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Short Description: In this 30-minute activity, teams of children, ages 9 to13, investigate the composition of unseen materials, using a variety of tools. This open-ended engagement activity mimics how scientists discover clues about the interiors of planets with cameras and other instruments onboard spacecraft.
Investigating Our Planetary Family Tree
Grade Level: K-4, 5-8
Science Education Standards: National Science Education Standards
Science as Inquiry - Content Standard A
Abilities Necessary to Do Scientific Inquiry
Different kinds of questions suggest different kinds of scientific investigations. Some investigations involve observing and describing objects, organisms, or events; some involve collecting specimens; some involve experiments; some involve seeking more information; some involve discovery of new objects and phenomena; and some involve making models.
Scientific explanations emphasize evidence, have logically consistent arguments, and use scientific principles, models, and theories. The scientific community accepts and uses such explanations until displaced by better scientific ones. When such displacement occurs, science advances.
Source: Lunar and Planetary Institute