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Physical sciences  
Solar system  
Learning Time:
30 to 45 minutes  
Instructional Strategies:
Guided inquiry  
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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

In this activity, students compute the strengths of the gravitational forces exerted on the Moon by the Sun and by the Earth, and demonstrate the actual shape of the Moon's orbit around the Sun. The lesson begins with students' assumptions about the... (View More)

This is an activity about the magnetic deflection. Learners will observe and measure the deflection that an iron mass causes in a soda bottle magnetometer and plot the data. The data should show the inverse-square cube law of change in the magnetic... (View More)

Audience: High school

This is an activity about collecting, describing and classifying terrestrial and lunar rocks. Learners will collect and describe rocks of varying texture, color and shapes. Descriptors will include color, presence or absence of grains and grain... (View More)

Learners will use simple sports balls as scale models of Earth and the Moon. Given the astronomical distance between Earth and the Moon, students will determine the scale of the model system and the distance that must separate the two models. This... (View More)

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

Learners will understand some of the geological processes and the structures that form as lava flows across planetary landscapes by using mud as an analog for lava. This activity is in Unit 2 of the "Exploring the Moon" teachers guide, which is... (View More)