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Instructional Strategies:
Activating prior knowledge  
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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)

Learners model how Earth's tilt creates the seasons. They use their bodies to review the Earth's daily motions before investigating the reason for Earth's seasons in this kinesthetic exploration. The motion of the Earth about its axis (rotation) and... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

This is an activity about how scientists use craters to determine the ages of lunar surface. Learners work in pairs: one child keeps time while the other creates a painting for the other to interpret. Cotton balls coated in different colors of paint... (View More)

This is a set of two improv-style activites that encourage participants to participate in learning about living and nonliving things. Learners will get to know each other through an icebreaker activity and state their ideas and previous experience... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

This is an activity designed to develop a working definition of life. Learners will conduct a simple experiment, looking for signs of life in three different "soil" samples. The experiment introduces children to the difficulty that scientists face... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

This activity focuses on how the search for life on Mars is portrayed in fiction and videos. Learners will consider depictions of Mars from science fiction books and video clips. As a group, children discuss what they know about Mars and compare... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

Learners will construct a mock-up of a planetary surface rover. They begin by exploring the importance of engineering in our society, and work as a team to build a prototype of the team's rover using student science notebooks and team sketches as a... (View More)

This is an activity about how much atmospheric pressure is needed on Mars to maintain surface water and why the planet does not have surface water today. Learners will use a computer interactive to learn about Mars past and present before exploring... (View More)

Keywords: Triple Point; Climate

This is an activity about the Moon's influence on Earth. Learners think like a scientist - with reasoning skills and a healthy amount of skepticism - to sort puzzle pieces containing statements about the Moon into two images. The "Far-out Far Side"... (View More)

This is an activity about the history of the Solar System. Learners work in groups to determine the order of geologic events - such as the formation of the Moon and when the bright crater of Tycho formed - and arrange images depicting those events... (View More)