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**Earth and space science**

**Solar system**

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This collection of activities is based on a weekly series of space science mathematics problems distributed during the 2012-2013 school year. They were intended for students looking for additional challenges in the math and physical science... (View More) curriculum in grades 5 through 12. The problems were created to be authentic glimpses of modern science and engineering issues, often involving actual research data. The problems were designed to be one-pagers with a Teacher’s Guide and Answer Key as a second page. (View Less)

Students will learn about the Transit of Venus through reading a NASA press release and viewing a NASA eClips™ video that describes several ways to observe transits. Then students will study angular measurement by learning about parallax and how... (View More) astronomers use this geometric effect to determine the distance to Venus during a Transit of Venus. This activity is part of the Space Math multimedia modules that integrate NASA press releases, NASA archival video, and mathematics problems targeted at specific math standards commonly encountered in middle school textbooks. The modules cover specific math topics at multiple levels of difficulty with real-world data and use the 5E instructional sequence. (View Less)

In this hands-on activity, learners begin by estimating the size of each planet in our Solar System and Pluto and making each out of playdough or a similar material. Then, learners follow specific instructions to divide a mass of playdough into the... (View More) size of each planet and Pluto and compare the actual modeled sizes to the students' own predictions. This activity requires a large amount of playdough material per group of learners. Three pounds is the minimum amount required for each group. (View Less)

This is an activity about defining characteristics or features of the planets and their moons. Learners will use the Solar System Update software to complete a worksheet asking them to find the planet and/or moon that matches each listed... (View More) description. This activity requires the use of a computer with Internet access, and is Solar System Activity 1 in a larger resource, Space Update. (View Less)

This is an activity about ellipses, their focal points, and how the mathematics involved pertains to planetary orbits. Learners will draw their own ellipse using a string and pencil and calculate the minimum and maximum distance from the Sun for... (View More) each of the planets. This activity requires access to the Space Weather software and is Solar System Activity 5 in a larger resource, titled Space Update. (View Less)

This is an activity about identifying and classifying objects in space. Learners will complete a worksheet asking them to identify certain pictures as a planet, moon, or asteroid. This activity requires a computer with Internet access and access to... (View More) the Solar System Update software, and is Solar System Activity 2 in a larger resource, Space Update. (View Less)

This is an activity about the phases of Venus and the planet’s variance in angular size as seen from Earth. Learners will use an online program such as Solar System Live to determine Venus’s distance from Earth for one half of its cycle. This... (View More) activity requires access to the Solar System Update software and a computer with Internet access. This is Solar System Activity 6 in a larger resource, Space Update. (View Less)

This is an activity about the Venus Transit and how it helped astronomers determine the scale of the solar system. Learners will use measurement, ratios, and graphing to construct a model of the solar system and determine the relationship of each... (View More) planet to the Sun. They will explore the scales needed to represent the size of the planets and the distances to the Sun. This activity corresponds to the NASA CONNECT video, titled Venus Transit, and has supplemental questions to support the video viewing. (View Less)