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Topics/Subjects:
Physical sciences  
Educational Level:
Middle school  
SMD Forum - Primary:
Planetary Science  
Learning Time:
1 to 2 hours  
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This is an activity about the atmospheric conditions (greenhouse strength, atmospheric thickness) Mars needs to maintain surface water. Learners will use a computer interactive to learn about Mars past and present before exploring the pressure and... (View More)

This is an activity about albedo, which is a measurement of the reflectance of a planetary surface. Learners will classify areas on an image in terms of albedo values and then sketch their own portion of an image from space. These sketches are... (View More)

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

Leaners will grow a sugar crystal and learn how this relates to growing protein crystals in space. The lack of gravity allows scientists on the space station to grow big, almost perfect crystals, which are used to help design new medicines. This is... (View More)

Learners will investigate how to build a space suit that keeps astronauts cool. This is technology activity 1 of 2 found in the ISS L.A.B.S. Educator Resource Guide.

Audience: Middle school

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 using solar arrays to provide power to the space station. Learners will solve a scenario-based problem by calculating surface areas and determining the amount of power or electricity the solar arrays can create. This is... (View More)

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 to observe where the flows travel, make... (View More)

This is a lesson that applys occultations to Saturn's Moon Enceladus. Learners will establish whether Saturn’s small moon, Enceladus, has an atmosphere, whether that atmosphere is over the entire planet, and what creates Saturn’s E-ring. The... (View More)

In this lesson, students will explain CRaTER's purpose and how it works. They will also design (using paper and pencil) a cosmic ray detector to answer their own questions. CRaTER's purpose is to identify safe landing sites for future human missions... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free
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