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Exploring Ice in the Solar System - Unit 1
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Exploring Ice in the Solar System - Unit 1
Grade Level: K-2, 3-5
Lesson Time: More Than an Hour
Body: Our Solar System, Mercury, Earth, Mars, Asteroids, Dwarf Planets, Comets, Kuiper Belt & Oort Cloud, Earth's Moon, Europa, Pluto, Ceres
Mission: Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (Earth's Moon), Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (Mars), MESSENGER (Mercury), New Horizons (Dwarf Planets), Rosetta (Comets)

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Short Description: Examine the importance of water in the form of ice in the solar system. From hands-on experiences with ice, the unit moves on to investigating ice in everyday life, in polar regions on Earth, and throughout the solar system.

Why We Chose This Lesson
This lesson was chosen for its quality and potential alignment to Next Generation Science Standards.

Read the Rubric for This Lesson

Disciplinary Core Ideas

  • ESS1: Earth's Place in the Universe
  • ESS2: Earth's Systems
  • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
  • ETS1: Engineering Design
  • PS1: Matter and its Interactions
  • PS3: Energy
  • PS4: Waves and their Applications

Read more: NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas


  • 1-Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering)
  • 2-Developing and using models
  • 3-Planning and carrying out investigations
  • 4-Analyzing and interpreting data
  • 5-Using mathematics and computational thinking
  • 6-Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering)
  • 8-Obtaining, evaluating and communicating information

Read more: Science and Engineering Practices in the NGSS

Crosscutting Concepts:

  • 1-Patterns
  • 2-Cause and effect: mechanism and explanation
  • 3-Scale, proportion and quantity
  • 4-Systems and system models
  • 5-Energy and matter: flows, cycles and conversation
  • 6-Structures and function
  • 7-Stability and change

Read more: NGSS Crosscutting Concepts

Credit: Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

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Last Updated: 7 Sep 2014