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After reading aloud a text on life in extreme environments, students will discuss what life is and the requirements of life. Groups of students will conduct an experiment of their choosing on chia seeds to explore how extreme environments affect the... (View More) growth of the plant. After conducting their experiments, they will write and illustrate a fictional story about an imaginary life form on Mars. This lesson is from “Red Planet: Read, Write, Explore!” which uses literacy, art, and creative expression as a vehicle for learning about Mars science and exploration. Includes alignment to Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for English Language Arts. (View Less)
This is an activity about asteroids. Learners will shape mashed potatoes into their own odd-shaped asteroids. They can then bake them in the oven to turn them (more or less) asteroid color, and eat them for dinner.
This is a lesson about geologic history. Learners will work together to create models of volcanic lava flows and analyze the layers that form on a planet's surface. They will sequence lava flows produced by multiple eruptions. Students will be asked... (View More) to observe where the flows travel, make a model, and interpret the stratigraphy. Students will use their volcanic layering model to demonstrate the relative dating and geologic mapping principles to later be applied to satellite imagery. The lesson models scientific inquiry using the 5E instructional model and includes teacher notes and vocabulary. (View Less)
This is a activity about applying the scientific method to a design challenge. Learners will design and build a platform that will be placed on a heat source. The platform is expected to serve as an insulator for a cube of gelatin. The goal is to... (View More) keep the inside temperature of the gelatin cube as cool as possible. Materials cost will vary, depending on materials chosen by group (within budget set by the teacher). Ties are made to the Mercury MESSENGER mission. Note: the student guide starts on p. 17 of the PDF. (View Less)
This is an activity about lunar and terrestrial stratigraphy. Learners will study the patterns of lava flow by creating eruptions using soda-vinegar solutions and modeling with home-made playdough (stove-top and no-cook recipes are included). This... (View More) activity is in Unit 2 of the Exploring the Moon teacher's guide and is designed for use especially, but not exclusively, with the Lunar Sample Disk program. (View Less)