National Aeronautics and Space Administration Logo
Follow this link to skip to the main content NASA Banner
Solar System Exploration
Facebook Twitter YouTube Facebook Twitter YouTube Flickr iTunes
Follow Us
AstroVenture: Search for and Design a Habitable Planet

AstroVenture: Search for and Design a Habitable Planet

Download This Lesson

Short Description: Students role-play NASA occupations, as they search for and build a planet with the necessary characteristics for human habitation. Atmospheric science is one of several modules, and includes nine lessons.

Topic: Windy Worlds: Gas Giants, Atmospheres and Weather

Grade Level: 5-8

Body: Jupiter, Saturn

Mission: Cassini (Saturn), Galileo (Jupiter), Juno (Jupiter)

Science Education Standards:


By the end of the 5th grade, students should know that:
  • Air is a material that surrounds us and takes up space and whose movement we feel as wind. 4B/E4
  • The weather is always changing and can be described by measurable quantities such as temperature, wind direction and speed, and precipitation. Large masses of air with certain properties move across the surface of the earth. The movement and interaction of these air masses is used to forecast the weather. 4B/E5 (NSES)

By the end of the 8th grade, students should know that:

  • Nine planets of very different size, composition, and surface features move around the sun in nearly circular orbits. Some planets have a variety of moons and even flat rings of rock and ice particles orbiting around them. Some of these planets and moons show evidence of geologic activity. The earth is orbited by one moon, many artificial satellites, and debris. 4A/M3
  • The earth is mostly rock. Three-fourths of the earth's surface is covered by a relatively thin layer of water (some of it frozen), and the entire planet is surrounded by a relatively thin layer of air. 4B/M2ab
  • The earth has a variety of climates, defined by average temperature, precipitation, humidity, air pressure, and wind, over time in a particular place. 4B/M14
  • The atmosphere is a mixture of nitrogen, oxygen, and trace amounts of water vapor, carbon dioxide, and other gases. 4B/M15 (NSES)

National Science Education Standards

Grades 5-8
Structure of the Earth System
  • The atmosphere is a mixture of nitrogen, oxygen, and trace gases that include water vapor. The atmosphere has different properties at different elevations.
  • Clouds, formed by the condensation of water vapor, affect weather and climate.
  • Global patterns of atmospheric movement influence local weather. Oceans have a major effect on climate, because water in the oceans holds a large amount of heat.
Earth in the Solar System
  • The earth is the third planet from the sun in a system that includes the moon, the sun, eight other planets and their moons, and smaller objects, such as asteroids and comets. The sun, an average star, is the central and largest body in the solar system.

Source: NASA Ames Research Center

Awards and Recognition   Solar System Exploration Roadmap   Contact Us   Site Map   Print This Page
NASA Official: Kristen Erickson
Advisory: Dr. James Green, Director of Planetary Science
Outreach Manager: Alice Wessen
Curator/Editor: Phil Davis
Science Writer: Autumn Burdick
Producer: Greg Baerg
Webmaster: David Martin
> NASA Science Mission Directorate
> Budgets, Strategic Plans and Accountability Reports
> Equal Employment Opportunity Data
   Posted Pursuant to the No Fear Act
> Information-Dissemination Policies and Inventories
> Freedom of Information Act
> Privacy Policy & Important Notices
> Inspector General Hotline
> Office of the Inspector General
> NASA Communications Policy
> NASA Advisory Council
> Open Government at NASA
Last Updated: 1 Jul 2014