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Candy Gas Giants
Topic: Windy Worlds: Gas Giants, Atmospheres and Weather
Grade Level: K-4
Body: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune
Mission: Cassini (Saturn), Galileo (Jupiter), Juno (Jupiter), Pioneer 10 (Jupiter), Pioneer 11 (Saturn), Voyager 1 (Our Solar System), Voyager 2 (Our Solar System)

Short Description: Students make two edible or non-edible models of the Earth and one of their favorite gas giants. They explore the differences in size and composition of layers through choices of materials.


Carbon Dioxide Increases
Topic: Space Math, Windy Worlds: Gas Giants, Atmospheres and Weather
Grade Level: 5-8
Body: Earth
Mission: Earth Science (Earth)

Short Description: Students study the Keeling Curve to determine the rates of increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.


Changes Inside Planets (Differentiation and Breakup)
Topic: Formation of the Solar System
Grade Level: 5-8
Body: Our Solar System, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Asteroids, Meteors & Meteorites
Mission: Dawn (Dwarf Planets)

Short Description: Students conduct experiments to model the separation of light and heavy materials within a planetary body using gelatin. In a second activity, students model the break-up of a differentiated body using frozen hard-boiled eggs.


Changing Theories About Mars
Topic: Our Evolving Understanding of Our Solar System
Grade Level: 5-8
Body: Mars

Short Description: Once thought to be home to life forms that built canals, the view of Mars' habitability has changed significantly over the past several decades. Keeping open-minded about new information allows scientists to fully explore options. Open-mindedness is important to the culture of science.


Conflicting Theories for the Origin of the Moon
Topic: Our Evolving Understanding of Our Solar System
Grade Level: 5-8
Body: Earth's Moon

Short Description: There are different views on the origin of the moon. Investigation results can be interpreted in different ways which are sometimes conflicting. Critical thinking and matching evidence with theories are skills that are highly valued in science.


Cooling Planets
Topic: Evolving Worlds: Planets, Like People, Grow and Change Over Time
Grade Level: 5-8
Body: Earth, Mars, Earth's Moon
Mission: Earth Science (Earth), InSight (Mars), LADEE (Earth's Moon), Lunar Recon Orbiter (Earth's Moon), MAVEN (Mars)

Short Description: In this activity, students take temperature readings from large and small containers of hot water, and graph the measurements to determine how volume affects cooling. They use this information to interpret the cooling histories of the different sizes of the inner, rocky planets of our inner solar system.


Cosmic Chemistry: Planetary Diversity
Topic: Evolving Worlds: Planets, Like People, Grow and Change Over Time, Formation of the Solar System
Grade Level: 9-12
Body: Our Solar System, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Asteroids, Meteors & Meteorites, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Dwarf Planets
Mission: Dawn (Dwarf Planets), InSight (Mars)

Short Description: The goal of this module is to acquaint students with the planets of the solar system and some current models for their origin and evolution. During the explorations of the Cosmic Chemistry: Planetary Diversity module, students will make decisions concerning possible patterns or groupings of the physical and chemical compositions of internal structures and atmospheres of planets. Through classroom activities, they will be encouraged to examine some contemporary models proposed to explain the origin and evolution of the planets. In the final assessment activity students will use these experiences to predict the properties of the the missing planet that could have formed in the asteroid belt.


Counting Sunspots
Topic: The Sun, Transits and Eclipses
Grade Level: K-4
Body: Sun
Mission: Heliophysics (Sun)

Short Description: Students discover the pattern created when plotting the number of sunspots over a long period of time.


Crash Landing!
Topic: Evolving Worlds: Planets, Like People, Grow and Change Over Time
Grade Level: 5-8
Body: Our Solar System, Venus, Earth, Mars
Mission: ARTEMIS (Earth's Moon), Earth Science (Earth), InSight (Mars), LADEE (Earth's Moon), Lunar Recon Orbiter (Earth's Moon), Mars Recon Orbiter (Mars), MSL / Curiosity (Mars), Venus Express (Venus), Viking 01 (Mars), Viking 02 (Mars)

Short Description: This activity examines the conditions necessary to support on-going life on a planet. After considering the conditions needed for life as we know it, students select the most habitable planet, in a fictitious planetary system, on which to crash land.


Dance of the Moon and Oceans
Topic: Gravity: It's What Keeps Us Together
Grade Level: 5-8
Body: Sun, Earth, Earth's Moon

Short Description: Students discover how the moon's gravitational pull causes the level of the ocean to rise and fall twice a day along most coastlines through this kinesthetic activity, and consider what the Earth's tides might have been like if there were no moon.

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Last Updated: 21 Oct 2011