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This is a lesson about phase changes. Learners will observe ice melting and freezing under a variety of conditions and relate that to the Messenger mission. This is lesson 1 of 12 in Exploring Ice in the Solar System.

Audience: Pre-kindergarten, Elementary school
Materials Cost: Free

This is an activity about the THEMIS (Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms) magnetometer and its ability to reveal many different types of disturbances in the Earth’s magnetic field. Learners will work with vector... (View More)

Audience: High school, Higher education
Materials Cost: Free

This is a lesson plan for an activity to introduce several terms scientists use to discuss Earth's magnetic field. Learners will explore a website, read about the main features and regions of the Earth's magnetosphere and its functioning within the... (View More)

In this activity, students pose several hypotheses for what will happen if you continue heating or supplying energy to the hot and cold planet models (Mercury, Mars, Venus, and Earth) and then test their hypotheses using a spreadsheet based... (View More)

This lesson is about cost limitations on mission design. Learners will be given a budget of $150,000 and an approved subcontractor list that has a listing of the materials and costs for construction. This is activity 6 of 7 in "Dynamic Design:... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

This is an extension activity to "DAWN: Find a Meteorite." Learners will use a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) to look at a piece of the meteorite and try to determine if it has the Widemenstatten texture, chondrules, and/or a unique chemical... (View More)

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)

This is a presentation to be used by educators to teach about the Sun and its effects on Earth's magnetosphere, including characteristics of coronal mass ejections, or CMEs, the aurora, and solar wind. A web link to a PDF or PowerPoint presentation... (View More)

Audience: High school, Higher education
Materials Cost: Free

This is a lesson to introduce the Kp index, a common numerical indicator of magnetic storminess. Learners will access and analyze Kp index plots of magnetic storm strength and determine the relative frequency of stronger versus weaker magnetic... (View More)

Audience: High school, Higher education
Materials Cost: Free

In this kinesthetic activity, the concept of energy budget is strengthened as students conduct three simulations using play money as units of energy, and students serve as parts of a planetary radiation balance model. Students will determine the... (View More)