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The nature of science  
SMD Forum - Primary:
Planetary Science  
Instructional Strategies:
Cues, questions, and advanced organizers  
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This lesson introduces students to Mars’ history through research and discussion. Students read about the history of Mars, Mars observing, and exploration with telescopes and robotic spacecraft. After learning about Mars, students consider how... (View More)

Learners will review what they have learned about scientific and engineering investigation, construct a valid scientific question that can be answered by data and/or modeling, and choose an appropriate mission for their rover that will answer their... (View More)

Learners will brainstorm possible solutions for the scientific question generated in lesson 5 of this unit and determine the reasonableness of solutions. The lesson uses the 5E instructional model and includes: TEKS Details (Texas Standards... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school
Materials Cost: Free

In this lesson about cosmic rays, students will describe why cosmic rays are dangerous to astronauts. Includes information about student preconceptions. This is activity 3 of 4 from The Cosmic Ray Telescope for the Effects of Radiation (CRaTER).

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

Learners will investigate how much you can learn about something just by looking at it. In Activity 1, students study aerial photographs to identify geologic features, determine how they differ from one another, and examine the processes involved in... (View More)

The goal of this lesson is for students to understand how to plan a mission to another world in the solar system. They begin by discussing the path of a spacecraft traveling between planets, examining the journey from the Earth to Mars as an... (View More)

This is a lesson about the Discovery Program's exploration of the solar system. Learners will identify and communicate to others the varied space science explorations carried out by the Discovery Program and dig into one mission in depth. They can... (View More)

Learners will use the results of previous lessons in this guide to write a scientific proposal to explore another planet or moon in our solar system for signs of life. This proposal should predict the types of energy and nutrients available to... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

This is an annotated children's story about the Dawn mission to Vesta and Ceres in the asteroid belt. Learners will dissect the story for real and fictional objects and places in the solar system, and for those scientific concepts or processes that... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school
Materials Cost: Free

This is a lesson about radiation and the use of the scientific method to solve problems of too much radiation. Learners will build snow goggles similar to those used by the Inuit (designed to block unwanted light, while increasing the viewer’s... (View More)

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