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Students analyze and interpret the accompanying large-format images of Mars taken by NASA’s Mars Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) camera. The analysis involves identifying geologic features, calibrating the size of those features, and... (View More)

Twice each day, once during daytime and once at sunset, students observe sky color, visibility, and sky conditions over a one week period. Each observation is recorded on a sky report form (included) for follow-up discussions and comparisons. This... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school
Materials Cost: Free

This lesson plan teaches how to select the landing site for a planetary surface investigation, using the 5E learning cycle. Students will be able to determine a landing site for their Mars rover; work with their team to summarize information and... (View More)

In this lesson, learners will first watch a video about the orbit and formation of the MMS satellites to learn about their flight configuration. After, they will research similar facts about other types of satellites. Next, learners will compute the... (View More)

This lesson introduces students to Mars' history through research and discussion. Students read about the history of Mars, Mars observing, and exploration with telescopes and robotic spacecraft. After learning about Mars, students consider how some... (View More)

This chapter describes the technique of preparing GIS-ready data and shows how to map that data and conduct basic analyses using a geographic information system (GIS). First, the user will download and format near real-time and historical earthquake... (View More)

Learners will interpret spectral graphs to determine the atmospheric composition of Earth, Venus, and Mars, and then mathematically compare the amount of the greenhouse gas, CO2, on these planets. Students will brainstorm what things, along with... (View More)

This lesson includes four activities. Activity 1 introduces concepts related to distance, including length and height and units of measurement. Students are asked to make comparisons of distances. In activity 2, students work with a graph and plot... (View More)

This is a lesson about the characteristics of planets, comets, asteroids, and trans-Neptunian objects. Learners will classify objects and then apply what they have learned by participating in a formal debate about a solar system object discovered by... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

Learners will use direct vocabulary instruction to learn the new definitions of planet, dwarf planet, and asteroid. The publicity generated by the International Astronomical Union's definition of Pluto as a dwarf planet in 2006 created a teachable... (View More)

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