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Topics/Subjects:
Motion and forces  
Light and optics  
Educational Level:
Elementary school  
SMD Forum - Primary:
Planetary Science  
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Learners will explore the concept of parallax (the apparent displacement of an object caused by a change in the viewer's position) and then simulate the discovery of Pluto with a Blink Comparator via an online interactive.

Audience: Elementary school, Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

This is a lesson about detecting ice on the permanently shadowed craters of Mercury and the Moon. Learners will consider what might be in that ice and will examine why the polar regions of Earth, Mercury and the Moon are colder than elsewhere on the... (View More)

This is a lesson about ice worlds in the outer planetary regions and the role they play in understanding the Solar System. Learners will role-play stories connecting science-related literature to ice worlds, view and interpret space-based images of... (View More)

This is a lesson where learners explore how the creation and destruction of ozone protects us from ultraviolet radiation (UV). Learners will kinesthetically model the depletion of ozone caused by chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) molecules; use ultraviolet... (View More)

Learners will design and conduct experiments to answer the question, "how does distance and inclination affect the amount of heat received from a heat source?" They will measure heat change as a function of distance or viewing angle. From that... (View More)

This is a lesson about infrared radiation. Learners will investigate invisible forms of light as they conduct William Herschel's experiment and subsequent discovery of infrared radiation. They will construct a device to measure the presence of... (View More)

This is a lesson about light in the outer solar system. Learners will demonstrate the effect of the inverse square law of illumination with distance and connect this to the functioning of solar panels at Saturn. Requires a silicon solar cell... (View More)

This activity is about the use of thermal emission spectroscopy in planetary research. Learners will understand how thermal spectroscopy science is used to understand the composition of the Martian surface by simulating the data collection of the... (View More)

This activity is about the use of spectral data to identify mineral composition on Mars. Working in teams, students will compare and contrast spectra to identify similarities between Earth minerals and those from Mars. A short list of suggested... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school, Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

This is a lesson about the connection between meteorites and asteroids, focusing on remote-sensing techniques using light. Learners will make and record observations and measurements; analyze data and draw analogies; compare samples; measure and... (View More)

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