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Topics/Subjects:
Planets  
Instructional Strategies:
Identifying similarities and differences  
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This activity focuses on how the search for life on Mars is portrayed in fiction and videos. Learners will consider depictions of Mars from science fiction books and video clips. As a group, children discuss what they know about Mars and compare... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

This is an activity about how much atmospheric pressure is needed on Mars to maintain surface water and why it does not have surface water today. Learners will use a computer interactive to learn about Mars past and present before exploring the... (View More)

Keywords: Triple Point; Climate

This is a lesson about geologic observations. Learners will read about mars and then examine an unknown sample (such as a sandwich or "fun size" chocolate bar) to determine if the sample could have come from Mars. The lesson uses the 5E... (View More)

This is a demonstration about the density of the planets. Learners will compare the relative sizes and masses of scale models of the planets as represented by fruits and other foods. They will then dunk the "planets" in water to highlight the fact... (View More)

Learners will model the gravitational fields of planets on a flexible surface. Children place and move balls of different sizes and densities on a plastic sheet to develop a mental picture of how the mass of an object influences how much effect it... (View More)

Keywords: Jupiter; Gravity

The 9-session NASA Family Science Night program invites middle school children and their families to discover the wide variety of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics being performed at NASA and in everyday life. Family Science Night... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

This is a lesson about elemental spectra. Learners will compare known elemental spectra with spectra of Titan and Saturn’s rings from a spectrometer aboard the NASA Cassini spacecraft. They identify the elements visible in the planetary and lunar... (View More)

In this hands-on activity, learners begin by estimating the size of each planet in our Solar System and Pluto and making each out of playdough or a similar material. Then, learners follow specific instructions to divide a mass of playdough into the... (View More)

This is a lesson about the characteristics of planets, comets, asteroids, and trans-Neptunian objects. Learners will classify objects and then apply what they have learned by participating in a formal debate about a solar system object discovered by... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

This is a series of hands-on activities comprised of fieldwork and lab work about the basics of soil science. Learners record soil context descriptions, measure soil moisture, describe soil color, structure, consistency, and texture and conduct... (View More)

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