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Educational Level:
Upper elementary  
Instructional Strategies:
Guided inquiry  
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This is a lesson about the definition of life. Learners will compare real and fake or live and dead objects and brainstorm ideas about what life is; refine the definition by playing 20 Questions to identify an object or organism; and test the... (View More)

This is a lesson about organisms living under extreme conditions on Earth serving as analogs for extraterrestrial life. Learners will play a card game to create a set by matching an extremophile, an extreme habitat on Earth, and an extraterrestrial... (View More)

In this activity, learners will explore the question, What is the chance that we are the only life in the universe? They determine what we need to know to predict the chances of extraterrestrial life. They then make estimates of the number of worlds... (View More)

This is a lesson about the requirements for life on another planet. Learners will grow organisms in one of 12 classroom environments and identify common requirements (such as water, nutrients, and energy). They will also design a mission to identify... (View More)

This is a lesson about the characteristics necessary for life. Learners will identify the top candidates for life in the solar system by examining Habitability Cards, which discuss each planet and the six large moons in terms of water temperature,... (View More)

In this data activity, students create maps of the snow cover of each continent, and determine the average global snow cover. Step-by-step instructions for use of the MY NASA DATA Live Access Server (LAS) guide students through selecting a data set,... (View More)

Keywords: Authentic data use
Audience: Elementary school, Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

This activity has two purposes: challenge the learner to develop a procedure for investigating a research question and to learn more about factors affecting the dynamics of air in motion. It demonstrates that warm air and cold air differ in weight... (View More)

The purpose of this investigation is to understand the change that takes place when water condenses from a gas to a liquid, and how a change in pressure affects this transformation. Materials needed for the experiment include a large (2L) soda... (View More)

This experimental activity is designed to develop an understanding that air has mass. Students conduct an investigation and observe the change in the position of a bar balancing a balloon inflated with air on one end and a uninflated balloon on the... (View More)

In this activity, students monitor the change that takes place when water vapor condenses from a gas to a liquid and see how a change in temperature affects this transformation. Materials needed to conduct the investigation include two thermometers,... (View More)