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Grade 5  
SMD Forum - Primary:
Planetary Science  
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The nature of science  
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Students analyze and interpret the accompanying large-format images of Mars taken by NASA’s Mars Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) camera. The analysis involves identifying geologic features, calibrating the size of those features, and... (View More)

Students use the research topic questions generated in the earlier lesson entitled, “Mars Image Analysis,” to refine testable questions and develop hypotheses. The lesson is part of the Mars Education Program series; it models scientific inquiry... (View More)

Keywords: NSTA2013; MSIP
Audience: Elementary school, Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

Leaners will grow a sugar crystal and learn how this relates to growing protein crystals in space. The lack of gravity allows scientists on the space station to grow big, almost perfect crystals, which are used to help design new medicines. This is... (View More)

After creating a model of multiple volcanic lava flows, students analyze the layers, sequence the flows, and interpret the stratigraphy. Students use that same volcanic layering model to investigate relative dating and geologic mapping principles-... (View More)

On this webpage, learners will read fun facts about Pluto and explore why it is no longer considered a planet.

Learners will investigate, discuss, and determine why humans have always explored the world (and now space) around them. Students determine these reasons for exploration through a class discussion. In the first activity, students use the Internet to... (View More)

Learners will investigate how much you can learn about something just by looking at it. In Activity 1, students study aerial photographs to identify geologic features, determine how they differ from one another, and examine the processes involved in... (View More)

The goal of this lesson is for students to understand how to plan a mission to another world in the solar system. They begin by discussing the path of a spacecraft traveling between planets, examining the journey from the Earth to Mars as an... (View More)

Learners will use direct vocabulary instruction to learn the new definitions of planet, dwarf planet, and asteroid. The publicity generated by the International Astronomical Union's definition of Pluto as a dwarf planet in 2006 created a teachable... (View More)

Learners will design and conduct experiments to answer the question, "how does distance and inclination affect the amount of heat received from a heat source?" They will measure heat change as a function of distance or viewing angle. From that... (View More)

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