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The nature of science  
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This is an activity designed to develop a working definition of life. Learners will conduct a simple experiment, looking for signs of life in three different "soil" samples. The experiment introduces children to the difficulty that scientists face... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

This is an activity about the requirements of life. Learners will explore what living things need to survive and thrive by creating and caring for a garden plot (outdoors where appropriate) or a container garden (indoors) at the program facility.... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

This lesson includes a demonstration to show why the sky is blue and why sunsets and sunrises are orange. Learners will use scientific practices to investigate answers to questions involving the color of the sky, sunsets, the Sun, and oceans.... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

This is an activity about the Moon's influence on Earth. Learners think like a scientist - with reasoning skills and a healthy amount of skepticism - to sort puzzle pieces containing statements about the Moon into two images. The "Far-out Far Side"... (View More)

This is an activity about the history of the Solar System. Learners work in groups to determine the order of geologic events - such as the formation of the Moon and when the bright crater of Tycho formed - and arrange images depicting those events... (View More)

This is a set of three activities about how scientists study other worlds. Learners will explore and compare the features of Mars and Earth, discuss what the features suggest about the history of Mars, and create a model to help them understand how... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

Unit three of the "Carbon Connections: The Carbon Cycle and the Science of Climate" curriculum examines the role of carbon and the carbon cycle in future climate. Students discover how scientists determine Earth's average temperature and the role of... (View More)

Learners will record detailed observations of a simulated surface and core sample of Mars, analyze a simulated surface and core sample of Mars, compare and contrast an unknown foreign object with the surface and interior of Mars, and learn... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

Learners will brainstorm ideas to be developed into a team skit, work cooperatively to assign duties and write a team skit, and collaborate with team members to complete the Mars Rover Manual. The lesson uses the 5E instructional model and includes:... (View More)

This is a lesson about how to answer a scientific or engineering question. Learners will refine the scientific question they generated in Lesson 5 so that it can be answered by data and/or modeling, brainstorm possible solutions for the scientific... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: $1 - $5 per group of students