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Solar system  
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Learners will read about Mars and then examine an unknown sample (such as a sandwich or "fun size" chocolate bar) to determine if the sample could have come from Mars. The lesson uses the 5E instructional model and includes: TEKS Details (Texas... (View More)

This is a 15-day unit of inquiry-based lessons about the surface features of the Moon and the Earth and how these two worlds formed and continue to evolve. Students participate in real science as they help lunar scientists map the surface of the... (View More)

This is a lesson about planetary atmospheres. Learners will interpret real spectral graphs from missions to determine what some of Earth, Venus, and Mars’ atmosphere is composed of and then mathematically compare the amount of the greenhouse gas,... (View More)

This is a lesson about elemental spectra. Learners will compare known elemental spectra with spectra of Titan and Saturn’s rings from a spectrometer aboard the NASA Cassini spacecraft. They identify the elements visible in the planetary and lunar... (View More)

This is an activity about impact craters. Learners will experiment to create impact craters and examine the associated features. Then they observe images of lunar craters and explore how the mass, shape, velocity, and angle of impactors affects the... (View More)

This is an activity about perspective. Learners will examine pictures of objects up close and far away to try and figure out what they are. Then, given an image of a star and the Sun and through discussion about the differences and similarities of... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school
Materials Cost: Free

This is a lesson about the value of exploring our solar system and others in the Universe. Learners will investigate, compare, and describe patterns in Solar System data. They will then hypothesize about the formation of the Solar System based on... (View More)

Audience: High school

In this hands-on activity, learners begin by estimating the size of each planet in our Solar System and Pluto and making each out of playdough or a similar material. Then, learners follow specific instructions to divide a mass of playdough into the... (View More)

In this lesson about comets, learners will use images to observe and compare the surfaces of two comet nuclei from close range. Separate teachers guides and students guides are provided. Supplementary resources needed for the lesson are provided and... (View More)

Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

This is an activity involving observations of the Sun. Learners use pinhole cameras, solar telescopes, and/or solar viewing glasses to make solar observations, draw what they see, and identify sunspots, if they are present. Then, learners go online... (View More)