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Does the Moon Rotate?
Grade Level: 6-8
Lesson Time: Less Than 30 Minutes
Solar System Body: Earth, Earth's Moon
Mission: Apollo (Earth's Moon), Heliophysics (Sun)

Short Description: Make a three-dimensional model of the Earth and Moon. Using the Sun's light. discover that the Moon does rotate, in the same amount of time it takes to make one orbit.


Dwarf Planets as a New Way of Thinking About an Old Solar System
Grade Level: 3-5, 6-8
Lesson Time: 30-60 Minutes
Solar System Body: Our Solar System, Dwarf Planets, Pluto, Ceres
Mission: Dawn (Dwarf Planets), New Horizons (Dwarf Planets)

Short Description: This activity utilizes a researched-based instructional strategy called direct vocabulary instruction to help students understand the new definitions of planet and dwarf planet.


Earth-Moon Activity
Grade Level: 6-8
Lesson Time: More Than an Hour
Solar System Body: Earth, Earth's Moon
Mission: Earth Science (Earth)

Short Description: This activity helps students understand the size of and distance between Earth and the Moon. Students work in pairs using different-sized spherical objects to represent Earth and the Moon. They use the diameter of the objects to establish this scale.


Exploring Comets and Modeling for Mission Success
Grade Level: 3-5, 6-8
Lesson Time: More Than an Hour
Solar System Body: Comets
Mission: Deep Impact (Comets)

Short Description: The purpose of this activity is to give educators information and activities surrounding the basics of comet science. Students get the opportunity to follow the path science has taken throughout history to explore comets. They'll also learn about how we are currently exploring comets and why mission teams perform modeling exercises on Earth in order to assure mission success in space.


Exploring Lunar Phases with a Daytime Moon
Grade Level: 6-8, 9-12
Lesson Time: Less Than 30 Minutes
Solar System Body: Sun, Earth, Earth's Moon
Mission: Apollo (Earth's Moon), Earth Science (Earth), Heliophysics (Sun)

Short Description: This activity creates a model with the real Moon and Sun in the sky to help participants discover the real reason for the lunar phases.


Exploring Meteorite Mysteries: Lesson 10-Building Blocks of Planets
Grade Level: 3-5, 6-8, 9-12
Lesson Time: More Than an Hour
Solar System Body: Our Solar System, Asteroids, Meteors & Meteorites
Mission: Dawn (Dwarf Planets), DSN (Our Solar System)

Short Description: In Activity A students will observe and describe chondrite meteorites. In Activity B they will experiment with balloons and static electricity to illustrate the theories about how dust particles collected into larger clusters. In Activity C students will manipulate magnetic marbles and steel balls to dramatically illustrate the accretion of chondritic material into larger bodies like planets and asteroids.


Exploring Origins
Grade Level: 6-8, 9-12
Lesson Time: 30-60 Minutes
Solar System Body: Sun
Mission: Genesis (Our Solar System)

Short Description: The goal of Exploring Origins is to help students understand the cumulative nature of scientific knowledge and technological advancements and to understand the theoretical basis for the Genesis mission. By exploring ideas about the origins of the solar system held by various cultures throughout the ages, students will gain an understanding that the Genesis mission is providing data to answer age-old questions.


Flexing Muscles and Moons
Grade Level: 3-5, 6-8
Lesson Time: 30-60 Minutes
Solar System Body: Europa
Mission: Galileo (Jupiter), Voyager 1 (Our Solar System), Voyager 2 (Our Solar System)

Short Description: Students measure the effect of gravitational flexing (which keeps Io and Europa's interior warm) by taking the temperature of some flexible rubber balls. They also calculate the force of gravity.


Follow the Falling Meteorite
Grade Level: 6-8, 9-12
Lesson Time: More Than an Hour
Solar System Body: Meteors & Meteorites
Mission: Genesis (Our Solar System)

Short Description: In the activities in this lesson students use sound to easily demonstrate basic triangulation techniques. They also triangulate using a meteor's path to predict where meteorites might be found. Extended math applications may be added. Students also develop a treasure hunt map in the final activity


Geologic Landforms Seen on Aerial Photos
Grade Level: 6-8
Lesson Time: 30-60 Minutes
Solar System Body: Earth
Mission: Earth Science (Earth)

Short Description: The objective of this exercise is to introduce students to landforms produced by the four major geologic processes using aerial photographs.

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Last Updated: 21 Oct 2011