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Educational Level:
High school  
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SMD Forum - Primary:
Planetary Science  
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Become a crime scene investigator! Learners model Dawn Mission scientists, engineers, and technologists and how they use instrumentation to detect distant worlds. After a briefing right here on Earth to build context, students explore interactions... (View More)

This is a lesson about detecting atmospheres of planets. Learners will explore stellar occultation events (by interpreting light curves) to determine if an imaginary dwarf planet “Snorkzat” has an atmosphere. The activity is part of Project... (View More)

This is a lesson about visual spectra. Learners will explore different ways of displaying visual spectra, including colored "barcode" spectra, like those produced by a diffraction grating, and line plots displaying intensity versus color, or... (View More)

This is an activity about the discovery of water ice on Mars. Learners will create physical models using Earth samples to answer the question, "is it more likely that high altitude regions of Mars are composed of icy dirt (with ice filling the pore... (View More)

Keywords: Mars
Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

This is a lesson about discovering distant planets using an Earth-based observing technique called stellar occultation. Learners will explore how a stellar occultation occurs, how planetary atmospheres can be discovered, and how planetary diameters... (View More)

This is a journal article and activity/demonstration about navigation in space. Learners will learn about gyroscopes by playing with a spinning bicycle wheel to demonstrate momentum, centripal force and angular momentum. First the spinning wheel is... (View More)

Keywords: Navigation

This is a activity about how reaction wheels affect spacecraft orientation (attitude). Learners will observe Newton's Third Law (action-reaction) in the changes caused by a reaction wheel acting upon a spacecraft suspended from a support wire and in... (View More)

This is an activity about lunar magmatic differentiation, in which learners simulate the process of geological differentiation. The activity ends with an extension question that asks about the makeup of the highlands of the Moon. This activity is in... (View More)

This is a lesson about mapping objects using triangulation. Learners hunt distant meteorites using geometric properties and relationships, demonstrate and experience triangulation, and apply triangulation to directed and group-challenge mapping... (View More)

This is a lesson about the effects of large impacts. Learners will use critical thinking skills to evaluate and apply data from a narrative to a scientific selection process, will demonstrate or visualize simulations of some of the effects of a huge... (View More)

Keywords: Meteorites
Audience: Elementary school, Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free
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