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Solar system  
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This is a unit of 8 sessions about the Sun-Earth system. Learners will construct a model to show the relative size and scale of the Sun-Earth system, investigate the visible and electromagnetic spectrums, discuss solar flares and solar weather,... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

This resource complements a planetarium experience. However, the accompanying educator's guide and companion guides - with lessons on observing and investigating the Moon - are available to download for independent classroom use. The hands-on... (View More)

This is an activity about what individuals already know about the Sun. Learners will brainstorm and share with the group their prior knowledge about the Sun. This is Activity 1 of the Sun As a Star afterschool curriculum.

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

This activity is about planetary climate. Once familiar with the factors that determine a planet's surface temperature, learners will use an interactive spreadsheet model of a planet's atmosphere to determine if greenhouse gases, luminosity of the... (View More)

This is a lesson about the kinds of stars that are suitable for supporting human life. Learners will characterize stars on a HR diagram and identify the characteristics of those most suitable for supporting human life. They then explore the... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

In this activity, student teams create a knowledge map of the essential characteristics or factors of a planet with a habitable climate, identifying range of inputs, outputs and variables of a planetary environmental system. Identified... (View More)

In this activity, students simulate the interaction of variables, including carbon dioxide, in a radiation balance exercise using a spreadsheet-based radiation balance model. Through a series of experiments, students attempt to mimic the surface... (View More)

This online activity introduces the importance of meteorites to the understanding of the origin of the Solar System. Learners will use a key to determine if samples are meteorites. Finding meteorites can be difficult because most meteorites look... (View More)

Learners will compare satellite images of Mars and Earth to look for similar features. Then they brainstorm a list of forces or events that could have caused some of these features to form on Mars. This is activity 3 of 9 in Mars and Earth: Science... (View More)

This is an activity about modeling and the scientific process. Learners will discuss the models they created in the previous three activities as models of forces that shape the surface of planets, and talk about the similarities and differences... (View More)

Keywords: Mars