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Learners create rocky planets out of playdough, and then learn about distances in our Solar System by placing them the correct distance apart. This activity was designed for use in a library program.
This is an annotated, topical list of science fiction novels and stories based on more or less accurate astronomy and physics ideas. Learners can read fictional works that involve asteroids, astronomers, black holes, comets, space travel where... (View More) Einstein's ideas are used correctly, exploding stars, etc. (View Less)
Learners select from a variety of fruits to construct a scale model of the Moon, Earth, and Sun. After determining the correct sizes and distances for their models, they remove the Moon. They consider what it would be like if the nearby Moon were no... (View More) longer reflecting the Sun's light in the nighttime or daytime sky. This activity is part of Explore! Marvel Moon, a series of activities developed specifically for use in libraries. (View Less)
Learners will explore Jupiter's origins through three stories. First, they model their own lifetimes by tying knots in lengths of yarn to represent key events in their pasts. Then, children listen to and act out a cultural origins story, such as the... (View More) Skytellers stories told by Native American master storytellers. Finally, they explore Jupiter's story by modeling a timeline from today back to its "birthday." They use the timeline to visually demonstrate that the Big Bang occurred much earlier in the past. Children will discover how the Juno mission to Jupiter will help unveil how our solar system - including Earth - came to be. The activities are from Explore! Jupiter's Family Secrets, a series designed to engage children in space and planetary science in libraries and informal learning environments. (View Less)
This is a demonstration about the density of the planets. Learners will compare the relative sizes and masses of scale models of the planets as represented by fruits and other foods. They will then dunk the "planets" in water to highlight the fact... (View More) that even a large, massive planet - such as Saturn - can have low density. They discuss how a planet's density is related to whether it is mainly made up of rock or gas. This activity is part of Explore! Jupiter's Family Secrets, a series designed to engage children in space and planetary science in libraries and informal learning environments. (View Less)
Learners will shrink the scale of the solar system to the size of their neighborhood and compare the relative sizes of scale models of the planets, two dwarf planets, and a comet as represented by fruits and other foods. This activity requires... (View More) access to a large indoor or outdoor space (measuring at least 190 feet wide) where the children can model the orbit of Mercury around the Sun. It is part of Explore! Jupiter's Family Secrets, a series designed to engage children in space and planetary science in libraries and informal learning environments. (View Less)