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Instructional Strategies:
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SMD Forum - Primary:
Planetary Science  
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Learners will investigate, discuss, and determine why humans have always explored the world (and now space) around them. Students determine these reasons for exploration through a class discussion. In the first activity, students use the Internet to... (View More)

Learners will explore the physical characteristics of comets by reaching into a series of boxes and feeling the materials and structures within. They will describe what they observe and speculate on comet characteristics being modeled in each box,... (View More)

This is a unit in 7-8 sessions about objects outside of our solar system, including galaxies and the universe. Learners will investigate the contents of the universe, why light years are used to measure distances in space, the lifespan of a star,... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

This is a lesson about the evidence for life on other planets. Learners will play a game to examine processes in cellular metabolism and explore both direct and indirect evidence for fingerprints of life. Includes teacher notes, learning objectives,... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

This is a lesson about extremophiles and using DNA sequences to classify them. Learners will describe the characteristics of a newly discoverd thermophyllic organism and use the DNA sequence to place that organism in the phylogenetic tree of life.... (View More)

Learners will collaboratively design and build a descent and landing system for an egg. The students will also practice their writing skills by writing a letter or article about the success or failure of their spacecraft design. This is lesson 15 of... (View More)

This is a lesson about the phenomenon of ice and about scientific inquiry. Learners will ask scientific questions about ice, will delve into the nature of science, embark upon scientific inquiry, and will practice scientific enterprise. Activities... (View More)

Learners will use trays of sand and cups of water to recreate surface features seen in images of Mars. This is activity 5 of 9 in Mars and Earth: Science Learning Activities for After School. Note: The Mars image set that is needed to do this... (View More)

Keywords: Mars

This is an activity about modeling the effect of wind on a sandy surface. Learners will use trays of sand and straws to recreate surface features of images of Mars. Participants test their ideas about how some of the features on Mars might have been... (View More)

Keywords: Mars

Learners will use a variety of resources to conduct research to try to find answers to the questions they generated in previous activities. They continue to work the way scientists do by communicating what they learned from their research about Mars... (View More)

Keywords: Mars
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