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Educational Level:
Middle school  
SMD Forum - Primary:
Planetary Science  
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 lunar phases as viewed from Earth using a golf ball and an ultraviolet light. With the student's head representing Earth, students hold and move the golf ball to demonstrate the cause of the Moon's phases in their correct order. Related Next... (View More)

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)

In this activity, teams of learners will model how scientists and engineers design and build spacecraft to collect, store, and transmit data to Earth. Teams will design a system to store and transmit topographic data of the Moon and then analyze... (View More)

Learners create art inspired by authentic NASA planetary image data while learning to recognize the geology on planetary surfaces, uniquely inspiring learner engagement. This presentation and accompanying activity use the elements of art - shape,... (View More)

Learners will record detailed observations of a simulated surface and core sample of Mars, analyze a simulated surface and core sample of Mars, compare and contrast an unknown foreign object with the surface and interior of Mars, and learn... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

Learners will review the structure, content and size of the Solar System. This lesson is designed using the 5E instructional model and includes: teacher training, unit pacing guides, essential questions, a black-line master science notebook, a... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: $1 - $5 per group of students

This is a lesson about how to answer a scientific or engineering question. Learners will refine the scientific question they generated in Lesson 5 so that it can be answered by data and/or modeling, brainstorm possible solutions for the scientific... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: $1 - $5 per group of students

Learners will take and then compare the images taken by a camera - to learn about focal length (and its effects on field of view), resolution, and ultimately how cameras take close-up pictures of far away objects. Finally, they will apply this... (View More)

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