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Planets  
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High school  
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This is a lesson about elemental spectra. Learners will compare known elemental spectra with spectra of Titan and Saturn’s rings from a spectrometer aboard the NASA Cassini spacecraft. They identify the elements visible in the planetary and lunar... (View More)

This is a lesson about how spacecraft use gravity assists to get where they are going. Learners will explore how engineers minimize the use of fuel by utilizing gravity. In Activity 1, students explore the physical conservation laws by observing the... (View More)

Audience: High school

This is a video about the IAU definition of a planet. Learners will watch 3D animation designed to illustrate the history behind the discussion defining the question, what is a planet?, and to outline some of the traits that may be associated with... (View More)

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

This is a lesson about the characteristics of planets, comets, asteroids, and trans-Neptunian objects. Learners will classify objects and then apply what they have learned by participating in a formal debate about a solar system object discovered by... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

In this activity students are challenged to create a model of the universe in a single class period. This activity is designed to elicit student ideas and preconceptions about the contents and organization of the cosmos. Most students will be... (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 series of hands-on activities comprised of fieldwork and lab work about the basics of soil science. Learners record soil context descriptions, measure soil moisture, describe soil color, structure, consistency, and texture and conduct... (View More)

This is an activity about the future of Mars exploration. Learners will debate a specified position by researching and providing evidence to support their position. This is lesson 4 of 5 in Buried Water Ice on Mars.

This lithograph traces the emergence and color change of an Earth-sized storm on Jupiter. The storm appears to be the same color as Jupiter's trademark Great Red Spot and has been dubbed Red Spot Jr. In the accompanying educational activity, In... (View More)

Audience: Middle school, High school, Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

This is a lesson about the energy output of the Sun. Learners will consider the essential question, "How much energy does sunlight provide to the Earth and what is its role in the Earth’s energy resources?" Activities include building a device to... (View More)

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