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Become a crime scene investigator! Learners model Dawn Mission scientists, engineers, and technologists and how they use instrumentation to detect distant worlds. After a briefing to build context, students explore interactions between different... (View More)

This is an activity about the tides. Learners discover how the Moon's gravitational pull causes the level of the ocean to rise and fall twice a day along most coastlines. Six children represent the oceans, solid Earth, Moon, and Sun and move their... (View More)

In this lesson on cosmic rays, students will explain two examples of a cosmic ray detector. Includes information about student preconceptions and a demonstration that requires a geiger counter and optional access to a small radioactive source that... (View More)

Keywords: Cosmic Ray; Radiation
Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Over $20

This is a lesson about detecting atmospheres of planets. Learners will explore stellar occultation events (by interpreting light curves) to determine if an imaginary dwarf planet "Snorkzat" has an atmosphere. The activity is part of Project Spectra,... (View More)

Learners will explore different ways of displaying visual spectra, including colored "barcode" spectra, like those produced by a diffraction grating, and line plots displaying intensity versus color, or wavelength. Students learn that a diffraction... (View More)

This is a lesson about discovering distant planets using an Earth-based observing technique called stellar occultation. Learners will explore how a stellar occultation occurs, how planetary atmospheres can be discovered, and how planetary diameters... (View More)

This is a lesson about displacement, buoyancy, and density. Learners will understand why ice floats. Includes background information, teacher notes, assessment criteria, and related resources; activities are differentiated for Pre-K-grade 2 and... (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 observe ice melting and freezing under a variety of conditions and relate that to the Messenger mission. This is lesson 1 of 12 in Exploring Ice in the Solar System.

Audience: Pre-kindergarten, Elementary school
Materials Cost: Free

This is a lesson about the characteristics of ice as a mineral and how it compares to other minerals with respect to hardness. Learners will observe ice crystals, develop a hardness scale and position ice on it. Learners will also practice working... (View More)

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