific tips for effectively engaging girls in STEM. This is activity 6 in Explore: Life on Mars? that was developed specifically for use in libraries. (View Less)
This is an activity about similarities and differences between the Earth and Mars. Learners will investigate how Mars compares to the Earth, working together to create an Earth-Mars Comparison Poster to post in the program facility/library and share... (View More) with their community. Their poster will feature basic facts about Mars and the Earth, as well as a scale model using balloons to represent the two planets. It also includes specific tips for effectively engaging girls in STEM. This is activity 2 in Explore: Life on Mars? that was developed specifically for use in libraries. (View Less)
This is a lithograph about NASA's Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission, or MMS. Learners will cut out and assemble a colorful 3D model of an MMS spacecraft. Web links, additional facts, and QR codes are included for audiences to access more information.
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) The garden will be used to beautify the facility with plant life with many planting and landscaping options provided. Children will consider the requirements of living things, compare the surface conditions on Mars to those found on Earth, view images/video of a NASA Astrobiology Institute "garden" where astrobiologists are studying life under extreme conditions, and consider the similarities and differences in the type of life that would be possible on Mars as compared to their garden on Earth. It also includes specific tips for effectively engaging girls in STEM. This is activity 3 in Explore: Life on Mars? that was developed specifically for use in libraries. (View Less)
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) their ideas with the way Mars and imaginary martians are presented in the science fiction works. They then use what they’ve learned to create their own Mars Science Fiction “Movie Trailer” Zines. It is recommended that this activity is preceded by two or three of the previous activities in the series so that the children will already have an understanding of what life needs and how Mars compares to Earth. This activity may be extended to serve as a tween and/or teen science fiction book club. It also includes specific tips for effectively engaging girls in STEM. This is activity 7 in Explore: Life on Mars? that was developed specifically for use in libraries. (View Less)
This article explains the monthly variations in the Moon's appearance as seen from Earth. Directions for using Oreo cookies to illustrate the four major phases of the Moon are provided. The article is targeted to children ages 10-12.
Instructions are provided for constructing a terrarium. The analogy between the terrarium and Earth is also provided. This activity is part of the Climate Kids website, a NASA education resource featuring articles, videos, images and games focused... (View More) on the science of climate change. (View Less)
This is an activity about visual analysis. Learners will create art inspired by planetary images while learning to recognize the geology on planetary surfaces. This presentation and accompanying activity uses the elements of art - shape, line,... (View More) color, texture, value - to make sense of features in NASA images, while honing observation skills and inspiring questions. (View Less)
This is an activity about light and color. The lesson includes a demonstration to show why the sky is blue and why sunsets and sunrises are orange. Participants will use scientific practices to investigate answers to questions involving the color of... (View More) the sky, sunsets, the Sun, and oceans. This activity requires use of a clear acrylic or glass container to hold water, a strong flashlight, batteries for the flashlight, and powdered creamer or milk. (View Less)