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Motion and forces  
Educational Level:
Middle school  
SMD Forum - Primary:
Planetary Science  
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The theme of this unit is the development of an imaginary mission to the asteroid Vesta. It also introduces teachers and students to the Vesta Mappers citizen scientist project, which is part of the CosmoQuest online community. The unit is designed... (View More)

This is a lesson about geologic history. Learners will work together to create models of volcanic lava flows and analyze the layers that form on a planet's surface. They will sequence lava flows produced by multiple eruptions. Students will be asked... (View More)

This is a reading strategy guide in a series of guides that utilizes articles from the Great Explorations in Math and Science (GEMS) program. These strategy guides provide teachers of middle school students with a reading strategy (in this case,... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

Learners will investigate how lateral velocity affects the orbit of a spacecraft such as the International Space Station (ISS). Mathematical extensions are provided. This is science activity 1 of 2 found in the ISS L.A.B.S. Educator Resource Guide.

Keywords: Gravity

Learners will investigate the relationship between mass, speed, velocity, and kinetic energy in order to select the best material to be used on a space suit. They will apply an engineering design test procedure to determine impact strength of... (View More)

This is an activity about mission planning. Learners will use the roles of a navigation team, spacecraft, comet, Earth, and Sun to simulate how mission planners design a spacecraft/comet rendezvous. This activity requires at least four active... (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 activity about how reaction wheels affect spacecraft orientation (attitude). Learners will observe Newton's Third Law (action-reaction) in the changes caused by a reaction wheel acting upon a spacecraft suspended from a support wire and in... (View More)

This legacy poster features the Galileo missions and tours of Jupiter and Europa in the 1990s. Learners can read informational text about the missions and discoveries or complete the Europa Geology Jigsaw Puzzle to learn about creating a geologic... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

This is a lesson about the path meteorites take to get from the asteroid belt to Earth and how rare it is for the Earth to be hit by a large asteroid. Three activities comprise the lesson. Learners will draw circles and ellipses to illustrate basic... (View More)

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