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This activity is designed to introduce students to planetary geologic features and processes. First, students will use NASA satellite images to identify geologic surface features on the "Blue Marble" (Earth), and will explore the connection between... (View More)

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)

This is a design challenge about heat transfer and insulation. Learners will apply the scientific method to design and build a container that will keep items cool when placed in boiling water. They will practice collaboration in team-building and in... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Over $20 per group of students

Satellite images of Mercury and Mars are used to illustrate craters and generate a discussion about their cause. After comparing those images with one of Earth, students explore the reason for the lack of visible craters on our planet. The abundance... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school
Materials Cost: 1 cent - $1 per student

Searching the six satellite images of Mars provided in this investigation, students identify and locate areas that possibly sustained life in the past, might now sustain life, or could in the future. The URL opens to the investigation directory,... (View More)

This activity is about the discovery of water ice on Mars. Learners will record and graph temperature data and use a model of an ice-rich and ice-free surface on Mars to examine how ice content in the martian soil would impact the temperature of a... (View More)

This is a lesson about observing and examining meteorites in a Meteorite Sample Disc. Learners will practice scientific techniques, develop skills in acquiring data through the senses, observe, examine, record, and sketch data, use magnifying... (View More)

This is a lesson about planet formation. Learners will observe and describe differentiated samples in the Meteorite Sample Disk (or photographs), conduct experiments to model the separation of light and heavy materials within a planetary body,... (View More)

This is a lesson about the important materials brought to Earth by carbonaceous chondrites. Learners will conduct experiments that simulate how the carbon material and water from carbonaceous chondrites may have helped early life on Earth, grow... (View More)

Learners will research and document some of the requirements for mounting an expedition to an asteroid; actively explore potential resources available to space travelers through research, assessment, team cooperation, and exploration simulations;... (View More)

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