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Water in the Solar System: Water, Water, Everywhere!
Classrooms


Students of all ages can investigate water on our Earth and in our solar system, from its characteristics to our search for it on moons and planets. Check out the Featured Activity for ways to celebrate Earth Day in the classroom!

Be sure to submit photographs, artwork, music, or words of students enjoying these activities to Share Your Stories.

Activities

Grades K-4
For these grades, the properties of water and its states can be investigated. Students may have trouble applying these concepts to other planets and moons but they should be able to describe water's role in their lives and on Earth. They may not yet be able to understand that some types of ice (for example, dry ice) are made of substances other than water. (Science Education Standards)

Activity Description
The Water Cycle -- Now You See It, Now You Don't Elementary students learn about the relationship between temperature and condensation.
Evaporation Investigation Students observe and understand the process of evaporation.
Rock Star Precipitation Student predict the best times for rock stars to perform outdoors, using monthly precipitation data from around the world.
Rivers on Mars This modified version of a middle school activity was created for young elementary students. Using stream tables, students simulate the development of the Martian landscape through water flow and erosion.


Grades 5-8
Students in this age group can apply their understanding of water to the search for it on other bodies. This can branch out into investigations on how we look for water, which includes technology and electromagnetic spectrum components, and to the role of water in life. (Science Education Standards)

Activity Description
Exploring Ice in the Solar System The Exploring Ice in the Solar System education unit examines 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 Follow the Water Students investigate several physical properties of liquid water to better understand why we think water is important for life. An extension activity investigates the connection between liquid water and plant productivity on Earth.
It's Just a Phase: Water as a Solid, Liquid, and Gas Students construct models of the way water molecules arrange themselves in the three physical states.
Scratching the Surface -- Carving Channels Students create channel features with flowing water. Their observations of the ways in which flowing water alters the surrounding terrain will be used as clues to draw conclusions about Mars' geologic past.


Grades 9-14
These students can begin to analyze the data from Earth satellites to study Earth systems, and from planetary missions to deduce water's presence or absence on various bodies. They can explore water's role as a solvent to its necessity for life. (Science Education Standards)
Activity Description
Globe Visualization Student Activities: Earth There are a variety of "Looking at Data" activities near the bottom of this page that examine Earth's hydrology, ranging from water temperature, salinity, amount of dissolved oxygen, and more.
Water Quality at Earth Observatory These citizen science activities could be used in a high school classroom to gather and submit data on local water quality, and to analyze satellite data.
MY NASA DATA Lessons MY NASA DATA microsets are created using data from NASA Earth science satellite missions and provide information on Earth's atmosphere, biosphere, cryosphere, ocean and land surface. There are a variety of lessons using these data.
Why Follow the Water Students investigate several physical properties of liquid water to better understand why we think water is important for life. An extension activity investigates the connection between liquid water and plant productivity on Earth.
Remote Sensing Ices on Mars Students analyze data collected by Mars spacecraft using three different energies of light -- visible light, infrared light, and gamma rays -- to investigate the composition and distribution of ices at the high latitude regions of Mars.
An Ocean Below Enceladus' Icy Crust This four-slide powerpoint by the Division of Planetary Science includes basic information for college-level introductory courses.
Water Found on the Moon This four-slide powerpoint by the Division of Planetary Science includes basic information for college-level introductory courses.
Possible "Water World" at 40 Light Years This four-slide powerpoint by the Division of Planetary Science includes basic information for college-level introductory courses.
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Last Updated: 16 Apr 2014