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Physical sciences  
Solar system  
Educational Level:
Middle school  
Materials Cost:
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This multi-phased learning package progresses from guided engineering to an open mission-design challenge. Each step is scaffolded and includes easy-to-implement teaching tools, lessons and art activities. Learners, working in collaborative teams,... (View More)

Explore lunar phases as viewed from Earth using paper plates. While standing in the appropriate spot in the moon's orbit, students hold paper plates that depict the Moon's phase. This activity can be used to assess understanding of lunar phases or... (View More)

Using stickers created from the templates provided, students create a Venn diagram of objects in our solar system, our galaxy and the universe. This short activity can be used as a formative assessment.

This lesson plan uses the 5E learning cycle and is designed around an essential question: How do I know when I’ve found important information in my reading? Learning objectives include: identify important details in informational texts; learn and... (View More)

Keywords: Language arts

In this lesson, students participate in a skit presenting a mock-up of a planetary surface rover they designed. Students will be able to: demonstrate their knowledge of Mars and rovers by presenting their team skit; present their rover, its... (View More)

In this lesson, students will design a planetary surface rover to conduct a planetary surface investigation. It uses the 5E learning cycle and is designed around an essential question: How will creating a prototype of your rover help you prepare for... (View More)

Keywords: Careers

This lesson plan uses the 5E learning cycle and is designed around an essential question: Why is the method you chose for landing your Rover on Mars the best one for your mission? The lesson objectives include: examine different methods for landing... (View More)

Using the 5-E model, these lessons introduce planets, planetary systems, star types, exoplanets, transits, light curves, and the Planet Hunters citizen science project. Supplemental materials include data/image sheets. Next Generation Science... (View More)

This is an activity during Solar Week, a twice-yearly event in March and October during which classrooms are able to interact with scientists studying the Sun. Outside of Solar Week, information, activities, and resources are archived and available... (View More)

In this activity, students create a scale model depicting the vertical distance from Earth’s surface to various features and objects, including Earth’s atmospheric layers, the Van Allen Radiation Belts, and geocentric satellites. Students also... (View More)

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