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Comparative planetology  
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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)

This collection of activities presents learners with intriguing questions about the universe and provides an opportunity to explore topics related to the search for life beyond our own planet. The collection includes eight existing classroom... (View More)

This is a lesson about planet sizes. Learners will demonstrate the size (volume) differences between Earth, Earth’s Moon, and Mars. An extension to estimate the distance between the Earth and the Moon, and the Earth and Mars, using the scale of... (View More)

This is an activity about the different characteristics of the planets in our Solar System. Learners will use the Solar System Update program to complete a worksheet. The worksheet asks learners to identify multiple characteristics for each... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school, Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

This activity is about Mars and the similarities and differences between Mars and Earth. Learners will compare physical properties of Earth to those of Mars and investigate images of features on Mars to try to find similar features in images of the... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school
Materials Cost: Free

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 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 the field of astrobiology, the study of life in the universe, and ice as a preservative for evidence of life. Learners will consider the relationship between ice and life as they investigate the conditions required for life to... (View More)

In this activity, student teams design small-scale physical models of hot and cold planets, (Venus and Mars), and learn that small scale models allow researchers to determine how much larger systems function. There is both a team challenge and... (View More)

In this activity, students build a simple computer model to determine the black body surface temperature of planets in our solar system: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. Experiments altering the luminosity and... (View More)