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Topics/Subjects:
The nature of science  
SMD Forum - Primary:
Planetary Science  
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Students analyze and interpret the accompanying large-format images of Mars taken by NASA’s Mars Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) camera. The analysis involves identifying geologic features, calibrating the size of those features, and... (View More)

Students use the research topic questions generated in the earlier lesson entitled, “Mars Image Analysis,” to refine testable questions and develop hypotheses. The lesson is part of the Mars Education Program series; it models scientific inquiry... (View More)

Keywords: NSTA2013; MSIP
Audience: Elementary school, Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

Using an online interactive platform, learners will explore our solar system from the perspective of the Sun. They will observe the motion of different worlds to determine their location in the solar system. Then they will launch probes to search... (View More)

This classic video explains the history, debate and continuing discussion of the definition of a planet.

Keywords: Dwarf planet
Audience: Middle school, High school, Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

Developed as a planetarium show, this video describes the unique environment of our solar system planets and a few satellites, along with some of the challenges and possible solutions for potential human habitation on each. Two versions of the video... (View More)

This is an activity about the rotation of the Moon. Learners use a penny and a quarter to model that the Moon does indeed spin on its axis as it orbits the Earth. They find that the Moon keeps the same face toward the Earth, but receives... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

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 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

On this webpage, learners will read fun facts about Pluto and explore why it is no longer considered a planet.

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
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