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Earth and space science  
Instructional Strategies:
Project-based learning  
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This is a unit in 11 sessions about the solar system. Learners will explore the terms planet and moon, they will sort and classify various solar system bodies into categories, and use this context to discuss if Pluto is a planet. They will also... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

This is a lesson about living on the Moon. Learners will use cooperative learning skills to design a self-sufficient lunar station.

In this activity, students engage in an ongoing investigation to find patterns of sunlight and shadow in a classroom (or any room that gets sunlight) at different times of the day and different times of the year. Students look for repeating... (View More)

This is a lesson about finding habitable planets. Learners will use an online, multimedia module to simulate the techniques that scientists might use to find a star system and planet that meet the astronomical conditions required for human... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

This is a lesson about habitable planets. Learners will discuss what they know about the astronomical conditions of the planets they have found in earlier lessons and what they still need to know in order to determine if they are habitable to... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

This activity enables students to better understand the motion of the Sun and how we use it to measure time. Students create a "horizon calendar" at their school by carefully observing and recording the horizon and the Sun at sunset (or sunrise, for... (View More)

This is a lesson about the temperature on differnt planets in our solar system. Learners will explore the planetary temperature system. They explore how each aspect (e.g., mass, temperature and gravity) influences the system and the consequences of... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

This activity explores how ancient Sun observers made use of natural and built structures to mark solar alignments observed at different times of the year, particularly around the solstices and equinoxes. In Part 1, the teacher prepares a horizon... (View More)

This is a lesson about the survival of humans in space. Learners will predict how human survival requirements are met by characteristics of our solar system and planet. They engage in an online Astronomy Training module in which they make changes to... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

This is a lesson about the amount of atmosphere a planet is likely to have. Learners will look for the relationship between atmospheric mass and other characteristics of the planet. When the results are not completely conclusive, the students... (View More)

Keywords: habitable zone
Audience: Middle school