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Educational Level:
Upper elementary  
Topics/Subjects:
Geologic processes  
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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)

This lesson plan teaches how to select the landing site for a planetary surface investigation, using the 5E learning cycle. Students will be able to determine a landing site for their Mars rover; work with their team to summarize information and... (View More)

In this engineering challenge, student teams are introduced to the engineering design process, and then construct and test an earthquake-resistant structure. The lesson plan includes teacher support, student worksheets, multimedia assets, and links... (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)

This activity is designed to introduce students to planetary geologic features and processes. First, students will use NASA satellite images to identify geologic surface features on the "Blue Marble" (Earth), and will explore the connection between... (View More)

This is a lesson about the Phoenix Mars Lander's science mission to use robotic technology to uncover water on Mars. Learners will be introduced to the mission and conduct some simple experiments to learn about the important properties of water and... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school
Materials Cost: 1 cent - $1 per student

In this laboratory activity, students are introduced to the different particle sizes of soil and their properties. Using sieves, students remove organic materials and pebbles, and separate sand, silt, and clay. Students experiment by combining sand,... (View More)

The effects of volcanoes on both the environment and people are the focus of this investigation. Students are introduced to the term "buffer" and are tasked with creating a possible buffer zone around Mount St. Helens. Students begin by assigning 32... (View More)

Satellite images of Mercury and Mars are used to illustrate craters and generate a discussion about their cause. After comparing those images with one of Earth, students explore the reason for the lack of visible craters on our planet. The abundance... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school
Materials Cost: 1 cent - $1 per student

The impacts of natural disasters are described in imaginary pen pal letters from peers who reside in the pathways of four authentic natural disasters: a volcanic lava flow in Hawaii, a volcanic ash cloud in Russia, a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school
Materials Cost: 1 cent - $1
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