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Topics/Subjects:
Asteroids and comets  
Educational Level:
Middle school  
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This news story describes Comet Siding Spring's close encounter with the planet Mars and its visit to our part of the solar system, including information about encounters between comets and other solar-system planets, the anatomy of a comet, and the... (View More)

Keywords: Reading
Audience: Elementary school, Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

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)

Using an online interactive platform, learners will explore our solar system from the perspective of the Sun. They will observe the motion of different worlds to determine their location in the solar system. Then they will launch probes to search... (View More)

The basic chemistry of water, along with a brief glimpse into water's origin on Earth, are discussed in this two page article. The article can be used as a "reading to be informed" activity in a stand-alone fashion or can be incorporated into a... (View More)

Keywords: Water chemistry
Audience: Middle school, High school, Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

This classic video explains the history, debate and continuing discussion of the definition of a planet.

Keywords: Dwarf planet
Audience: Middle school, High school, Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

This collection of math problems is based on a weekly series of space and Earth science problems distributed to teachers during the 2013-2014 school year. The problems were intended for students looking for additional challenges in the math and... (View More)

This science news story highlights a Hubble Space Telescope observation of an unusual asteroid. Astronomers hypothesize that the spin rate of the asteroid increased to such an extent that materials were flung off its surface. Star Witness News is a... (View More)

Become a crime scene investigator! Learners model Dawn Mission scientists, engineers, and technologists and how they use instrumentation to detect distant worlds. After a briefing to build context, students explore interactions between different... (View More)

This unit investigates asteroids, comets, and meteoroids, focusing on Vesta, a prominent asteroid in the asteroid belt. The unit of eleven lessons culminates in having students use engineering practices to design, build, and test devices that will... (View More)

This paper model shows the orbit of Comet ISON (late 2013) with respect to the innermost planets of the solar system. After reading background information about comets - how they form and where they come from - students cut out and tape together the... (View More)

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