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Educational Level:
Middle school  
Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1  
Instructional Strategies:
Nonlinguistic representations  
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This multi-phased learning package progresses from guided engineering to an open mission-design challenge. Each step is scaffolded and includes easy-to-implement teaching tools, lessons and art activities. Learners, working in collaborative teams,... (View More)

Explore the size relationship between the sun and Earth by using tape and stickers. Learners estimate, then place and count the number of one-inch diameter stickers (representing Earths) that would fit across the diameter of a nine-foot circle of... (View More)

Using stickers created from the templates provided, students create a Venn diagram of objects in our solar system, our galaxy and the universe. This short activity can be used as a formative assessment.

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 to build context, students explore interactions between different... (View More)

This paper model shows the orbit of Comet ISON (late 2013) with respect to the innermost planets of the solar system. After reading background information about comets - how they form and where they come from - students cut out and tape together the... (View More)

Students will use observation to make their own geologic map of the Moon’s Copernicus Crater. The students will identify crater features in a photogeologic image and use those observations to color their map with the appropriate geologic units.

Keywords: Cratering

Learners will read about missions to asteroids and comets, consider the measurements and math required for the robotic spacecraft to visit these objects, and are invited to finish the story themselves. The provided extension explains how to use a... (View More)

In this activity, students identify habitats in Arizona, define and illustrate a food web in a kinesthetic exercise, and explain the importance of biodiversity in a writing assignment. Required materials include a ball of yarn or string. The... (View More)

This is an activity about ellipses, their focal points, and how the mathematics involved pertains to planetary orbits. Learners will draw their own ellipse using a string and pencil and calculate the minimum and maximum distance from the Sun for... (View More)

In this activity, students engage in an ongoing investigation to find patterns of sunlight and shadow in a classroom (or any room that gets sunlight) at different times of the day and different times of the year. Students look for repeating... (View More)

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