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Formation of the Solar System: Birth of Worlds
Organizations & Clubs


Girls working on a bead activity.
Participants use beads to model the ingredients of our solar system. Image Credit: Genesis Mission Website

As part of the human drive to understand our origins, we have a natural desire to learn about Earth's formation. Engage your community on this topic through the activities and events listed here. These recommendations are tailored for organizations and clubs such as libraries, planetariums, science centers, astronomy clubs, and scout troops.

Events could include bringing in speakers, holding shows in a portable planetarium, or an evening telescope observing session. Consider getting in touch with local astronomical societies, planetariums, and museums, local scientists (astronomy and geology departments at nearby universities are a good place to start), and NASA's Solar System Ambassadors -- ask them to join your events and share their experiences or resources with the children.

This topic is advanced for many people. Prepare your community to undertake these activities with a discussion or other activities that describe the components of the solar system, their positions in the solar system, and the distinction between our solar system, our galaxy, and our Universe. Begin with the Explore the Celestial Neighborhood...in Your Neighborhood! activity. Be sure to submit photographs, artwork, music, or words of your community enjoying this activity to Share Your Stories.

There are limited resources available in planning children's activities related to the formation of the solar system. You may want to examine:

Activities Description
What Are We Made Of? The Sun, the Earth, and You
Teacher Guide
Student Activity
Students learn that elements are the basic building blocks of all things found on Earth and in space including water, the human body, and the Earth, the Sun, and the planets. By counting elements extracted from a simulated sample, students explore how the extraction of atoms from the Genesis samples help scientists have a better understanding of the abundances of elements from the solar wind. This hands-on experience helps students discover that the elemental abundances from the Sun can be used as a baseline to compare with the diverse bodies of our solar system.
Spinning Does More than Make You Dizzy Students investigate why the planets revolve around the Sun in the same direction and connect their formation to their motions in this simple demonstration.
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Last Updated: 12 Sep 2014