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Solar System Exploration
Pluto: Education
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Featured Lesson:

Color image of girl at a desk.
A student uses beads to create a scale model of our solar system.
Solar System Distance Activity (Bead Solar System) (PDF, 39 KB)
In this lesson, students will:
  • Create a model with string and colored beads demonstrating the scale distances of the solar system using astronomical units that have been converted into a 10 cm scale
  • Understand the distances between the sun, planets and small objects in the solar system

Grade Level: 5-8

National Science Education Standard: Earth in the solar system.

More solar system-related education activities:

Featured Mission:

New Horizons
Illustration of the New Horizons Spacecraft
New Horizons launched for Pluto in 2006.

New Horizons is designed to help us understand the worlds at the edge of our solar system by making the first reconnaissance of Pluto and Charon and the Kuiper Belt, the last of the three major zones in our solar system to be visited by spacecraft. As the first voyage to a whole new class of planets in the farthest zone of the solar system, New Horizons is a historic mission of exploration. The United States has made history by being the first nation to reach every planet from Mercury to Neptune with a space probe. The New Horizons mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt -- the first NASA launch to a new destination since Voyager more than 30 years ago -- allows the U.S. to complete the reconnaissance of the solar system.

More mission resources:

Pluto Lessons:

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.

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Last Updated: 14 Mar 2014