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Differentiation Demonstration: Moon

Differentiation Demonstration: Moon

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Short Description: Students observe a model of planetary differentiation, the organization of planetary interiors into layers of different densities. Materials of different densities are mixed in a bottle and allowed to separate into layers. The simple model illustrates how the Moon's interior became organized into a distinct core, mantle and outer crust from the debris of the Giant Impact.

Topic: Evolving Worlds: Planets, Like People, Grow and Change Over Time

Grade Level: 5-8

Body: Earth, Earth's Moon

Mission: Earth Science Missions (Earth), LADEE (Earth's Moon), Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (Earth's Moon)

Science Education Standards:


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

National Science Education Standards

Earth and Space Science -- Content Standard D

Grades 5-8

  • 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.


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Last Updated: 1 Jul 2014