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Heavyweight Champion: Jupiter and The Pull of the Planets Unit
Grade Level: K-2, 3-5
Lesson Time: More Than an Hour
Solar System Body: Jupiter
Mission: Juno (Jupiter)

Short Description: The students explore gravity and its relationship to weight by weighing themselves on scales modified to represent weights on other worlds, and compare the features of different planets to determine which characteristics cause a planet to have more or less gravity.


How Much Would You Weigh on Distant Planets
Grade Level: 6-8
Lesson Time: Less Than 30 Minutes
Solar System Body: Earth's Moon
Mission: Apollo 11 (Earth's Moon), Apollo 12 (Earth's Moon), Apollo 14 (Earth's Moon), Apollo 15 (Earth's Moon), Apollo 17 (Earth's Moon), Apollo (Earth's Moon)

Short Description: Students view Web movies of astronauts on the moon and discuss what they can learn about one's lunar weight; a calculator is provided to get their weight on other planets; a discussion of the causes of weight and gravity is then suggested with different hypotheses.


Ice in the Solar System
Grade Level: K-2, 3-5, 6-8
Lesson Time: More Than an Hour
Solar System Body: Our Solar System, Mercury, Earth's Moon
Mission: Lunar Recon Orbiter (Earth's Moon), MESSENGER (Mercury)

Short Description: Students examine different types of ices, discover where these different ices occur in the solar system, how scientists determine what ice is where, meet some of the scientists who are exploring these ice worlds, and explore why their work is so important!


In the Footsteps of Galileo: Observing the Moons of Jupiter
Grade Level: 6-8, 9-12
Lesson Time: 30-60 Minutes
Solar System Body: Our Solar System, Jupiter, Europa
Mission: Juno (Jupiter)

Short Description: Students learn about the scientific method and do a simplified version of Galileo's pioneering observations of Jupiter's moons, which similarly supported a new model of our solar system.


Inside Mars -- Puzzling Patterns -- Where Does Volcanism Occur?
Grade Level: 3-5, 6-8
Lesson Time: 30-60 Minutes
Solar System Body: Earth, Mars
Mission: Mars Recon Orbiter (Mars)

Short Description: Students compare volcano maps of Earth and Mars and identify patterns, similarities and differences.


Interstellar Real Estate -- Defining the Habitable Zone
Grade Level: 6-8
Lesson Time: More Than an Hour
Solar System Body: Our Solar System, Earth
Mission: ACE (Our Solar System)

Short Description: What makes Earth the perfect home for life as we know it? Students in this activity explore the orbital characteristics a planetary home needs to support Earth-like life forms.


Investigation Transit Tracks
Grade Level: 6-8, 9-12
Lesson Time: 30-60 Minutes
Solar System Body: Beyond Our Solar System
Mission: Astrophysics (Beyond Our Solar System)

Short Description: In this investigation, from the NASA Kepler mission Education and Public Outreach team, students describe a transit and the conditions when a transit may be seen; describe how a planet's size and distance from its star affects the behavior of transits; and interpret graphs of brightness versus time to deduce information about planet-star systems.


Is There Ice on Mercury?
Grade Level: 6-8
Lesson Time: Less Than 30 Minutes
Solar System Body: Mercury
Mission: MESSENGER (Mercury)

Short Description: Since the 1990's, radio astronomers have mapped Mercury. An outstanding curiosity is that in the polar regions, some craters appear to have "anomalous reflectivity" in the shadowed areas of these craters. One interpretation is that this is caused by sub-surface ice


Is There Water on Mars?
Grade Level: 6-8, 9-12
Lesson Time: 30-60 Minutes
Solar System Body: Mars
Mission: 2001 Mars Odyssey (Mars), Spirit/Opportunity (Mars), Mars Express (Mars), Mars Global Surveyor (Mars), Mars Pathfinder (Mars), Mars Recon Orbiter (Mars), MSL / Curiosity (Mars), MAVEN (Mars)

Short Description: Is there liquid water on Mars? By experimenting with water as it changes state and investigating some effects of air pressure, students not only learn core ideas in physical science but can deduce the water situation on Mars by applying those concepts.


Jupiter's Family Secrets
Grade Level: 6-8
Lesson Time: More Than an Hour
Solar System Body: Jupiter
Mission: Galileo (Jupiter), Juno (Jupiter)

Short Description: In this series of brief station activities, students may examine the turbulent weather that creates Jupiter's distinctive banded appearance, violent storms, and clouds of many different colors.

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Last Updated: 21 Oct 2011