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Activities

These are NASA generated Lesson Plans that are available for your use; just download the pdf of the lesson. Lessons are arranged alphabetically by audience level.

 

Title Description Subject
High School
Astrobiology Math (4.87 MB) This collection of activities is based on a weekly series of space science problems intended for students looking for additional challenges in the mathematics and physical science curriculum in grades 6-12. The problems deal with modern science and engineering issues, often involving actual research data.
Grades: 6-12
Source
fractions, decimals, percents, problems, ratios, proportions, quantitative relationships, large numbers, exponential, scientific, calculator notation, arithmetic operations, fractions, decimals, integers, proportions,, scaling, equivalent ratios, patterns, tables, graphs, words, symbolic rules, linear relationships, metric, customary systems of measurement, numerical computations, defined and recursively defined functions, rates of change, intercepts, zeros, asymptotes, local and global behavior, classes of functions, exponential, polynomial, rational, logarithmic, periodic functions
Astrobiology: Science Learning Activities (626 KB PDF) Astrobiology gives young thinkers the opportunity to explore topics related to the search for life beyond their own planet. As they complete the activities in the guide, students will use some of the same strategies that astrobiologists use. Each of the eight activities takes about one hour to complete.
Grades: 5-12, Informal
Source
life on Earth, living things, water, energy, stable environment, microbes, extreme environments,
Aurora (1.88 MB) This is an interactive inquiry program designed to have students predict and follow a solar storm and the sighting of an aurora. Educators will learn how to guide their students through an on-line network, to collaborate, analyze data and make predictions. The educator's guide was created to enhance understanding while predicting a solar storm. The activities show application and background information is included. Their activities will provide understanding of basic physical science through sunspots, radio waves, and magnetism. The activities are connected to science, math, and technology standards. Activities are aligned to grade levels based on the standards.
Grade: K-12
Source
Sunspots, Radio Waves, Magnetism, Solar Storms, Aurora,
Blue Marble Matches: Using Earth for Planetary Comparisons (13.68 MB) This activity is designed to introduce students to geologic processes on Earth and model how scientists use Earth to gain a better understanding of other planetary bodies in the solar system.
Grade: 3-12
Source
Science as Inquiry, scientific procedures and explanations, relationships between evidence and explanations, Earth and Space Science, the structure of the Earth system, Earth’s history, Solar System, science as a human endeavor, the nature of science, history of science, geologic features, planetary bodies
Climate Change (2.85 MB PDF) This module investigates climatic variability. It focuses on the evidence for global climate change. It includes investigations of the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO), the geography and politics of stratospheric ozone, and the theory of global warming.
Grades: 9-12
Source
Systems, order, and organization, Evidence, models, and explanation, Constancy, change, and measurement, Structure and function in living systems, Populations and ecosystems, Structure of the earth system,Understandings about science and technology, Risks and benefits, Science and technology in society
Coma Cluster of Galaxies (2.885 MB pdf) In 2006, the Hubble Space Telescope pointed its piercing gaze at a nearby collection of galaxies called the Coma Cluster. Using the unprecedented images that the HST provided, astronomers gained fascinating insights into the evolution of galaxies in dense galactic neighborhoods. In this activity, students will first learn the basics of galaxy classification and grouping, then they get to use some actual HST images to discover the 'morphology-density effect' and make hypotheses about its causes.
Grades: 9-12
Source
scientific inquiry, Earth and Space Science
Comparing Comets (212 KB PDF) In this activity, students will play the role of cometary scientists, using images from Stardust and Deep Impact to study and compare the surfaces of two comet nuclei from close range.
Grades: 7-12
Source
comets
Create a Tennis Ball Globe (1.74 MB PDF) Students create a Tennis Ball Globe, seeing how a spherical Earth can be shown in one type of flat map.
Grades: 3-12
Source
maps, Earth
Dirty Ice or Icy Dirt (1.97 MB PDF) Large amounts of water ice appear to be buried at high latitudes on Mars. In this activity, students make physical models using Earth samples to investigate whether it is more likely that these regions of Mars are composed of icy dirt (with ice filling the pore space of soils) or dirty ice (with dust sprinkled through a mostly icy surface).
Grades: 6-10
Source
PowerPoint Presentation (2.79 MB PPT)
cientific inquiry, Structure of the Earth system, Nature of Science
Earth's water resources (5.85 MB PDF) This module addresses issues that are of fundamental importance to life. Four case studies of a coastal bay, an inland sea, a river, and mountain snow pack investigate water resources important to millions of people in North America, Asia, and Africa. Each investigation focuses on the physical nature of the resource, how humans depend upon the resource, and how human use affects the resource creating both problems and opportunities.
Grades: 9-12
Source
Systems, order, and organization, evidence, models, and explanation, evolution and equilibrium, abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry, structure and function in living systems populations and ecosystems, dtructure of the Earth system, understandings about science and, risks and benefits science and technology in society science as a human endeavor,
Energy: A Balancing Act (788 KB PDF) It's the end of the school year and you have been looking for a summer job. All the job openings you've found so far are the typical,boring positions that you were trying to avoid. One day, while complaining to a friend in class, your science teacher overhears your conversation. Your teacher pulls you aside after class and tells you about a great summer position that has opened in the lab of a friend, Dr. Jones. The job pays better than anything you've found and is definitely NOT typical. You'd get to work at the local laboratory with REAL scientists, helping withtheir research, as the Student Research Scientist. And, you'll even get your name published with the research! How many of your friends can say that? So, of course, you take the position.
Grades: 9-12
Source
Meteorology, climatology, geography, language arts, mathematics, and atmospheric science
Exploring the Moon (6.20 MB PDF) The activities are divided into three units: Pre-Apollo, Learning from Apollo, and the Future. Classroom activities promote problemsolving, communication skills, and teamwork. Each activity consists of teacher pages and reproducible student sheets.
Grades: 4-12
Source
Distance to the moon, diameter of the moon, reaping rocks, The Lunar Disk, Apollo landing sites, Regolith formation, lunar surface, differentiation, impact craters, clay lava flows, lava layering, lunar landing sites, lunar roving vehicle, moon anomalies, lunar land use, life support systems, lunar biosphere
Flight Testing Newton's Laws (3.4 MB) Flight Testing Newton's Laws uses aircraft to stimulate students' interest in the physical sciences and mathematics during the course of ten lessons with corresponding videos. The main emphasis lies in showing how Newton's three Laws of Motion and the four forces of flight apply to flight testing an aircraft. Students solve problems involving kinematics and dynamics. Complementary areas of trigonometry, vector addition, weight and balance, and resolution of forces are employed. The collection includes an educator's guide that is presented in the format of a flight instructor's manual to help guide teachers and students through each lesson.
Grades: 9-12
Documents:
Student Manual (2.75 MB)
Source
math, physics, Newton's first law, Newton's second law, Newton's third law, Newton's Laws of Motion Weight and Balance, Baalancing Forces and moments, weighting an Aircraft, Developing Lift, Bernoulli's Equation, Lift, Rate of Change of Momentum, Drag, Pressure Drag, Thrust, Takeoff Performance, Acceleration, Rolling Friction, Climb and Descent, Climb Rate, Velocity, Cruise Performance, Range, Maximum Endruance Airspeed, Landing
Globe: Land Cover /Biology Investigation (11.93 MB PDF) We rely on Earth's surface (and a little bit above and below) to supply most of what we need to live. Therefore, mapping and monitoring this surface is critical to our wise use and protection of it.
Grades: K-12
Source
remote sensing, mapping, monitoring, data, computer aided maping, land cover change, leaf classification, measurements,
Hurricane Katrina: A Problem-Based Learning Module (2.03 MB PDF) Because it recognizes the importance of U.S. coastal areas to the nation's economy, the U.S. National Ocean Service has formed a task force that is studying the trends and impacts of hurricanes on coastal regions. They have invited your students to participate. In this activity, students are tasked with conducting an Earth systems analysis of Hurricane Katrina that will help answer the question "Is global warming causing an increase in hurricane frequency and intensity?"
Grades: 5-12
Source
Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry; Populations and ecosystems Interdependence of organisms; Matter, energy and organization in living things; Structure of the Earth system—oceans hold a large amount of heat and have a major effect on climate; Energy in the Earth system; Geochemical cycles; Populations, resources and environments; Natural and human-induced hazards; Science and technology in local, national and global challenges; Understandings about scientific inquiry
Identifying Continents and Oceans (1.02 MB PDF) The students will learn about world geography. They will learn to identify the four major oceans (Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, and Arctic) and the seven continents (Asia, Europe, Africa, Antarctica, Australia, North America, and South America).
Grades: 3-12
Source
Continents, oceans, maps
Inquiries about food, people, and Earth (3.38 MB PDF) This module includes three investigations dealing with agricultural systems and the environmental problems and opportunities related to these systems, including their capacities for sustaining human populations.
Grades: 9-12
Source
Change, constancy, and measurement, abilities of technological designs, understandings about science and technology, population growth, natural resources, environmental quality, science and technology in local, national, and global challenges
The Inverse Square Law of Light (729 KB) Students measure the relationship between distance and brightness of light. Once students discover the relationship, they can begin to understand how astronomers use this knowledge to determine the distances to stars and faraway galaxies.
Grades: 5-12
Source
source of light, function, inverse square, distance, brightness of light, stars, galazies,
Investigating Plants in Space (20.25 MB PDF) The lessons in this guide can be used to engage your students in the fascination of space biology through plant investigations long after the CUE Space Shuttle mission has entered the history books. It is NASA's goal that the information in these pages will motivate both you and your students to become active and involved participants in the Space Life Sciences enterprise, now and in the future.
Grades: 5-12
Source
life science, biology, plants, space, growth and development, pollination, fertilization, germination, orientation
Is There Water on Mars? (4.11 MB PDF) By experimenting with water as it changes state and investigating some effects of air pressure, students not only learn core ideas in physical science but can deduce the water situation on Mars by applying those concepts. They use evidence from their work as well as data and images from NASA's missions to Mars to take a position on whether there was ever water on Mars.
Grades: 9-12
Source
water, water temperature, ice, energy, states of matter, Earth's atmosphere, air preasure, air, density, gravity, climate, Mars
Learning to Fly: The Wright Brothers’ Adventure (3.56 MB PDF) This NASA educator guide has excellent background information about Wilbur and Orville Wright. The guide contains student activity pages and templates for building the 1900, 1901 and 1902 Gliders and the 1903 Flyer.
Grades: 6-9
Source
history of flight, Wright brothers, airplane, forces
Maps and Images (1.10 MB PDF) Students consider what can and cannot be seen because of size in EarthKAM images. They consider what can be seen on a wall map of the world and then compare this to what can be seen in EarthKAM images, and possibly other images of Earth from space.
Grades: 3-12
Source
maps, images, data
Mars Exploration Debate (582 KB PDF) Students are challenged to conduct research regarding the future of Mars exploration. They then conduct a student debate in which they discuss the future ways we might explore Mars and benefits and challenges associated with Mars exploration.
Grades: 6-10
Source
risks and benefits, science and technology in society, science as a human endeavor, nature of science, Mars
Mars Image Analysis (49.35 MB) For this activity, students will be placed in the role of planetary scientists. Students will study images taken by NASA's Mars Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) camera orbiting Mars. Students will use the THEMIS images to analyze the surface features and geological history of Mars. In this exciting 5E lesson set, students will interpret real NASA science data and discuss their findings. This lesson can also be a step towards the Mars Student Imaging Project that has students in grades 5-12 actually aim the THEMIS camera orbiting Mars and get their own picture to research! See Mars Student Imaging Project.
Grades: 5-12
Source
Analyze, Classification, Deposition, Erosion, Evaluate, Everyday Observations, Explanations, Geologic History, Inference, Scientific Observation, Qualitative Observation, Quantitative Observation, Weathering
Mars Image Analysis Extension (259 KB PDF) Students use an additional dataset from Mars to gain a better understanding of the nature of the shallow subsurface of the planet.
Grades: 5-12
Source
nature of science, structure of the Earth system, Earth in the solar system, identify questions that can be answered through scientific investigations, conduct a scientific investigation., use appropriate tools to analyze and interpret dat, develop descriptions and explanations using evidence, think critically and logically to make relationships between evidence, communicate scientific procedures and explanations
MarsBound! (941 KB) Students learn systems engineering by engaging in a mission planning simulation that mirrors a Mission to Mars. Students create a mission that has to balance the return of science data with mission limitations such as power, mass and budget.
In this advanced and exciting activity, students in grades 6-12 will become NASA project managers and have the opportunity to plan their own NASA mission. Risk factors play a role and will add to the excitement in this interactive mission planning activity. Students will build 21st Century Skills in creativity, collaboration, social cross-cultural skills, productivity and accountability.
Grades: 6-12
Documents:
Marsbound Cards (1.1 MB)
Marsbound Board - Full (566 KB)
Marsbound Board - Tiled for Printing (9.74 MB)

Source
Models, Predict, Engineering Constraints, Relative Distance, Relationship, Scale, Relative Size
Marsbound! Mission to the Red Planet (51.65 MB PDF) This is a self-contained activity in which your students will use realistic techniques to plan a mission to Mars. The goal of this activity is to use the excitement of Mars exploration as the "hook" for getting your students interested in the process of design, engineering, and technology.
Grades: 4-12
Source
characteristics and scope of technology, attributes of design, systems, Mars
Mercurial Barometer (113 KB PDF) You will also find instructions on how to build your own barometer.
Grades: K-12
Source
air preasure, weather
Meteorology: An Educator's Resource for Inquiry-Based Learning (29.02 MB PDF) This publication was developed to enhance the understanding of inquiry-based learning from the educator/teacher's perspective as well as from the learner's perspective. Inquiry-based learning has many levels. In general, inexperienced learners and younger learners will require more guidance than more-experienced and older learners who are better equipped to take responsibility for their learning. There are four levels of inquiry defined in this publication, confirmation-verification, structured inquiry, guided inquiry and open inquiry. The levels will be further defined and explained in the introductory chapter.
Grades: 5-9
Source
weather, climate, atmosphere, solar radiation, the greenhouse effect, temperature, solar heating, atmospheric motion, cyclones, atmospheric preasure, air masses, fronts, water cycle, clouds, surface color, effect of temperature change, angle of light rays, surface distribution, barometer, air, water vapor, precipitation, tornado, low-pressure system
Microgravity: A Teacher's Guide with Activities in Science, Mathematics, and Technology (5.97 MB PDF) A 174-page book covering all aspects of microgravity science for grades 5-12. The study of microgravity ("zero gravity" or weightlessness) will greatly benefit from the development of suborbital vehicles.
Grades: 5-12
Source
gravity, microgravity, aircraft, rockets, spacecraft, biotechnology, gases, physics, states of matter (solid, liquid, gas)
Planetary Geology (7.95 MB PDF) Many earth science courses include an introduction to the solar system. The challenge of earth science is to understand the natural processes that shape not only our planet, Earth, but all objects in the solar system. But there are more compelling arguments for including planetary science in the classroom. Those arguments, some of which are outlined below, inspired NASA to conduct short courses in planetology for earth science teachers at the secondary and college levels. This book is an outgrowth of these short courses.
Grades: 5-12+
Source
geology, Earth, impact crater, coriolis effect, storm systems, Aeolian processes, landform mapping, geolgic features, Mars, Venus, photogeologic mapping, mapping
Quantifying Changes in the Land Over Time (1.19 MB PDF) Students learn to identify kinds of land cover (such as roads, fields, urban areas, and lakes) in Landsat satellite images. They decide which land cover types allow the passage of water into the soil (are pervious) and which types do not allow it (are impervious). They consider some effects of increasing impervious surface area on ecosystem health.
Grades: 5-12
Source
and use change, impervious surfaces, urban growth
Question Mars (24.88 MB) All science starts with a question. Writing a good research question can be a challenge for students. In this activity, students pose questions related to the study of Mars and evaluate the quality of their questions. Students will explore remote sensing data collected by a camera orbiting Mars - the Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) and develop a team science question. Students will practice critical thinking skills, use a collaborative approach to this first critical step of the scientific process. Exploring the images of the surface of Mars in Visible (VIS) images, students will come up with a topic of study, their team science question and hypotheses.
Grades: 5-12
Source
Big Picture Question, Hypothesis, Mission, Observations, ORbiter, Planet, Research Question
The Radiation Challenge (3.52 MB) Radiation biology is an interdisciplinary science that examines the effects of radiation on living systems. The Space Faring: The Radiation Challenge educator guides link these disciplines in the context of a lunar outpost by providing background, discussion and research questions, objectives and inquiry-based activities to introduce radiation biology.
Grades: 9-12
Documents:
Module 2: Radiation Damage in Living Organisms Educator Guide (814 KB)
Module 3: Radiation Countermeasures Educator Guide (876 KB)
Module 4: Applications to Life on Earth Educator Guide (744 KB)
Source
biology, physics, astrophysics, planetary science, engineering, living systems, space, lunar, sun, solar, radiation
Remote Sensing Ices on Mars (4.39 MB PDF) 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. This Socratic-Dialogue Inducing activity guides students to understand that seasonal carbon dioxide ice covers buried water ice during the winter season and that the permanent ice caps in the northern and southern hemispheres are made of different types of ice. In an extension activity, students use a computer simulation illustrating how gamma rays can be used to determine the composition of the Martian surface.
Grades: 8-10
Source
scientific inquiry, matter, energy, geochemical cycles, technology, remote sensing, ice, Mars, gamma rays
Remote Sensing Math (14.4 MB) This collection of activities is based on a weekly series of space science problems distributed to thousands of teachers during the 2009-2010 school year. They were intended for students looking for additional challenges in the math and physical science curriculum in grades 9 through 12. The problems were created to be authentic glimpses of modern science and engineering issues, often involving actual research data.
Grades: 3-12
Source
digital picture, image, math, pixel, array, dark current, flat fielding, manipulating, Earth, Telemetry, Binary numbers, glitches, bad data, corruption, giga, tera, peta, exa, photons, photon energy, camera, F-stop, photon statistics, calibrating
Rockets Educator Guide (14.91 MB PDF) The scientific, technological, engineering and mathematical foundations of rocketry provide exciting classroom opportunities for authentic hands-on, minds-on experimentation. The activities and lesson plans contained in this educator guide emphasize hands-on science, prediction, data collection and interpretation, teamwork, and problem solving. The guide also contains background information about the history of rockets and basic rocket science.
Grades: K-12
Source
forces, airplane, rocket, Newton's Laws, payload, frames, propulsion, trajectory, gravety, weight, rocket parts, Aeronautics, Newton, physics, aerodynamics, lift, thrust, motion
Scale Model of the Solar System (715 KB PDF) Physical models are powerful tools of exploration. Even simple models can provide enormous understanding about the real objects they represent. In this lesson, students will investigate the properties of scale models of our Solar System. They will then try to design a conveniently-sized scale model of the Solar System to recognize that the model will likely need to be bigger than they thought.
Grades: 9-12
Source
models, textiles, construction, solar system, planets, scale, distance
Science in a Box (6.25 MB PDF) Science in a Box: NASA Glovebox Activities in Science, Math, and Technology is organized in to three parts to help teachers find the activities and information they seek. Part 1 contains background information. Part 2 of this guide provides assembly instructions for constructing a classroom glovebox based on the Space Shuttle Middeck Microgravity Glovebox. Activities found in Part 3 in the Fundamental Science Section use sensors with graphing calculators. These activities are not done inside the classroom glovebox.
Grades: 9-12
Source
capillary driven heat transfer, colloidal suspensions, damping, diffusion, displacement-time graphs using the motion detector, finding the value of "g" on an incline, floating solids between liquids, free fall, growing protein crystals, nucleation of crystals from solution, oscillatory dynamics of single bubbles, oscillatory heat flow experiment, plant growth in microgravity, spectroscopy, inertial balance, Velocity-time graphs using the motion detector, viscosity of a fluid, wetting characteristics
Space Math VII (10.90 MB) This collection of activities is based on a weekly series of space science problems distributed to thousands of teachers during the 2010-2011 school year. The problems were intended for students looking for additional challenges in the mathematics and physical science curriculum. The problems deal with modern science and engineering issues, often involving actual research data.
Grades: 3-12
Source
black holes, moon, lunar rocks, math, angular scales, sea level, atom, molecular mass, molecule, stars, orbits, polar, planet, meteorite, temperature, weather, astronomy,
Speaking Volumes About Dust (551 KB) In this lesson, students explore the concept of density before using the online Student Dust Counter interface to determine the density of dust grains in a volume of space in the solar system.
Grades: 8-10
Source
Density, Mass, Volume, length, widht, height, New Horizons mission, the Universe, Astronomical Units, conversion, scientific notation, evolution of the Earth
Soda-Straw Rocket Activity Soars (276 KB PDF) This experiment allows classrooms to study rocket stability as students construct and fly small "indoor" paper rockets. The goal of this exercise is for students to conduct an experiment, analyze the data and interpret the results.
Grades: K-12
Source
scientific inquiry, rockets, motions, forces, technological design, measurement, patterns, functions
Solar System Bead Distance Activity (72 KB PdF) The goal of the activity is for students to get a better understanding of the distances between the planets and the vastness of the solar system, by making a model of the solar system with beads.
Grades: K-12
Source
planets, solar system, models, astronomical units, number relationships, measurements
Stellar Illumination (2.33 MB) Overview: Students explore how a stellar occultation occurs, how planetary atmospheres can be discovered, and how planetary diameters can be determined using actual light curves from stellar occultation events.
Grade: 9-12
Source
Pluto, Charon, Kuiper Belt Objects, many small bodies, orbit, Sun, Neptune, Earth-based telescopes, New Horizons spacecraft
Transit Tracks (1.44 MB) Students will be able to:describe a transit and the conditions when a transit may be seen, describe how a planet’s size and distance from its star affects the behavior of transits, and interpret graphs of brightness vs time to deduce information about planet-star systems.
Grades: 8-12
Power Points:
Transit Tracks PowerPoint Slides (22.39 MB)
Source
Transit Light Curves, Option Math for Transit Tracks, Kepler's 3rd Law graphs, cube root tables, an account of Jeremiah Horrocks' 1639 observation of the transit of Venus
Voyage Scale Model Solar System (544 KB PDF) It is challenging to design a scale model of the Solar System where the same scale is used to portray not only the physical sizes of the Sun and planets, but also the distances between them. Planets are tiny worlds in a vast space. In October 2001, the Voyage Scale Model Solar System opened in Washington, DC, displaying a one to ten billion scale of the sizes of the Sun and planets, and the distances between them. In this lesson, students will replicate the Voyage model to experience the size of the Solar System.
Grades: 9-12
Source
solar system, plantes, model, distance
Warming Oceans (65 KB PDF) Here is a demonstration that is sure to catch students' attention, whether they are at a summer camp or in school. This activity uses a water balloon to show how Earth's oceans are absorbing most of the heat being trapped on our warming world.
Grades: K-12
Source
water, oceans, Eath, climate change
What is a Planet? (2.32 MB) Students learn about the characteristics of planets, comets, asteroids, and trans-Neptunian objects through a classification activity. Students can then apply what they have learned by participating in a formal debate about a solar system object discovered by the New Horizons spacecraft and by defining the term 'planet.'
Grade: 9-12
Source
planets, comets, asteroids, trans-Neptunian objects, solar system, telescope, New Horizons spacecraft
White Glove Test (296 KB) In this lesson, students explore the SDC data interface to establish any trends in the dust distribution in the solar system. Students record the number of dust particles, "hits," recorded by the instrument and the average mass of the particles in a given region.
Grades: 8-10
Source
astronomical units, scientific notation, the universe, evolution of the Earth system, solar system, Jupiter, distance, Earth, sun, Pluto, mass
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Middle School
Appearances Can Be Deceiving (2.03 MB) Students explore the relationship between angular width, actual size, and distance by using their finger, thumb and fist as a unit of angular measurement in this hands-on activity.
Grades: 6-8
Source
Nature of Mathematics, Mathematical Inquiry, Mathematical World, Symbolic Relationships, Science as Inquiry, Earth and Space Science, solar system, History and Nature of Science, units, systems, processes of measurement, tools, formulas, Pluto, Earth, sun, width, distance
Astrobiology Math (4.87 MB) This collection of activities is based on a weekly series of space science problems intended for students looking for additional challenges in the mathematics and physical science curriculum in grades 6-12. The problems deal with modern science and engineering issues, often involving actual research data.
Grades: 6-12
Source
fractions, decimals, percents, problems, ratios, proportions, quantitative relationships, large numbers, exponential, scientific, calculator notation, arithmetic operations, fractions, decimals, integers, proportions,, scaling, equivalent ratios, patterns, tables, graphs, words, symbolic rules, linear relationships, metric, customary systems of measurement, numerical computations, defined and recursively defined functions, rates of change, intercepts, zeros, asymptotes, local and global behavior, classes of functions, exponential, polynomial, rational, logarithmic, periodic functions
Astrobiology: Science Learning Activities ( 626 KB PDF) Astrobiology gives young thinkers the opportunity to explore topics related to the search for life beyond their own planet. As they complete the activities in the guide, students will use some of the same strategies that astrobiologists use. Each of the eight activities takes about one hour to complete.
Grades: 5-12, Informal
Source
life on Earth, living things, water, energy, stable environment, microbes, extreme environments,
Aurora (1.88 MB) This is an interactive inquiry program designed to have students predict and follow a solar storm and the sighting of an aurora. Educators will learn how to guide their students through an on-line network, to collaborate, analyze data and make predictions. The educator's guide was created to enhance understanding while predicting a solar storm. The activities show application and background information is included. Their activities will provide understanding of basic physical science through sunspots, radio waves, and magnetism. The activities are connected to science, math, and technology standards. Activities are aligned to grade levels based on the standards.

Grade: K-12

Source
Sunspots, Radio Waves, Magnetism, Solar Storms, Aurora,
Blue Marble Matches: Using Earth for Planetary Comparisons (13.68 MB) This activity is designed to introduce students to geologic processes on Earth and model how scientists use Earth to gain a better understanding of other planetary bodies in the solar system.

Grade: 3-12

Source
Science as Inquiry, scientific procedures and explanations, relationships between evidence and explanations, Earth and Space Science, the structure of the Earth system, Earth’s history, Solar System, science as a human endeavor, the nature of science, history of science, geologic features, planetary bodies
Calculator-Controlled Robots: Hands-On Mathematics and Science Discovery (626 KB PDF) Students create programs in TI-BASIC to run Norland Research calculator robots. Missions are built sequentially on the knowledge of previous activities. The first missions have step-by-step programming instructions that gradually lead students to create their own programs in later missions. Students use and apply math and science concepts to direct their robots through a variety of challenges.
Grades: 6-9
Source
measure, graph, predict, distance, circles, Mars, robots
Comets: Bringers of Life? (742 KB) Comets are an important class of objects found in the Solar System. Created at the time of Solar System formation, these "dirty snowballs"- each the size of a city-have remained virtually unchanged for billions of years in the cold outer reaches of the Solar System. Their composition therefore provides clues as to how the Solar System was born, and comet impacts on the early Earth may have been the source of the molecules needed for the formation of life-organic molecules. In the first Activity, students explore the relative abundance of different atoms in the universe, and the molecules that are created from these atoms. In the second Activity, students combine ingredients composed of these molecules to build a good physical model of a comet. The model provides an understanding of cometary composition and structure, and how comets behave when some make a rare trip into the inner Solar System and interact with the Sun.
Grades: 5-8
Source
large objects, scale, Comets, rock, dust, ice, gas, comet, Sun, elements, molecules, Solar System, model
Comparing Comets (212 KB PDF) In this activity, students will play the role of cometary scientists, using images from Stardust and Deep Impact to study and compare the surfaces of two comet nuclei from close range.
Grades: 7-12
Source
comets
Dirty Ice or Icy Dirt (1.97 MB PDF) Large amounts of water ice appear to be buried at high latitudes on Mars. In this activity, students make physical models using Earth samples to investigate whether it is more likely that these regions of Mars are composed of icy dirt (with ice filling the pore space of soils) or dirty ice (with dust sprinkled through a mostly icy surface).
Grades: 6-10
Source
PowerPoint Presentation (2.79 MB PPT)
scientific inquiry, Structure of the Earth system, Nature of Science
Earth Calling... (1.34 MB) A hands-on activity exploring spacecraft radio communication concepts, including the speed of light and the time-delay for signals sent to and from spacecraft.
Grades: 6-8
Source
radio signal, velocity, speed of light, electromagnetic spectrum, Pluto, Charon, Kuiper belt
Earth, Moon, & Mars Balloons (97 KB) This balloon activity will allow students the opportunity to construct a scale model of the Earth-Moon system, both in terms of planetary size and distance. In addition, students make a scale model of Mars, and discover how far one might have to travel to visit the most Earth-like planet in our Solar System. This is a good introduction to any study involving Mars or Mars colonization. It is also a good icebreaker at the beginning of a semester, to get students to interact with each other.
Grades: 3-6
Documents:
Planetary Data Handout (43 KB)
Source
Earth, Mars, Moon, Planetary Data, Solar System, scale, distance, size, Apollo 13, Apollo missions, Mars Pathfinder, Mars Global Surveyor
Earth, Earth's Moon, and Mars Balloons (1.48 MB) Students will learn about the scale and distances from the Earth to Earth’s Moon and to Mars through modeling during this hands-on, 5E activity. Aligned to National Science Education Standards and National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, this activity helps to build 21st Century
Grades: K-8
Source
scale, models, Prediction, Relative Distance, Relative Size, Relationship
Edible Asteroids (141 KB PDF) Making observations and analyzing the physical characteristics of objects is an important skill students must master in order to become effective scientists. The physical characteristics of an object can vary greatly. This lesson focuses on the most common physical characteristics that elementary and middle school students will encounter.
Grades: 4-8
Source
Science as a human endeavor, natural hazards, structure of the Earth system, Earth's history, Earth in the solar system, abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry, understanding about scientific inquiry
Exploring the Moon (6.20 MB PDF) The activities are divided into three units: Pre-Apollo, Learning from Apollo, and the Future. Classroom activities promote problemsolving, communication skills, and teamwork. Each activity consists of teacher pages and reproducible student sheets.
Grades: 4-12
Source
Distance to the moon, diameter of the moon, reaping rocks, The Lunar Disk, Apollo landing sites, Regolith formation, lunar surface, differentiation, impact craters, clay lava flows, lava layering, lunar landing sites, lunar roving vehicle, moon anomalies, lunar land use, life support systems, lunar biosphere
Create a Tennis Ball Globe (1.74 MB PDF) Students create a Tennis Ball Globe, seeing how a spherical Earth can be shown in one type of flat map.
Grades: 3-12
Source
maps, Earth
Globe: Land Cover /Biology Investigation (11.93 MB PDF) We rely on Earth's surface (and a little bit above and below) to supply most of what we need to live. Therefore, mapping and monitoring this surface is critical to our wise use and protection of it.
Grades: K-12
Source
remote sensing, mapping, monitoring, data, computer aided maping, land cover change, leaf classification, measurements,
Going through a Phase (1.05 MB) The varying appearance of the Moon over the course of a month results from changes in the relative positions of the Earth, Moon, and Sun. In the first Activity, daily observations of the Moon over many weeks allow the phase cycle to be observed and characterized, and an explanation to be hypothesized. The hypothesis is tested in the second Activity where students construct a working model of the Earth-Moon-Sun system and determine if they can recreate the observed phase cycle. To truly develop a conceptual understanding of the phenomenon, students explore whether the Earth should exhibit a phase cycle as seen from the Moon, and whether an Earth observer should see other planets exhibiting phase cycles.
Grade: 5-8
Source
Earth, Sun, Moon, Solar System, moon phase, rotation, New Moon, First Quarter, Full Moon, Third Quarter, waxing, gibbous, waning, crescent, eclipses, lunar eclipse, solar eclipse
How Far is Far? (1.27 MB) Students will determine the actual distance to the Sun and the Moon without ever leaving the Earth, and in doing so will gain a better understanding of the huge distances in the Earth-Sun-Moon system. In order to determine these distances, students will apply their understanding of mathematical models in two different ways, using a single mathematical principle.
Grade: 5-8
Source
sun, moon, Earth-Sun-Moon system, Earth, distance, math, models, triangles, proportional
How High Is It? (2.97 MB PDF) NASA's educator guide How High Is It? includes mathematics activities to explain scale size and scale distance. The guide helps put aside misconceptions about how far away spacecraft and satellites are. At 22,240 miles above Earth, spacecraft put into orbit over the equator travel at 7,000 miles per hour around the equator and follow Earth's rotation.
Grades: 5-8
Source
models, Earth's atmosphere, ratios, decimals, and percentages
Human footprints on Earth as seen by NASA scientists (2.03 MB PDF) This module draws upon NASA images and research to introduce students to the various ways humans interact with Earth's diverse environments. Many human activities are clearly visible from space through satellite imagery. Remotely sensed images help people understand Earth as the home for humanity. We can learn a great deal about physical and human processes by analyzing remotely sensed images.
Grades: 5-8
Source
systems, order, organization, populations, resources, environments, risks and benefits
Hurricane Katrina: A Problem-Based Learning Module (2.03 MB PDF) Because it recognizes the importance of U.S. coastal areas to the nation's economy, the U.S. National Ocean Service has formed a task force that is studying the trends and impacts of hurricanes on coastal regions. They have invited your students to participate. In this activity, students are tasked with conducting an Earth systems analysis of Hurricane Katrina that will help answer the question "Is global warming causing an increase in hurricane frequency and intensity?"
Grades: 5-12
Source
Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry; Populations and ecosystems Interdependence of organisms; Matter, energy and organization in living things; Structure of the Earth system- oceans hold a large amount of heat and have a major effect on climate; Energy in the Earth system; Geochemical cycles; Populations, resources and environments; Natural and human-induced hazards; Science and technology in local, national and global challenges; Understandings about scientific inquiry, water
Identifying Continents and Oceans (1.02 MB PDF) The students will learn about world geography. They will learn to identify the four major oceans (Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, and Arctic) and the seven continents (Asia, Europe, Africa, Antarctica, Australia, North America, and South America).
Grades: 3-12
Source
Continents, oceans, maps
Impact Craters (2.63 MB) The countless craters, big and small, that are found on the surfaces of planets and moons record a violent history of collisions across the entire Solar System. It is a story that spans billions of years. Studies of craters-their shapes, sizes, number in a given area, and whether they are superimposed upon or beneath other geologic features-provide an understanding of how this story may have unfolded. In the first Activity students simulate how impact craters are formed, and how the appearance of a crater depends on the energy of the impacting object. In the second Activity, photographs of the cratered surfaces of other worlds are examined to reveal information about a world’s history, and the history of the entire Solar System.
Grade: 5-8
Source
craters, geologic features, Solar System, land forms, constructive forces, destructive forces, crustal deformation, volcanic eruption, deposition of sediment, weathering, erosion, lithosperic plates, atmospheric composition, hazards, asteroid, comet
The Inverse Square Law of Light (729 KB) Students measure the relationship between distance and brightness of light. Once students discover the relationship, they can begin to understand how astronomers use this knowledge to determine the distances to stars and faraway galaxies.
Grades: 5-12
Source
source of light, function, inverse square, distance, brightness of light, stars, galazies,
Investigating the Climate System Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (1.07 MB PDF) After accepting appointments to work as weather interns in the State Climatology Office, students will be given their first task-to find answers and respond to a letter from a very frustrated third-grade student requesting help with an unwanted assignment about clouds. In order to help the younger student, the interns will need to conduct preliminary investigations to gain knowledge on: cloud formation, cloud classification, and the role of clouds in heating and cooling the Earth; how to interpret TRMM images and data; and the role clouds play in the Earth's radiant budget and climate.
Grades: 5-8
Source
aerosols, albedo, climate, clouds, cloud formation and classification, collision coalescence, condensation, condensation nuclei, evaporation, greenhouse gases, insolation, latent heat of condensation, latent heat of vaporization, net radiation, nuclei, optical depth, precipitation, radiant budget, water cycle, water vapor
Investigating Plants in Space (2025 MB PDF) The lessons in this guide can be used to engage your students in the fascination of space biology through plant investigations long after the CUE Space Shuttle mission has entered the history books. It is NASA's goal that the information in these pages will motivate both you and your students to become active and involved participants in the Space Life Sciences enterprise, now and in the future.
Grades: 5-12
Source
life science, biology, plants, space, growth and development, pollination, fertilization, germination, orientation
Is There Anyone Out There? (918 KB) Once scientists have determined where they want to look for life in the Solar System, the next step is to figure out how it is to be done. In this lesson, students first create an operational definition of life, and put it to the test by observing a mystery object. They then define and conduct an experiment, modeled after the life science experiments performed by the Viking Landers on the surface of Mars, to determine if they have discovered life forms in simulated Martian soil samples. The experiment is a simple but dramatic model exploring the differences between chemical and biochemical reactions-which is key to revealing the presence of life.
Grades: 5-8
Source
solar system, life, Viking Landers, Mars, soil samples, chemical reactions, biochemical reactions, organisms, species of animals, species of plants, species of microorganisms, cells, energy from food, living, non-living, other worlds
Lava Layering (4.9 MB) Students will work together to create models of volcanic lava flows and analyze the layers that similarly form on a planet's surface. Students will use this 5E lesson to determine how critical-thinking, collaborative approach to understanding the principles of relative dating as they relate their layers over a series of volcanic eruptions. Students will use their volcanic layering model to demonstrate the relative dating and geologic mapping principles to later be applied to satellite imagery. From grades 5-8, classrooms can build skills in problem solving and critical thinking during this fun Next Generation Science Standards aligned activity.
Grades: K-8
Source
Core Sampling, Eruption, Explanations, Geologic Mapping, Lava Flows, Layers, Models, Predict, Relative Dating, Stratigraphy, Source, Volcano
Learning to Fly: The Wright Brothers' Adventure (3.56 MB PDF) This NASA educator guide has excellent background information about Wilbur and Orville Wright. The guide contains student activity pages and templates for building the 1900, 1901 and 1902 Gliders and the 1903 Flyer.
Grades: 6-9
Source
history of flight, Wright brothers, airplane, forces
Maps and Images (1.10 MB PDF) Students consider what can and cannot be seen because of size in EarthKAM images. They consider what can be seen on a wall map of the world and then compare this to what can be seen in EarthKAM images, and possibly other images of Earth from space.
Grades: 3-12
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maps, images, data
Mars Exploration Debate (582 KB PDF) Students are challenged to conduct research regarding the future of Mars exploration. They then conduct a student debate in which they discuss the future ways we might explore Mars and benefits and challenges associated with Mars exploration.
Grades: 6-10
Source
risks and benefits, science and technology in society, science as a human endeavor, nature of science
Mars Image Analysis (49.35 MB) For this activity, students will be placed in the role of planetary scientists. Students will study images taken by NASA's Mars Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) camera orbiting Mars. Students will use the THEMIS images to analyze the surface features and geological history of Mars. In this exciting 5E lesson set, students will interpret real NASA science data and discuss their findings. This lesson can also be a step towards the Mars Student Imaging Project that has students in grades 5-12 actually aim the THEMIS camera orbiting Mars and get their own picture to research! See Mars Student Imaging Project.
Grades: 5-12
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Analyze, Classification, Deposition, Erosion, Evaluate, Everyday Observations, Explanations, Geologic History, Inference, Scientific Observation, Qualitative Observation, Quantitative Observation, Weathering
Mars Image Analysis Extension (259 KB PDF) Students use an additional dataset from Mars to gain a better understanding of the nature of the shallow subsurface of the planet.
Grades: 5-12
Source
nature of science, structure of the Earth system, Earth in the solar system, identify questions that can be answered through scientific investigations, conduct a scientific investigation., use appropriate tools to analyze and interpret dat, develop descriptions and explanations using evidence, think critically and logically to make relationships between evidence, communicate scientific procedures and explanations
Mars and Earth: The quest for life (3.43 MB PDF) Along with Earth, this module studies Mars and the possibility that life existed, or perhaps may still exist, on that planet. Life on Mars has been debated since Percival Lowell thought he found evidence of canals on the Martian surface in the late 1800s. The comparison of Earth and Mars is accomplished by identifying and observing similar physical processes that exist on both worlds. Physical processes certainly affect living systems on Earth. Could they have the same effects on Mars? NASA has been studying Mars for decades and is developing plans that will one day send humans to the red planet to explore secrets which have eluded us for centuries.
This module is divided into four investigations. Each investigation may stand alone, or they may be linked for in-depth study.
Grades: 5-8
Source
Systems, order, and organization, evidence, models, and explanation, constancy, change, and measurement, abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry, understanding about scientific inquiry, populations and ecosystems, diversity and adaptations of organism, Structure of the Earth system, Earth in the solar system, understandings about science and technology,Populations, resources, and environments, risks and benefits, science and technology in society, Science as a human endeavor
MarsBound! (941 KB) Students learn systems engineering by engaging in a mission planning simulation that mirrors a Mission to Mars. Students create a mission that has to balance the return of science data with mission limitations such as power, mass and budget.
In this advanced and exciting activity, students in grades 6-12 will become NASA project managers and have the opportunity to plan their own NASA mission. Risk factors play a role and will add to the excitement in this interactive mission planning activity. Students will build 21st Century Skills in creativity, collaboration, social cross-cultural skills, productivity and accountability.
Grades: 6-12
Documents:
Marsbound Cards (1.1 MB)
Marsbound Board - Full (566 KB)
Marsbound Board - Tiled for Printing (9.74 MB)
Source
Models, Predict, Engineering Constraints, Relative Distance, Relationship, Scale, Relative Size
Marsbound! Mission to the Red Planet (51.65 MB PDF) This is a self-contained activity in which your students will use realistic techniques to plan a mission to Mars. The goal of this activity is to use the excitement of Mars exploration as the "hook" for getting your students interested in the process of design, engineering, and technology.
Grades: 4-12
Source
characteristics and scope of technology, attributes of design, systems, Mars
Mars Rover, Curiosity
Reflect on Your Community (1.6 MB PDF)
Earth, Earth's Moon, Mars Balloons (1.47 MB PDF)
Solar System Scale and Size (1.68 MB PDF)
Discovering Mars (801 KB PDF)
Soda Straw Rockets (743 KB PDF)
Strange, New Planet (1.43 MB PDF)
Marsbound (981 KB PDF)
Rover Races (3.27 MB PDF)
Imagine Your Community on Mars (1.03 MB PDF)
Constructing Your Sustainable Communities on Mars (2.35 MB PDF)
Present Your Community Designs (1.01 MB PDF)
In 2012 Mars Rover, Curiosity lands on the planet Mars. Why? Because we are curious! We have a lot of questions. We want to know if life ever arose on Mars. We want to know about its climate, its geology, and in the big picture, we want to learn as much as we can about the planet so we can prepare for human exploration. We encourage you to embrace your own curiosity and participate in this series of activities that help you learn about the planet Mars and prepare you for the culminating challenge of imagining and designing your own Mars community.
Grades: K-8
Movies:
Need Quicktime to play movies.
Where Does Your Curiosity Lead? (29.15 MB) Movie goes with Reflect on Your Community lesson
How Do You Get to Mars? (29.15 MB) Movie goes with Earth, Earth's Moon, Mars Balloons lesson

Launching a Mars Rover (29.15 MB) Movie goes with Solar System Scale and Size lesson
Is Mars Really Red? (26.9 MB) Movie goes with iscovering Mars lesson
The Cruise to Mars (180.13 MB) Movie goes with Soda Straw Rockets lesson
How do you Land On Mars? (29.3 MB) Movie goes with Marsbound lesson
The Challenges of Getting to Mars: Selecting a Landing Site (121.91 MB) Movie goes with Rover Races lesson
Testing Curiosity Parachute Part 1-4 Movie goes with Imagine Your Community on Mars lesson
Getting Wired for Mars (62.6 MB) Movie goes with Constructing Your Sustainable Communities on Mars lesson
Landing System Drop Test (36.4 MB) Movie goes with Constructing Your Sustainable Communities on Mars lesson
Rover Shakedown (46.6 MB) Movie goes with Constructing Your Sustainable Communities on Mars lesson
Curiosity's Stunt Double Takes a Spin (101 MB) Movie goes with Constructing Your Sustainable Communities on Mars lesson
The Big Move for Next Mars Rover (41.6 MB) Movie goes with Constructing Your Sustainable Communities on Mars lesson
Mars Rover Power (169.58 MB) Movie goes with Constructing Your Sustainable Communities on Mars lesson
Powerpoints:
Things to know before you go (17.9 MB)
Source
Mars, geology, climate, community, Earth, Earth's Moon, Solar System, scale, rockets, planets, flight, design
Mercurial Barometer (113 KB PDF) You will also find instructions on how to build your own barometer.
Grades: K-12
Source
air preasure, weather
Meteorology: An Educator's Resource for Inquiry-Based Learning (29.02 MB PDF) This publication was developed to enhance the understanding of inquiry-based learning from the educator/teacher's perspective as well as from the learner's perspective. Inquiry-based learning has many levels. In general, inexperienced learners and younger learners will require more guidance than more-experienced and older learners who are better equipped to take responsibility for their learning. There are four levels of inquiry defined in this publication, confirmation-verification, structured inquiry, guided inquiry and open inquiry. The levels will be further defined and explained in the introductory chapter.
Grades: 5-9
Source
weather, climate, atmosphere, solar radiation, the greenhouse effect, temperature, solar heating, atmospheric motion, cyclones, atmospheric pressure, air masses, fronts, water cycle, clouds, surface color, effect of temperature change, angle of light rays, surface distribution, barometer, air, water vapor, precipitation, tornado, low-pressure system
Microgravity: A Teacher's Guide with Activities in Science, Mathematics, and Technology (5.97 MB PDF) A 174-page book covering all aspects of microgravity science for grades 5-12. The study of microgravity ("zero gravity" or weightlessness) will greatly benefit from the development of suborbital vehicles.
Grades: 5-12
Source
gravity, microgravity, aircraft, rockets, spacecraft, biotechnology, gases, physics, states of matter (solid, liquid, gas)
Modeling an Asteroid (78 KB PDF) Students mold mounds of clay into tiny asteroids.
Grades: 3-8
Source
solar system, astroids, space
Moon Phases (79 KB PDF) This moon phase activity allows students to "act out" the phases of the moon in about 30 minutes
Grades: 3-8
Source
space, moon, moon phases, geometry, solar system
Mystery Planet (4.0 MB) Students will use samples of crustal material to sort, classify and make observations about an unknown planet. In this 5E activity, students step into the shoes of real planetary scientists. From their observations, students will interpret the geologic history of their mystery planet. Students in grades 5-8 will build essential life and career skills as well as incorporate additional disciplines such as math, writing and reading.
Grades: K-8
Source
Classification, Compounds, Deposition, Element, Erosion, Geologic History, Inferences, Mixtures, Observations, Physical Properties, Rock Cycle, Sedimentation, Weathering
Our Solar System (906 KB PDF) In this lesson, students tour the Solar System. They examine and define its various components-the Sun, planets, moons, comets, asteroids, and Kuiper Belt Objects. They recognize that the Solar System is the family of the Sun, an average star, and other stars have families of their own. Taking a close look at the planets they find that characteristics like size, location, composition, and presence of rings and moons, reveal two major categories of planets-terrestrial (Earth-like) and Jovian (Jupiter-like). But tiny Pluto seems to be in a class all its own, perhaps the largest of the many ice worlds discovered beyond Neptune.
Grades: 5-8
Source
solar system, sun, planets, Kuiper Belt, asteroids, comets, moon, asteroids, comets, dwarf planets, terrestrial and Jovian planets
Planetary Geology (7.95 MB PDF) Many earth science courses include an introduction to the solar system. The challenge of Earth science is to understand the natural processes that shape not only our planet, Earth, but all objects in the solar system. But there are more compelling arguments for including planetary science in the classroom. Those arguments, some of which are outlined below, inspired NASA to conduct short courses in planetology for earth science teachers at the secondary and college levels. This book is an outgrowth of these short courses.
Grades: 5-12+
Source
geology, Earth, impact crater, coriolis effect, storm systems, Aeolian processes, landform mapping, geolgic features, Mars, Venus, photogeologic mapping, mapping
Precipitation (1.04 MB PDF) This module was developed as part of the series "Investigating the Climate System." The series includes five modules: Clouds, Energy, Precipitation, Weather, and Winds. While these materials were developed under one series title, they were designed so that each module could be used independently.
Grades: 5-8
Source
active sensor, bright band, climate, climatology, coalesce, condensation nuclei, cloud nuclei, dew point, humidity, graupel, hail, latent heat, meteorology, passive sensor, radiometer, radar, radiation, rainfall intensity, rainfall rate, scientific method, Sun synchronous, super cooled water, total integrated rainfall rate, total ozone concentration, turbulence, weather
Quantifying Changes in the Land Over Time (1.19 MB PDF) Students learn to identify kinds of land cover (such as roads, fields, urban areas, and lakes) in Landsat satellite images. They decide which land cover types allow the passage of water into the soil (are pervious) and which types do not allow it (are impervious). They consider some effects of increasing impervious surface area on ecosystem health.
Grades: 5-12
Source
water, land use, impervious surfaces, urban growth, soil
Question Mars (24.88 MB) All science starts with a question. Writing a good research question can be a challenge for students. In this activity, students pose questions related to the study of Mars and evaluate the quality of their questions. Students will explore remote sensing data collected by a camera orbiting Mars - the Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) and develop a team science question. Students will practice critical thinking skills, use a collaborative approach to this first critical step of the scientific process. Exploring the images of the surface of Mars in Visible (VIS) images, students will come up with a topic of study, their team science question and hypotheses.
Grades: 5-12
Source
Big Picture Question, Hypothesis, Mission, Observations, ORbiter, Planet, Research Question
Relief Map Jigsaw Puzzle (98 KB PDF) Make a miniature world, complete with mountains, valleys, rivers, lakes, and volcanoes.
Grades: 3-7
Source
topography, Earth, land masses, maps, geology
Remote Sensing Ices on Mars (4.39 MB PDF) 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. This Socratic-Dialogue Inducing activity guides students to understand that seasonal carbon dioxide ice covers buried water ice during the winter season and that the permanent ice caps in the northern and southern hemispheres are made of different types of ice. In an extension activity, students use a computer simulation illustrating how gamma rays can be used to determine the composition of the Martian surface.
Grades: 8-10
Source
scientific inquiry, matter, energy, geochemical cycles, technology, remote sensing, ice, Mars, gamma rays
Remote sensing and Geoarchaeology (3.15 MB PDF) This module explores ways geographers and geoarchaeologists use remote sensing to uncover previously undiscovered sites of human occupation. Photographs have long been used by geoarchaeologists to document sites before, during, and after excavation. In the early 1980s, remote sensing became a tool used to detect human features on the contemporary landscape. These skills were applied to see ancient landscapes as well. Students apply remote sensing and map skills to study ancient and prehistoric sites.
Grades: 5-8
Source
systems, order, organization, populations, ecosystems, resources, environments, technology, history, geometric shapes, visualization, spatial reasoning
Remote Sensing Math (14.4 MB) This collection of activities is based on a weekly series of space science problems distributed to thousands of teachers during the 2009-2010 school year. They were intended for students looking for additional challenges in the math and physical science curriculum in grades 9 through 12. The problems were created to be authentic glimpses of modern science and engineering issues, often involving actual research data.
Grades: 3-12
Source
digital picture, image, math, pixel, array, dark current, flat fielding, manipulating, Earth, Telemetry, Binary numbers, glitches, bad data, corruption, giga, tera, peta, exa, photons, photon energy, camera, F-stop, photon statistics, calibrating
Rockets Educator Guide (14.91 MB PDF) The scientific, technological, engineering and mathematical foundations of rocketry provide exciting classroom opportunities for authentic hands-on, minds-on experimentation. The activities and lesson plans contained in this educator guide emphasize hands-on science, prediction, data collection and interpretation, teamwork, and problem solving. The guide also contains background information about the history of rockets and basic rocket science.
Grades: K-12
Source
forces, airplane, rocket, Newton's Laws, payload, frames, propulsion, trajectory, gravety, weight, rocket parts, Aeronautics, Newton, physics, aerodynamics, lift, thrust, motion
Rover Races (3.32 MB) In this challenging and fun kinesthetic lesson, students will begin to understand the challenges in communications that engineers face on NASA missions. Students will learn the limitations of operating a planetary rover and problem solving solutions by using this hands-on simulation. Aligned to standards in scientific and engineering practices, Rover Races will help students learn to define problems, plan, coordinate and communicate. This activity for grades 6-8 will engage students' communications skills in a team environment.
Grades: 6-8
Source
Analyze, Calibration, Design Criteria, Explanations, Evaluate, Hypothesis, Mission, Models, Prediction, Investigation, Prototype, Protocal, Robotics, Processor, Rovor, Solutions, Traverse
Round and Round We Go: Exploring Orbits in the Solar System (873 KB PDF) To appreciate the complexity of the Solar System requires an understanding that it is a dynamic system-a system in motion. Objects bound to the Sun by gravity-planets, dwarf planets, comets, asteroids, and Trans-neptunian (or Kuiper Belt Objects) follow elliptical orbits around the Sun. Students first explore the geometric nature of ellipses, and the circle as a special case. These newly developed mathematical skills are then used to plot an accurate model of the outer Solar System, which contains the size, eccentricity, and orientation in space of the orbits for different classes of objects. Students are then able to understand how orbits can be used to help categorize objects in the Solar System.
Grades: 5-8
Source
Earth, planet, sun, system, moon, asteroids, comets, solar system, star, gravity, phases of the moon, and eclipses
The Scientific Method: An Investigation of Impact Craters (1.17 MB) This provides students with an opportunity to apply their knowledge of the scientific method. They will investigate the factors that determine the appearance of impact craters and ejecta on surfaces found in space. Students will be guided to follow the scientific method and formulate a hypothesis about various aspects of projectiles that may strike a surface, causing impact craters and ejecta. Each step of the scientific method is explored and discussed as a visually demonstrated experiment unfolds.
Grades: 4-7
Source
Systems, order, organization, Evidence, models, explanation, Change, constancy, measurement, Form, function, scientific inquiry, Properties of objects and materials, Position, motions, forces of objects, Interactions of energy and matter, Properties of earth materials, Objects in the sky
Speaking Volumes About Dust (551 KB) In this lesson, students explore the concept of density before using the online Student Dust Counter interface to determine the density of dust grains in a volume of space in the solar system.
Grades: 8-10
Source
Density, Mass, Volume, length, widht, height, New Horizons mission, the Universe, Astronomical Units, conversion, scientific notation, evolution of the Earth
Soda Straw Rockets (710 KB) During this 5E lesson, students will build a paper rocket that will engage the entire classroom in this fun activity for grades K-6. Students will investigate how a nose cone variation influences distance of flight. Aligned to standards in Science Education and Mathematics this activity helps to build 21st Century Skills in creativity, innovation, collaboration, information literacy, productivity, leadership and more.
Grades: K-8
Source
Analyze, Data, Empirical Evidence, Engineering, Explanations, Graph, Hypothesis, Inquiry, Mission, Models, Prediction, Questions, Rocketry
Soda-Straw Rocket Activity Soars (276 KB PDF) This experiment allows classrooms to study rocket stability as students construct and fly small "indoor" paper rockets. The goal of this exercise is for students to conduct an experiment, analyze the data and interpret the results.
Grades: K-12
Source
scientific inquiry, rockets, motions, forces, technological design, measurement, patterns, functions
Solar System Bead Distance Activity (72 KB PdF) The goal of the activity is for students to get a better understanding of the distances between the planets and the vastness of the solar system, by making a model of the solar system with beads.
Grades: K-12
Source
planets, solar system, models, astronomical units, number relationships, measurements
Solar System Magnetism (870 KB) In this activity, polystyrene spheres and strong magnets are used to represent the Sun and Earth and their distinct magnetic fields. Participants construct and use a "field detector" to predict where the magnetic fields are, and "field bits" to form loops and trace the invisible magnetic fields of the Sun and Earth.
Grades: 5-8
Source
sun, Earth, sunspots, magnetism, magnetic field, two poles, matter, electrical currents, atmosphere, solar wind, space weather
Solar System Scale and Size (1.69 MB) Students will learn about the scale and distances of all of the planets from the Sun through modeling during this hands-on, 5E activity. Aligned to National Science Education Standards and National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, this activity helps to build 21st Century Skills in critical thinking, communications and measurement.
Grades: K-8
Source
Astronomical Unit (AU), Models, Planets, Prediction, Relationship, Scale, Solar System, System
Space-Based Astronomy (2.28 MB PDF) Why does NASA put telescopes in space? Students build simple spectroscopes and telescopes to learn the answer to this question. This educator guide is divided into units of study that include science demonstrations, lesson plans and student sheets so that students may learn about Earth's atmosphere, the electromagnetic spectrum and telescopes.
Grades: 5-8
Source
Earth’s atmosphere, electromagnetic radiation, visible light spectrum, electromagnetic spectrum, energy, wavelength, satellites, data, astronomical objects
Space Math VII (10.90 MB) This collection of activities is based on a weekly series of space science problems distributed to thousands of teachers during the 2010-2011 school year. The problems were intended for students looking for additional challenges in the mathematics and physical science curriculum. The problems deal with modern science and engineering issues, often involving actual research data.
Grades: 3-12
Source
black holes, moon, lunar rocks, math, angular scales, sea level, atom, molecular mass, molecule, stars, orbits, polar, planet, meteorite, temperature, weather, astronomy,
Stardust (1.06 MB PDF) This guide focuses on parts of the Solar System that do not get much attention: the small bodies of the Solar System, namely asteroids, meteoroids, and comets. These small bodies play a significant role in the formation of the Solar System, and they can leave a lasting impact in their own right.
Grades: 5-8
Source
Comet cratering, asteroids, meteoroids, comets, small bodies, solar system, Stardust mission
Strange New Planet (1.43 MB) This 5E hands-on lesson engages students in how scientists gain information from looking at things from different perspectives. Students will gain knowledge about simulated planetary surfaces through a variety of missions such as Earth-based telescopes to landed missions. Students in grades K-8 will learn the importance of remote sensing techniques for exploration and observation. In this team engaging activity, students will work on valuable 21st Century Skills in communications, information and communications technology literacy, critical thinking and more.
Grades: K-8
Source
Ask questions, Fly by, Empirical Evidence, Lander, Mission, Models, Observations, Orbiter, Rover, Planet
Transit Tracks (1.44 MB) Students will be able to:describe a transit and the conditions when a transit may be seen, describe how a planet's size and distance from its star affects the behavior of transits, and interpret graphs of brightness vs time to deduce information about planet-star systems.
Grades: 8-12
Power Points:
Transit Tracks PowerPoint Slides (22.39 MB)
Source
Transit Light Curves, Option Math for Transit Tracks, Kepler's 3rd Law graphs, cube root tables, an account of Jeremiah Horrocks' 1639 observation of the transit of Venus
Volcanoes: Local hazard, global issue? (1.85 MB PDF) Middle school students are interested in volcanic eruptions because of their dramatic nature and because of the sensational destruction they can cause. The National Geography Standards expect students to understand how physical processes like plate tectonics shape and change patterns in the physical environment, how the characteristics of different environments both encourage and constrain human activities, and how natural hazards affect humans. Detecting change and tracking processes in Earth's systems is an important component of NASA research. This module allows students, like NASA scientists, to explore two ways that volcanoes affect Earth: by directly threatening people and the environments adjacent to them, and by ejecting aerosols into the atmosphere. Through three investigations, students explore issues of volcano hazards at different scales, from their local environment to the global effect of volcanic aerosols on climate and aircraft safety.
Grades: 5-8
Source
systems, order, organization, constancy, change, measurement, scientific inquiry, plate tectonics, geology, volcanoes, populations, ecosystems, Earth systems, natural hazards
Voyage of Discovery (865 KB PDF) Models are powerful tools of exploration, especially as students investigate the size and distance relationships between the Sun and the planets in the Solar System. Examining the relative sizes of the planets using models at a one to ten billion scale, students realize that the Earth, the biggest thing they have ever touched, is quite small in comparison to the Sun and some of the other planets. Moving outdoors, students then create a one to ten billion scale model of the Solar System. Walking through their model as cosmic giants, students are awed by the tiny worlds in a vast space, and gain a new appreciation for Earth, their home.
Grades: 5-8
Source
Earth, solar system, planets, Earth, models
Warming Oceans (65 KB PDF) Here is a demonstration that is sure to catch students' attention, whether they are at a summer camp or in school. This activity uses a water balloon to show how Earth's oceans are absorbing most of the heat being trapped on our warming world.
Grades: K-12
Source
water, oceans, Earth, climate change
Waste Limitation Management and Recycling Design Challenge (5.79 MB) The Waste Limitation Management and Recycling Design Challenge Educator Guide is a starting point for middle school students to research and answer the challenging questions of how to maintain human habitations on the moon and other planets in the solar system. The guide focuses specifically on the need for water recycling. The guide includes background information on topics relating to the moon, Earth's water cycle and water recycling. Several basic classroom activities on water recycling are also included.
Grades: 5-8
Source
moon, tides, orbit, Earth, lunar day, sun, orbit, water, molecule, water cycle, recycling, international space station, filtration, distillation, separation by force, sedimentation, biological treatment
Weather (737 KB) This module was developed as part of the series "Investigating the Climate System." The series includes five modules: Clouds, Energy, Precipitation, Weather, and Winds. While these materials were developed under one series title, they were designed so that each module could be used independently.
Grades: 5-8
Source
active TRMM sensor, air mass, anticyclone, high-pressure system, cold front, complex (occluded) front, cyclone, low-pressure system,Doppler radar, GOES satellite, latitude and longitude, passive TRMM sensor, radar, stationary front, TRMM instruments, Precipitation Radar (PR), TRMM Microwave Imager (TMI), Visible and Infrared Scanner (VIRS), TRMM satellite, warm front
Where to look for life? (922 KB) It is the most exciting question one can ask of the Solar System-is life unique to Earth, or are there abodes of life on other planets-even moons? A starting point is concluding that life as we know it requires liquid water. Given this constraint, in the first Activity students explore a mathematical model for how temperature varies with distance from the Sun. It allows them to find the 'happy place' for possible life-the range in distance from the Sun within which a planet might contain liquid water. At first glance, it appears only Earth exists within this range. Students then plot the actual observed temperatures for planets and moons, which demonstrates that more than just distance from the Sun accounts for planetary temperature, leading to potentially many abodes of life in the Solar System. In the second Activity students research the broader requirements for an abode of life, and whether these requirements are found on other worlds.
Grades: 5-8
Source
Earth, solar system, sun, star, moon, energy, solar, visible light, infrared, ultraviolet radiation, water, fresh water, polluted, rivers, lakes
White Glove Test (296 KB) In this lesson, students explore the SDC data interface to establish any trends in the dust distribution in the solar system. Students record the number of dust particles, "hits," recorded by the instrument and the average mass of the particles in a given region.
Grades: 8-10
Source
astronomical units, scientific notation, the universe, evolution of the Earth system, solar system, Jupiter, distance, Earth, sun, Pluto, mass
Why Follow the Water? (1.18 MB) NASA's strategy for Mars exploration is to "follow the water." These lessons will help students understand why water is important for life.
Grades: 5-8
Source
water, evaporation, solubility, solutes, solvents
Winds (895 KB) This module was developed as part of the series "Investigating the Climate System." The series includes five modules: Clouds, Energy, Precipitation, Weather, and Winds. While these materials were developed under one series title, they were designed so that each module could be used independently.
Grades: 5-8
Source
air pressure, barometer, banks, consumers, Coriolis effect, differential heating, divergence, downwelling, easterly trade winds, food chain, Gulf Stream, Hadley circulation, high pressure, low pressure, nutrients, photosynthesis, phytoplankton, polar easterlies, pressure gradient force, producers, Southern Oscillation, trade winds, trophic level, upwelling, westerly winds, wind belts, zooplankton
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Elementary School
Aeronautics (3.66 MB PDF) The activities in this guide help students learn the basic principles of flight.
Grades: 2-4
Source
Air, Flight
Animal Tracking (7.69 MB PDF) This five-part lesson prompts children to consider how they fit in to the Earth's ecology. It asks them to look at themselves as animals, by asking two basic questions: Where do you live? And what do you eat? The goal is not to convince them that they are just like other animals (they are not), but to make them learn and think about the similarities and differences between humans and other animals, and to consider how they and other organisms affect each other. You can also address nutrition in this lesson, and steer children away from junk food, obesity, and so forth. Are their food pyramids are on a sound base, or top-heavy with junk?

This lesson is divided into five "days," each of which could be covered in a single class period or over several periods.
Grades: 4-5
PowerPoints:
I am an Animal (1.57 MB)
Natural and Artificial Food (1.79 MB)
Natural and Artificial Habitat (1.99 MB)
Habitat from Space (2.62 MB)
Movies:
Need Quicktime to play movies.
Meet Leonard Little Finger (3.02 MB)
Hunting Tatkana (83.28 MB)
Documents:
Assessment and Standards Table (42 KB Word)
Tracking Report (70 KB Excel)
Reading and Gathering (38 KB Word)
Animal Populations Modeling Spreadsheet (27 KB Excel)
Pie Chart Activity Sheet (388 KB Word)
Source
Agriculture; Art or artifice; Bobwhite quail; Civilization; Desert; Edge habitat; Energy; Food; Habitat; Hunting and gathering; Natural; Organism; Photosynthesis; Plants and animals
Aurora (1.88 MB) This is an interactive inquiry program designed to have students predict and follow a solar storm and the sighting of an aurora. Educators will learn how to guide their students through an on-line network, to collaborate, analyze data and make predictions. The educator's guide was created to enhance understanding while predicting a solar storm. The activities show application and background information is included. Their activities will provide understanding of basic physical science through sunspots, radio waves, and magnetism. The activities are connected to science, math, and technology standards. Activities are aligned to grade levels based on the standards.
Grade: K-12
Source
Sunspots, Radio Waves, Magnetism, Solar Storms, Aurora,
Biological Clock (109 KB PDF) Animals use a number of different cues to determine when it is time to migrate. In this lesson, students will investigate the effect of day length, or photoperiod, on animal migrations, and make additional connections between their own biological cues (e.g. feeling hungry) and migration cues of animals.
Grades: 2-4
PowerPoints:
Biological Clock Interactive Slideshow (4.98 MB)
Biological Clock Assessment Slideshow (735 KB)
Movies:
Need Quicktime to play movies.
Hickory Dickory Doc (18.54 MB)
Documents:
Assessment and Standards Table (36 KB Word)
Photoperiod Activity (164 KB)
Source
Biological clock; Photoperiod
Birds on the Move (1.28 MB PDF) In this lesson, students will be introduced to the idea of animal migrations and, in particular, the migration of one Swainson's Hawk. Using satellite imagery of the earth, students will observe the migrational path of the Swainson's Hawk from northern Minnesota to the southern portion of South America. Not only will students study the migratory path of the hawk, they will also be able to observe how the vegetation in a particular region of the earth changes with the seasons. When viewed from space, seasonal vegetation change can be tracked across entire continents, and large scale "green-up" or "brown-down" of regions through time can be explored. Specifically, students will explore the actual path of the Swainson's Hawk relative to time-lapsed satellite images that reveal the relative "greenness" of North and South America over an 8-month period of time. Students will use this imagery to investigate the connections between migratory patterns of the hawk and seasonal climatic change.
Grades: 4-5
PowerPoints:
Did You Know? (247 KB)
Hawk Migration Photo Essay (813 KB)
On the Move Assessment (80 KB)
Tracking the Motion Slideshow (598 KB)
Movies:
Need Quicktime to play movies.
Pixel the Satelite (20.41 MB)
Documents:
Assessment and Standards Table (36 KB Word)
Source
Swainson's Hawk; Vegetation; Northern and Southern Hemisphere(s); Habitat
Blue Marble Matches: Using Earth for Planetary Comparisons (13.68 MB) This activity is designed to introduce students to geologic processes on Earth and model how scientists use Earth to gain a better understanding of other planetary bodies in the solar system.
Grade: 3-12
Source
Science as Inquiry, scientific procedures and explanations, relationships between evidence and explanations, Earth and Space Science, the structure of the Earth system, Earth’s history, Solar System, science as a human endeavor, the nature of science, history of science, geologic features, planetary bodies
Cassini Huygens: Reading, Writing and Rings (9.17 MB PDF) These sets of lessons bring together reading, writing and science in ways that underscore the belief that scientific thinking and the intelligent use of language go hand-in-hand. Use these twelve lessons to teach students about Saturn and the Cassini-Huygens spacecraft.
Grades: 3-4
Source
Reading, Writing, Saturn, observing, Inquiry-Based Thinking, size and distance, Systems, problem-solving, compare
Cassini Huygens: Reading, Writing and Rings (6.37 MB PDF) The lessons in this series provide opportunities for students in grades 1 and 2 to develop literacy skills and to expand and enrich their scientific understanding of Saturn and the amazing Cassini-Huygens voyage. The ten lessons contain age-appropriate learning goals for language arts and science.
Grades: 1-2
Source
Reading, Writing, Saturn, structure of the solar system, Earth, sun, distance, model
Cities and Seasons (100 KB) In this lesson, students will explore how satellite images show seasonal changes in seven cities in North and South America. Through a sequence of images, students can learn about the "green-up" and "brown-down" of the seasons and continue to think about the way seasons change over time and in various regions of the Earth. Students will study a data table to make inferences about seasonal changes at various locations based on color changes in vegetation. Students will learn about seasonal differences in North and South America.
Grades: 4-5
PowerPoints:
Season of the Cities (5.35 MB)
Movies:
Need Quicktime to play movies.
Global Greenup (19.30 MB)
Documents:
Assessment and Standards Table (36 KB Word)
(164 KB)
Seasonal Cities Questions (91 KB)
PDF:
Seasonal Cities Data Table (185 KB)
Source
Seasonal Changes; green-up/brown-down; plant growth and death; vegetation ground cover; data table; vegetation
Comets: Bringers of Life? (742 KB) Comets are an important class of objects found in the Solar System. Created at the time of Solar System formation, these "dirty snowballs"- each the size of a city-have remained virtually unchanged for billions of years in the cold outer reaches of the Solar System. Their composition therefore provides clues as to how the Solar System was born, and comet impacts on the early Earth may have been the source of the molecules needed for the formation of life-organic molecules. In the first Activity, students explore the relative abundance of different atoms in the universe, and the molecules that are created from these atoms. In the second Activity, students combine ingredients composed of these molecules to build a good physical model of a comet. The model provides an understanding of cometary composition and structure, and how comets behave when some make a rare trip into the inner Solar System and interact with the Sun.
Grades: 5-8
Source
large objects, scale, Comets, rock, dust, ice, gas, comet, Sun, elements, molecules, Solar System, model
Compost Bucket (80 KB) In this lesson, children will learn that plants and soils have a close relationship. Plants are dependent upon the soil for the nutrients they need to grow. But plants also return nutrients to the earth to help keep soil fertile. A photo essay will help students understand the common practice and natural process of composting, and then students will observe the process of plant decay over the course of several days. Children will begin to learn that plants and soils are two parts of one system and they are connected through a cycle of growth and decomposition.
Grades: K-2
PowerPoints:
Decomposition Photo Essay (2.31 MB)
Documents:
Assessment and Standards Table (29 KB Word)
Drawing Sheet (24 KB)
Nutrient Cycle Assessment (53 KB)
Digital Photo Record Sheet (25 KB)
Source
Decompose; Compost; Nutrients; Recycle
Create a Tennis Ball Globe (1.74 MB PDF) Students create a Tennis Ball Globe, seeing how a spherical Earth can be shown in one type of flat map.
Grades: 3-12
Source
maps, Earth
Deer Tracks (118 KB) In this lesson, students, learn fundamentals of graphing on the coordinate plane, use satellite imagery and a map of a forested region to develop mathematical, ecological, and technological concepts, learn about deer ecology and strategies for tracking animals and, use coordinates to identify and discuss various landmarks in the imagery and their ecological implications.
Grades: 4-5
Documents:
Assessment and Standards Table (38 KB Word)
Movies:
Need Quicktime to play movies.
Deer Tracks (13.95 MB)
PDF:
Deer Track Activity Sheet I (347 KB)
Deer Track Activity Sheet II (173 KB)
Image:
Forest Image (124 KB)
Source
Approximately; Coordinate; Ecology; Ecological; Ecologists; Estimation; Mato; Outcrop; Outpost; Paha; Representation; Research station; Sage; Tatanka; Tipi; Tipi ring
Designing a Scale Model of the Solar System (614 KB) Students conduct research on the planets, with emphasis on patterns and cycles, and gain an appreciation for the variation in length of year, length of day, and seasonal variation across the Solar System. To explore whether the patterns and cycles on the planets are related to planetary position in the Solar System, students create posters that can be used to mark the locations of the planets within a Voyage model of the Solar System.
Grades: 3-4
Source
Sun, Moon, stars, clouds, birds, airplanes, properties, locations, movements, Geometric figures, number sequences, graphs, diagrams, sketches, number lines, maps, oral and written descriptions, objects, events, processes, scale, shape
Discovering Planet "X" (1.4 MB) This activity engages students in exploring parallax and simulating the discovery of Pluto via an online interactive called the Blink Comparator.
Grade: 3-5
Source
Physical science, motion of objects, Earth and space science, earth, sky, Pluto, Uranus, Neptune, parallax
Earth, Moon, & Mars Balloons (97 KB) This balloon activity will allow students the opportunity to construct a scale model of the Earth-Moon system, both in terms of planetary size and distance. In addition, students make a scale model of Mars, and discover how far one might have to travel to visit the most Earth-like planet in our Solar System. This is a good introduction to any study involving Mars or Mars colonization. It is also a good icebreaker at the beginning of a semester, to get students to interact with each other.
Grades: 3-6
Documents:
Planetary Data Handout (43 KB)
Source
Earth, Mars, Moon, Planetary Data, Solar System, scale, distance, size, Apollo 13, Apollo missions, Mars Pathfinder, Mars Global Surveyor
Earth, Earth's Moon, and Mars Balloons (1.48 MB) Students will learn about the scale and distances from the Earth to Earth's Moon and to Mars through modeling during this hands-on, 5E activity. Aligned to National Science Education Standards and National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, this activity helps to build 21st Century
Grades: K-8
Source
scale, models, Prediction, Relative Distance, Relative Size, Relationship
Ecosystems (89 KB) In the Ecosystems Connect lesson, students will investigate ecosystems near their school, and view satellite images of ecosystems that can be found across the world (Brazilian rain forest, African desert, United States prairie and wetlands, etc.). Students will access the Internet to learn more about different ecosystems (e.g. deciduous forest, rainforest, desert, prairie, marshland).
Grades: 2-4
Documents:
Assessment and Standards Table (30 KB Word)
Ecosystem Websites (87 KB)
Ecosystems from Space (2.33 MB)
Playground Annimation (87 KB)
PPT:
Slideshow (12.86 MB)
Source
Ecosystem; Interdependence; Biotic; Abiotic; Climate; Topography; Biome; Organism
Edible Asteroids (141 KB PDF) Making observations and analyzing the physical characteristics of objects is an important skill students must master in order to become effective scientists. The physical characteristics of an object can vary greatly. This lesson focuses on the most common physical characteristics that elementary and middle school students will encounter.
Grades: 4-8
Source
Science as a human endeavor, natural hazards, structure of the Earth system, Earth's history, Earth in the solar system, abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry, understanding about scientific inquiry
Exploring our planet from above (3.06 MB PDF) Students view Earth by studying aerial photographs, Space Shuttle photographs, and satellite images. They learn how remote sensing can help identify ways in which people have changed the physical environment.
Grades: K-4
Source
Systems, order, and organization, abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry, objects in the sky, changes in earth and sky, understandings about science and technology, Changes in environments, Science and technology in local challenges
Exploring the Moon (6.20 MB PDF) The activities are divided into three units: Pre-Apollo, Learning from Apollo, and the Future. Classroom activities promote problemsolving, communication skills, and teamwork. Each activity consists of teacher pages and reproducible student sheets.
Grades: 4-12
Source
Distance to the moon, diameter of the moon, reaping rocks, The Lunar Disk, Apollo landing sites, Regolith formation, lunar surface, differentiation, impact craters, clay lava flows, lava layering, lunar landing sites, lunar roving vehicle, moon anomalies, lunar land use, life support systems, lunar biosphere
Finding the Balance (103 KB) This lesson uses prairie dog populations as a context for students to explore statistics and determine whether or not a "town" of prairie dogs is increasing in population.  Throughout the lesson students will develop a beginning understanding of the three measures of central tendency: the mean (more commonly referred to as the average), median (the middle value when a list of numbers is sorted from smallest to largest), and mode (the number that occurs most often in a list).
Grades: 2-4
Documents:
Assessment and Standards Table (37 KB Word)
Prairie Dog Activity Sheet (127 KB)
Vocabulary List (87 KB)
PPT:
Learning About Prairie Dogs Interactive Slideshow 87 KB)
Source
Average; Mean; Median; Mode; Prairie dog; Birth rate; Litter
Global Greenup (106 KB) Students will observe how the vegetation in a particular region of the Earth changes with the seasons. When viewed from space, seasonal vegetation change can be tracked across entire continents, and large scale "green-up" or "brown-down" of regions over time can be explored. Students will use satellite images to think about how animal migrations might be linked to seasonal changes, as reflected in the changing vegetation of the Earth.
Grades: 2-4
Documents:
Assessment and Standards Table (33 KB Word)
Global Greenup Data Table (93 KB)
Global Greenup Questions (89 KB)
Movies:
Need Quicktime to play movies.
Global Greenup Movie (19.30 MB)
PPT:
Slides of the Seasons (2.53 MB)
Source
Green-up; Brown-down
Globe: Land Cover /Biology Investigation (11.93 MB PDF) We rely on Earth's surface (and a little bit above and below) to supply most of what we need to live. Therefore, mapping and monitoring this surface is critical to our wise use and protection of it.
Grades: K-12
Source
remote sensing, mapping, monitoring, data, computer aided maping, land cover change, leaf classification, measurement
Going through a Phase (1.05 MB) The varying appearance of the Moon over the course of a month results from changes in the relative positions of the Earth, Moon, and Sun. In the first Activity, daily observations of the Moon over many weeks allow the phase cycle to be observed and characterized, and an explanation to be hypothesized. The hypothesis is tested in the second Activity where students construct a working model of the Earth-Moon-Sun system and determine if they can recreate the observed phase cycle. To truly develop a conceptual understanding of the phenomenon, students explore whether the Earth should exhibit a phase cycle as seen from the Moon, and whether an Earth observer should see other planets exhibiting phase cycles.
Grade: 5-8
Source
Earth, Sun, Moon, Solar System, moon phase, rotation, New Moon, First Quarter, Full Moon, Third Quarter, waxing, gibbous, waning, crescent, eclipses, lunar eclipse, solar eclipse
Growing Up With A Mission (57 KB) Students will measure their height, analyze the heights of classmates, and predict their height at the time New Horizons is scheduled to fly by Pluto using a growth chart.
Grades: 2-5
Documents:
Student Copy (278 KB)
Girls Growth Chart (54 KB)
Boys Growth Chart (55 KB)
Source
model, measurements, predictions, Collecting datan mean, mode, median, Graphing points, Cartesian coordinate system, Measurement, Data Analysis, Probability
Hawk in Flight (99 KB) In this lesson students use information gathered by satellites to explore the migration of the Swainson's hawk from the western border of Minnesota to the southern portion of South America. Not only will students study the migratory path of the hawk, they will also be able to observe how the vegetation in a particular region of the Earth changes with the seasons. When viewed from space, seasonal vegetation change can be tracked across entire continents, and large scale "green-up" or "brown-down" of regions can be explored over time. Specifically, students will explore the path of the Swainson's hawk relative to time-lapsed satellite images that reveal the relative "greenness" of North and South America over an 8-month period of time. Students will use this imagery to investigate the connections between migratory patterns of the hawk and seasonal climatic change.
Grades: 2-4
Documents:
Assessment and Standards Table (37 KB Word)
Movies:
Need Quicktime to play movies.
Hawk in Flight (13.95 MB)
PDF:
Hawk Data Table and Questions (147 KB)
PPT:
Hawk Migration Map (12.09 MB)
Hawk in Flight Assessment (78 KB)
Tracking the Motion (598 KB)
Source
Green-up/Brown-down phenomenon; Migratory path; Migration
Hold on Tight (175 KB) In this lesson students will explore the close connection between plant roots and the soil in which they grow. Students will learn that the plant roots and soil are in relationship with each other. Soils provide plants with nutrients that are absorbed through the roots. On the other hand, roots keep plants and soil from blowing away in strong winds, and keep soil from being washed away by water. Students will examine photos of uprooted trees and desert areas to help them understand the strong interconnection between plant roots and the soil in which they grow. They will also conduct experiments designed to highlight this mutual relationship between roots and soil. Teachers should expect to spend several days exploring this lesson with students.
Grades: 2-4
Documents:
Assessment and Standards Table (30 KB)
Root Explorations Activity Sheet (86 KB)
Root Connections Activity Sheet (3.98 MB)
Source
plants; soil; root mass; plants; roots; soils; erosion
Hold on Tight K-2 (92 KB) In this two-day lesson, students will explore the close connection between plant roots and the soil in which they grow. Students will learn that roots (1) anchor plants in the ground and keep them from tipping over and (2) cling onto soil in a way that slows erosion. Students will explore roots of plants, make models of plant roots using pipe cleaners, and examine photos and images that will help them understand the strong connection between plant roots and soil.
Grades: K-2
Documents:
Assessment and Standards Table (27 KB)
Observing Roots Activity Sheet (25 KB)
PPT:
Dust Storms in Africa! (2.26 MB)
Hold on Tight Assessment (7.47 MB)
Source
Roots; Root ball; Erosion; Soil
How Far is Far? (1.27 MB) Students will determine the actual distance to the Sun and the Moon without ever leaving the Earth, and in doing so will gain a better understanding of the huge distances in the Earth-Sun-Moon system. In order to determine these distances, students will apply their understanding of mathematical models in two different ways, using a single mathematical principle.
Grade: 5-8
Source
sun, moon, Earth-Sun-Moon system, Earth, distance, math, models, triangles, proportional
How High Is It? (2.97 MB PDF) NASA's educator guide How High Is It? includes mathematics activities to explain scale size and scale distance. The guide helps put aside misconceptions about how far away spacecraft and satellites are. At 22,240 miles above Earth, spacecraft put into orbit over the equator travel at 7,000 miles per hour around the equator and follow Earth's rotation.
Grades: 5-8
Source
models, Earth's atmosphere, ratios, decimals, and percentages
How Wet Did it Get? (92 KB) Children will measure the rainfall/snowfall on the playground on a rainy/snowy day with a rain/snow gauge. Children will draw a bar graph representing the amount of water that fell. Children will also observe a satellite image of the clouds and local weather system on the day that it rains/snows. This lesson can also be used as a precursor to Wet Weather, an intermediate level lesson in the Seasonal Changes module.
Grades: K-2
Documents:
Assessment and Standards Table (34 KB Word)
How Wet Did it Get? Activity Sheet (85 KB)
Movies:
Need Quicktime to play movies.
Meet Pizel the Satellite (12.82 MB)
PDF:
Rain Gage (28 KB)
PPT:
How Wet Did it Get? Slide Show (490 KB)
Source
Centimeter; Clouds; Estimate; Exact; Gauge; Liquid; Precipitation; Rain; Snow; Solid
Human footprints on Earth as seen by NASA scientists (2.03 MB PDF) This module draws upon NASA images and research to introduce students to the various ways humans interact with Earth's diverse environments. Many human activities are clearly visible from space through satellite imagery. Remotely sensed images help people understand Earth as the home for humanity. We can learn a great deal about physical and human processes by analyzing remotely sensed images.
Grades: 5-8
Source
systems, order, organization, populations, resources, environments, risks and benefits
Hurricane Katrina: A Problem-Based Learning Module (2.03 MB PDF) Because it recognizes the importance of U.S. coastal areas to the nation's economy, the U.S. National Ocean Service has formed a task force that is studying the trends and impacts of hurricanes on coastal regions. They have invited your students to participate. In this activity, students are tasked with conducting an Earth systems analysis of Hurricane Katrina that will help answer the question "Is global warming causing an increase in hurricane frequency and intensity?"
Grades: 5-12
Source
Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry; Populations and ecosystems Interdependence of organisms; Matter, energy and organization in living things; Structure of the Earth system—oceans hold a large amount of heat and have a major effect on climate; Energy in the Earth system; Geochemical cycles; Populations, resources and environments; Natural and human-induced hazards; Science and technology in local, national and global challenges; Understandings about scientific inquiry
Identifying Continents and Oceans (1.02 MB PDF) The students will learn about world geography. They will learn to identify the four major oceans (Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, and Arctic) and the seven continents (Asia, Europe, Africa, Antarctica, Australia, North America, and South America).
Grades: 3-12
Source
Continents, oceans, maps
Impact Craters (2.63 MB) The countless craters, big and small, that are found on the surfaces of planets and moons record a violent history of collisions across the entire Solar System. It is a story that spans billions of years. Studies of craters—their shapes, sizes, number in a given area, and whether they are superimposed upon or beneath other geologic features—provide an understanding of how this story may have unfolded. In the first Activity students simulate how impact craters are formed, and how the appearance of a crater depends on the energy of the impacting object. In the second Activity, photographs of the cratered surfaces of other worlds are examined to reveal information about a world’s history, and the history of the entire Solar System.
Grade: 5-8
Source
craters, geologic features, Solar System, land forms, constructive forces, destructive forces, crustal deformation, volcanic eruption, deposition of sediment, weathering, erosion, lithosperic plates, atmospheric composition, hazards, asteroid, comet
The Inverse Square Law of Light (729 KB) Students measure the relationship between distance and brightness of light. Once students discover the relationship, they can begin to understand how astronomers use this knowledge to determine the distances to stars and faraway galaxies.
Grades: 5-12
Source
source of light, function, inverse square, distance, brightness of light, stars, galazies,
Investigating Plants in Space (20.25 MB PDF) The lessons in this guide can be used to engage your students in the fascination of space biology through plant investigations long after the CUE Space Shuttle mission has entered the history books. It is NASA's goal that the information in these pages will motivate both you and your students to become active and involved participants in the Space Life Sciences enterprise, now and in the future.
Grades: 5-12
Source
life science, biology, plants, space, growth and development, pollination, fertilization, germination, orientation
Is There Anyone Out There? (918 KB) Once scientists have determined where they want to look for life in the Solar System, the next step is to figure out how it is to be done. In this lesson, students first create an operational definition of life, and put it to the test by observing a mystery object. They then define and conduct an experiment, modeled after the life science experiments performed by the Viking Landers on the surface of Mars, to determine if they have discovered life forms in simulated Martian soil samples. The experiment is a simple but dramatic model exploring the differences between chemical and biochemical reactions-which is key to revealing the presence of life.
Grades: 5-8
Source
solar system, life, Viking Landers, Mars, soil samples, chemical reactions, biochemical reactions, organisms, species of animals, species of plants, species of microorganisms, cells, energy from food, living, non-living, other worlds
Just Around the Bend (92 KB) In this lesson, students use satellite images of the Missouri River to think about agriculture, irrigation, and pollution. Students will decipher landforms on a map and corresponding satellite imagery as they ponder the impact that pollution might have on agriculture, irrigation, ground water and river water. Students are given the opportunity to view photos of recent environmental disasters involving oil spills, and to think about possible sources of pollution in the water systems in their own communities. This lesson sets the stage for the subsequent lesson entitled The Pollution Patrol, in which students will use mathematical tools (number lines, scales, distances and directions) as they work on a hypothetical story in which they try to prevent a possible source of pollution from contaminating the Missouri River.
Grades: 2-4
Documents:
Assessment and Standards Table (34 KB)
Just Around the Bend Activity Sheet (36 KB)
PDF:
Riverbend Map (12 KB)
Riverbend Image (305 KB)
PPT:
Water Pollution Photo Essay (5.82 MB)
Source
Irrigation; Agriculture; Kilometer; Pollution; Peninsula; Sheen; Boom
Lava Layering (4.9 MB) Students will work together to create models of volcanic lava flows and analyze the layers that similarly form on a planet's surface. Students will use this 5E lesson to determine how critical-thinking, collaborative approach to understanding the principles of relative dating as they relate their layers over a series of volcanic eruptions. Students will use their volcanic layering model to demonstrate the relative dating and geologic mapping principles to later be applied to satellite imagery. From grades 5-8, classrooms can build skills in problem solving and critical thinking during this fun Next Generation Science Standards aligned activity.
Grades: K-8
Source
Core Sampling, Eruption, Explanations, Geologic Mapping, Lava Flows, Layers, Models, Predict, Relative Dating, Stratigraphy, Source, Volcano
Last Year on Pluto (59 KB) Students will determine the length of one year on the nine planets and match historical events that occurred on Earth one year ago on these planets.
Grade: 2-5
Documents:
Student Activity (210 KB)
Source
Earth, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, orbital speed, orbital distance, planets, Solar System, problem solving, time
Lights, Camera, Action (95 KB PDF) Photographs and other images are powerful and fascinating learning tools. But what is needed to make an image? In this lesson, children will explore various images and learn that in order to make a visible image using a camera or using our eye, light is required. Children will begin to learn the connection between light and color, and will explore how the human eye can let in more or less light, as needed. In addition, children learn that in order to make images of the Earth, a light source is required-sunlight by day, and light bulbs by night!
Grades: K-4
PowerPoints:
Lights, Camera, Action! interactive slideshow (1.32 MB)
Lights, Camera, Action! slideshow assessment (707 KB)
Documents:
Assessment and Standards Table (32 KB)
Lights, Camera, Action! activity sheet (101 KB)
Source
Pupil, Film, Illuminate, Iris, Reflect, Shutter
Looking to the Future (56 KB) Students will examine aspects of their life now and predict what it will be like in the future when New Horizons is scheduled to fly by Pluto.
Grades: 2-5
Documents:
Student Activity (717 KB)
Source
future, timescales, space travel, New Horizons, Pluto
Making Models to Understand Our Home (568 KB) Through inquiry and our senses, we discover that our home planet Earth is the largest object we have ever touched. But we occupy such a small part of it that we must make models to see how and where we fit in. Through an "I-Spy" activity, students can learn to recognize common classroom models, and see the value of using models to represent objects that are otherwise difficult to explore. Making simple, two-dimensional models of our own homes, and eventually our neighborhood, helps us begin to understand our world.
Grades: K-2
Source
inquiry, senses, planet, Earth, models
Maps and Images (1.10 MB PDF) Students consider what can and cannot be seen because of size in EarthKAM images. They consider what can be seen on a wall map of the world and then compare this to what can be seen in EarthKAM images, and possibly other images of Earth from space.
Grades: 3-12
Source
maps, images, data
Mars Image Analysis (49.35 MB) For this activity, students will be placed in the role of planetary scientists. Students will study images taken by NASA's Mars Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) camera orbiting Mars. Students will use the THEMIS images to analyze the surface features and geological history of Mars. In this exciting 5E lesson set, students will interpret real NASA science data and discuss their findings. This lesson can also be a step towards the Mars Student Imaging Project that has students in grades 5-12 actually aim the THEMIS camera orbiting Mars and get their own picture to research! See Mars Student Imaging Project.
Grades: 5-12
Source
Analyze, Classification, Deposition, Erosion, Evaluate, Everyday Observations, Explanations, Geologic History, Inference, Scientific Observation, Qualitative Observation, Quantitative Observation, Weathering
Mars Image Analysis Extension (259 KB PDF) Students use an additional dataset from Mars to gain a better understanding of the nature of the shallow subsurface of the planet.
Grades: 5-12
Source
nature of science, structure of the Earth system, Earth in the solar system, identify questions that can be answered through scientific investigations, conduct a scientific investigation., use appropriate tools to analyze and interpret dat, develop descriptions and explanations using evidence, think critically and logically to make relationships between evidence, communicate scientific procedures and explanations
Mars and Earth: The quest for life (3.43 MB PDF) Along with Earth, this module studies Mars and the possibility that life existed, or perhaps may still exist, on that planet. Life on Mars has been debated since Percival Lowell thought he found evidence of canals on the Martian surface in the late 1800s. The comparison of Earth and Mars is accomplished by identifying and observing similar physical processes that exist on both worlds. Physical processes certainly affect living systems on Earth. Could they have the same effects on Mars? NASA has been studying Mars for decades and is developing plans that will one day send humans to the red planet to explore secrets which have eluded us for centuries.
This module is divided into four investigations. Each investigation may stand alone, or they may be linked for in-depth study.
Grades: 5-8
Source
Systems, order, and organization, evidence, models, and explanation, constancy, change, and measurement, abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry, understanding about scientific inquiry, populations and ecosystems, diversity and adaptations of organism, Structure of the Earth system, Earth in the solar system, understandings about science and technology,Populations, resources, and environments, risks and benefits, science and technology in society, Science as a human endeavor
Marsbound! Mission to the Red Planet (51.65 MB PDF) This is a self-contained activity in which your students will use realistic techniques to plan a mission to Mars. The goal of this activity is to use the excitement of Mars exploration as the "hook" for getting your students interested in the process of design, engineering, and technology.
Grades: 4-12
Source
characteristics and scope of technology, attributes of design, systems, Mars
Mercurial Barometer (113 KB PDF) You will also find instructions on how to build your own barometer.
Grades: K-12
Source
air preasure, weather
Mars Rover, Curiosity
Reflect on Your Community (1.6 MB PDF)
Earth, Earth's Moon, Mars Balloons (1.47 MB PDF)
Solar System Scale and Size (1.68 MB PDF)
Discovering Mars (801 KB PDF)
Soda Straw Rockets (743 KB PDF)
Strange, New Planet (1.43 MB PDF)
Marsbound (981 KB PDF)
Rover Races (3.27 MB PDF)
Imagine Your Community on Mars (1.03 MB PDF)
Constructing Your Sustainable Communities on Mars (2.35 MB PDF)
Present Your Community Designs (1.01 MB PDF)
In 2012 Mars Rover, Curiosity lands on the planet Mars. Why? Because we are curious! We have a lot of questions. We want to know if life ever arose on Mars. We want to know about its climate, its geology, and in the big picture, we want to learn as much as we can about the planet so we can prepare for human exploration. We encourage you to embrace your own curiosity and participate in this series of activities that help you learn about the planet Mars and prepare you for the culminating challenge of imagining and designing your own Mars community.
Grades: K-8
Movies:
Need Quicktime to play movies.
Where Does Your Curiosity Lead? (29.15 MB) Movie goes with Reflect on Your Community lesson
How Do You Get to Mars? (29.15 MB) Movie goes with Earth, Earth's Moon, Mars Balloons lesson

Launching a Mars Rover (29.15 MB) Movie goes with Solar System Scale and Size lesson
Is Mars Really Red? (26.9 MB) Movie goes with iscovering Mars lesson
The Cruise to Mars (180.13 MB) Movie goes with Soda Straw Rockets lesson
How do you Land On Mars? (29.3 MB) Movie goes with Marsbound lesson
The Challenges of Getting to Mars: Selecting a Landing Site (121.91 MB) Movie goes with Rover Races lesson
Testing Curiosity Parachute Part 1-4 Movie goes with Imagine Your Community on Mars lesson
Getting Wired for Mars (62.6 MB) Movie goes with Constructing Your Sustainable Communities on Mars lesson
Landing System Drop Test (36.4 MB) Movie goes with Constructing Your Sustainable Communities on Mars lesson
Rover Shakedown (46.6 MB) Movie goes with Constructing Your Sustainable Communities on Mars lesson
Curiosity's Stunt Double Takes a Spin (101 MB) Movie goes with Constructing Your Sustainable Communities on Mars lesson
The Big Move for Next Mars Rover (41.6 MB) Movie goes with Constructing Your Sustainable Communities on Mars lesson
Mars Rover Power (169.58 MB) Movie goes with Constructing Your Sustainable Communities on Mars lesson
Powerpoints:
Things to know before you go (17.9 MB)
Source
Mars, geology, climate, community, Earth, Earth's Moon, Solar System, scale, rockets, planets, flight, design
Meteorology: An Educator's Resource for Inquiry-Based Learning (29.02 MB PDF) This publication was developed to enhance the understanding of inquiry-based learning from the educator/teacher's perspective as well as from the learner's perspective. Inquiry-based learning has many levels. In general, inexperienced learners and younger learners will require more guidance than more-experienced and older learners who are better equipped to take responsibility for their learning. There are four levels of inquiry defined in this publication, confirmation-verification, structured inquiry, guided inquiry and open inquiry. The levels will be further defined and explained in the introductory chapter.
Grades: 5-9
Source
weather, climate, atmosphere, solar radiation, the greenhouse effect, temperature, solar heating, atmospheric motion, cyclones, atmospheric preasure, air masses, fronts, water cycle, clouds, surface color, effect of temperature change, angle of light rays, surface distribution, barometer, air, water vapor, precipitation, tornado, low-pressure system
Microgravity: A Teacher's Guide with Activities in Science, Mathematics, and Technology (5.97 MB PDF) A 174-page book covering all aspects of microgravity science for grades 5-12. The study of microgravity ("zero gravity" or weightlessness) will greatly benefit from the development of suborbital vehicles.
Grades: 5-12
Source
gravity, microgravity, aircraft, rockets, spacecraft, biotechnology, gases, physics, states of matter (solid, liquid, gas)
Migration Mania! (91 KB PDF) In the Migration Mania lesson plan, students are introduced to the concept of animal migration. Key concepts about migration are presented by exploring the migratory patterns of four different animals. Specifically, students search for on-line information about the natural history of animals and explore reasons why animals might migrate and how far animals migrate.
Grades: 2-4
Movies:
Need Quicktime to play movies.
Hawk in Flight / Birds on the Move movie ()13.65 MB)
Migration Nation / Migration Mania movie (17.01 MB)
PowerPoints:
Animal Migration photo essay (3.51 MB)
Documents:
Assessment and Standards Table (29 KB)
Migration Research Record (86 KB)
Animal Information sheet: caribou (1.26 MB)
Animal Information sheet: Swainson's hawk (1.30 MB)
Animal Information sheet: locusts (96 KB)
Animal Information sheet: turtles (1.52 MB)
Source
Migration, Reproduction
Migration Nation (89 KB PDF) In the Migration Nation lesson plan, students are introduced to the concept of animal migration. Key concepts about migration are presented by exploring the migratory patterns of four different animals. Specifically, students search for on-line information about the natural history of animals and explore reasons why animals might migrate and how far animals migrate.
Grades: 2-4
Movies:
Need Quicktime to play movies.
Hawk in Flight / Birds on the Move movie ()13.65 MB)
Migration Nation / Migration Mania movie (17.01 MB)
PowerPoints:
Animal Migration photo essay (3.51 MB)
Documents:
Assessment and Standards Table (30 KB)
Migration Research Record (86 KB)
Animal Information sheet: caribou (1.26 MB)
Animal Information sheet: Swainson's hawk (1.30 MB)
Animal Information sheet: locusts (96 KB)
Animal Information sheet: turtles (1.52 MB)
Source
Migration, Reproduction
Modeling an Asteroid (78 KB PDF) Students mold mounds of clay into tiny asteroids.
Grades: 3-8
Source
solar system, astroids, space
Modeling the Orbits of the Planets (111 KB) Students will make a scale model of the orbits of the outer planets and explore the peculiarities of Pluto's orbit.
Grade: K-5
Documents:
Student Activity (69 KB)
Source
systems, order, organization, scientific inquiry, sky, Pluto, orbit, model, outer planets, Solar System, elliptical orbits, ellipse, sun, eccentricity, perihelion, aphelion, Neptune, plane of the ecliptic
Modeling Patterns and Cycles in Our Lives (590 KB) Many observable phenomena are associated with predictable cycles and patterns in nature. Sometimes these phenomena are difficult to see, so we build and use models to understand cycles and patterns such as the seasons, the water cycle, or sunrise and sunset. By using the Earth as a prototype, students come to realize that similar patterns and cycles may also exist on other planets.
Grades: 3-4
Source
patterns in nature, models, cycles, water cycle, seasons, sunset, sunrise, planets, processes, phases of the moon, day-night cycle, math, geometric figures
Moon Munchies Human Exploration Project Engineering Design Challenge (3.82 KB) The engineering design process helps humans to solve the problems of growing plants for food on the moon. Plant growth will be an important part of space exploration in the future as NASA plans for long-duration missions to the moon. NASA scientists anticipate that astronauts may be able to grow plants on the moon, and the plants could be used to supplement meals.
Grades: K-4
Source
Natural Resources, Earth, Moon, plants, water, light
Moon Phases (79 KB PDF) This moon phase activity allows students to "act out" the phases of the moon in about 30 minutes
Grades: 3-8
Source
space, moon, moon phases, geometry, solar system
Mystery Planet (4.0 MB) Students will use samples of crustal material to sort, classify and make observations about an unknown planet. In this 5E activity, students step into the shoes of real planetary scientists. From their observations, students will interpret the geologic history of their mystery planet. Students in grades 5-8 will build essential life and career skills as well as incorporate additional disciplines such as math, writing and reading.
Grades: K-8
Source
Classification, Compounds, Deposition, Element, Erosion, Geologic History, Inferences, Mixtures, Observations, Physical Properties, Rock Cycle, Sedimentation, Weathering
Nomad Land 2-4 (92 KB PDF)
Nomad Land K-2 (92 KB PDF)
In this lesson, children will be introduced to the phenomenon of animal migration by studying the causes of their own movements throughout the day. As children contemplate the factors that determine their own movements to and from various physical environments, they will be encouraged to think about similarities to the migrations of animals that are often triggered by changes in climate and food availability. For example, the children will note the timing and distance of their trips to the playground as an analog to changing climate or to the lunchroom as an analog to changing food availability.
Grades: 2-4; K-2
Movies:
Need Quicktime to play movies.
Meet Leonard Little Finger (3.02 MB)
Hunting Tatanka (83.28 MB)
PowerPoints:
American Bison: King of the Prairie photo essay (4.58 MB)
Documents:
Assessment and Standards Table (35 KB)
Class Migrations activity sheet (90 KB)
Source
measure distances and times, migrations, nomadic migrations, bison
Orbit and Spin (904 KB) A whole-body activity that explores the relative sizes, distances, orbit, and spin of the Sun, Earth, and Moon.
Grades: 3-5
Source
Earth, Moon, Sun, orbit, spin, distance
Osprey Journey (86 KB PDF) Ospreys are large, fish-eating birds that can be found throughout the United States. These birds have highly specialized migration patterns in that they often return to the same location year after year. In the Osprey Journey lesson plan, students will investigate the migration route of one bird, Osprey B4, using information gathered from satellites to track birds over a two-year period. By plotting data points on a map using longitude and latitude coordinates, students will “discover” that Osprey B4 follows nearly identical migratory paths in 1997 and 1998. Students will compare their graphs with maps of B4's migrations that have been plotted by bird migration scientists. The students will engage in a variety of discussion questions that encourage them to think about the seasonal migrations of the Osprey.
Grades: 4-5
PowerPoints:
Osprey Photo Essay (5.54 MB)
Tracking the Motion interactive slide show (5.98 MB)
Documents:
Migration Tracking activity sheet (2.01 MB)
Scientists' Migration Maps (3.95 MB)
Assessment and Standards Table (34 KB)
Migration Tracking Questions (88 KB)
Source
osprey, birds, migrate, graph points, latitude, longitude, satellite communications technology
Our Solar Neighborhood (262 KB) Upon completion of this learning module, students will be able to describe the characteristics of the planets in our solar system, their size, the distances between them, and the paths that they travel.
Grades: 2-4
Source
Astronomy, Solar System, Mass, Diameter, Orbit, Planet, Dwarf Planet
Our Solar System (906 KB PDF) In this lesson, students tour the Solar System. They examine and define its various components-the Sun, planets, moons, comets, asteroids, and Kuiper Belt Objects. They recognize that the Solar System is the family of the Sun, an average star, and other stars have families of their own. Taking a close look at the planets they find that characteristics like size, location, composition, and presence of rings and moons, reveal two major categories of planets-terrestrial (Earth-like) and Jovian (Jupiter-like). But tiny Pluto seems to be in a class all its own, perhaps the largest of the many ice worlds discovered beyond Neptune.
Grades: 5-8
Source
solar system, sun, planets, Kuiper Belt, asteroids, comets, moon, asteroids, comets, dwarf planets, terrestrial and Jovian planets
Our Mission to Planet Earth (1.77 MB PDF) Our Mission to Planet Earth is a teacher's guide which includes activities and information related to studying the Earth system. Its primary goal is for children to become familiar with the concept of cycles and to learn that some human activities can cause changes in their environment. One such activity involves setting up a terrarium as an Earth System model to demonstrate the water cycle, the greenhouse effect, and the difference between global warming and cooling. Students can also create their own models of instruments and satellites and learn about careers in Earth System Science.
Grades: K-4
Source
energy, Earth systems, systems, Earth, water cycle, land-use, greenhouse effect, deserts, global warming, satellites, data, modeling, careers
Patchwork of the Planet (95 KB PDF) Students will learn how satellite images can be joined to make a picture mosaic. Such mosaics help scientists examine particular Earth features (e.g., mountain ranges, rivers, plains, oceans, coastlines, continents) that are themselves too large to appear in a single scene or field of view. Students will use actual satellite images to make satellite mosaics of various regions of the United States. Students will then use a camera to photograph portions of a globe in the classroom, and combine these photographs to re-create the globe as a flat mosaic.
Grades: 2-5
PowerPoints:
Selected America Patchwork Activity Sheets (4.97 MB)
Patchwork of the Planet Assessment Slide Show (1.06 MB)
Documents:
Assessment and Standards Table (31 KB)
Source
Patchwork, Mosaic, scenes, spherical, three dimensional object, Earth from an overhead perspective, spatial awareness, map, field of view, brightness,
Paths (3.34 MB PDF ) This module looks at many different kinds of paths and considers why paths are where they are and how they look from space. Paths are usually not arbitrary ways to reach a destination. People and animals make paths that take into account the terrain and other features of the landscape. Rivers, lava, smoke, and other natural phenomena follow paths. The Space Shuttle and satellites follow paths. Are some paths only visible from satellite or aerial images? Are there paths that can only be seen by remote sensing and not by the eye? What do these images tell us about links between the past and present? Paths imply movement: movement of people, goods, animals, ideas, matter, and energy. How is movement influenced by the environment and how does it affect the environment?
Grades: K-4
Source
evidence, models, explanation, constancy, change, measurement, scientific inquiry, Earth materials, units, systems, processes of measurement, tools, formulas, technology
Pixel Mosaic (1.01 MB PDF) Digital photography has become a very important way to gather and share information about the Earth. Students will learn about digital photography by constructing mosaics. To do this, students will recreate an image of a landscape photograph by coloring and then arranging small tiles or "pixels" that correspond to the original photograph. As students piece together their own mosaics, they will be encouraged to think about how satellite images are constructed, and the limitations and advantages of using such a process to capture images of the Earth from space. Through the activity, students will recognize how pixels' size and color affect image resolution and clarity. In so doing, students will explore mathematical concepts of surface area, perimeter, and tessellations as they construct their pixel mosaics, and make connections about how these concepts emerge in the creation and use of real satellite imagery.
Grades: 4-5
PowerPoints:
Grids and Images Gallery (8.18 MB)
Pixel the Satellite Slide Show Assessment (10.19 MB)
Documents:
What is a Pixel? background information sheet (4.30 MB)
Assessment and Standards Table (32 KB)
Movies:
Need Quicktime to play movies.
Pixel Mosaic movie (20.41 MB)
Source
pixel size, image resolution, coordinate system, perimeter, area, size, dimension of a pixel, resolution, clarity of the image, coordinate system, color resolution
Planetary Geology (7.95 MB) This educator's guide features exercises grouped into five units: 1) introduction to geologic processes, 2) impact cratering activities, 3) planetary atmosphere, 4) planetary surfaces and 5) geologic mapping.
Grades: 5-12
Source
Geologic events, Earth, landforms, stereoscopic photos, impact craters, comparative cratering, rainy day, Coriolis effect, storm systems, Aeolian Processes, landform mapping, terrestrial planets, Mars, Geologic features, Venus, Satellites, photogeologic mapping, moon
Plants to Soil (1.86 MB PDF) In this lesson, students will learn that plants and soils have a close relationship. Not only do soils provide essential nutrients for plants, but plant decomposition (breakdown) is also an important process that replenishes nutrients in soils. After growing a bean plant, students will document the decomposition process of the plant with drawings or digital photos. Students will begin to learn that materials such as nutrients (plant "vitamins") are continually shared between plants and soils.
Grades: 4-5
Documents:
Assessment and Standards Table (31 KB)
Plants to Soil Observation Sheet (89 KB)
Nutrient Cycling activity sheet (1.29 MB)
Plants from Space activity sheet (1.67 MB)
Source
Decompose, Absorption, Nutrient, cycle of growth and decomposition, vitamins, predictions, observations, and nutrient cycles
Plants and the Water Cycle (97 KB PDF) Plants interact with their environment in many ways that we cannot see. Children often enjoy learning about these "hidden secrets" of plant life. In this lesson, children will learn about role of plants in recycling water by collecting water vapor that is emitted, or transpired, by green plant leaves. Students will learn that this process helps to cool plant leaves, just as perspiration helps to cool their own bodies. In addition, students learn that the water vapor transpired by leaves contributes to the formation of clouds and eventually returns to the surface in the form of rain.
Grades: 4-5
PowerPoints:
Keeping Cool interactive slide show (6.52 MB)
Arrange the Water Cycle assessment slide show(6.51 MB)
Documents:
Assessment and Standards Table (33 KB)
Transpiration Activity Sheet (1.21 MB)
Source
perspire, transpire, water vapor, clouds, droplets, water cycle, Exhale, Gas, Stomate
Planetary Geology (7.95 MB PDF) Many earth science courses include an introduction to the solar system. The challenge of earth science is to understand the natural processes that shape not only our planet, Earth, but all objects in the solar system. But there are more compelling arguments for including planetary science in the classroom. Those arguments, some of which are outlined below, inspired NASA to conduct short courses in planetology for earth science teachers at the secondary and college levels. This book is an outgrowth of these short courses.
Grades: 5-12+
Source
geology, Earth, impact crater, coriolis effect, storm systems, Aeolian processes, landform mapping, geolgic features, Mars, Venus, photogeologic mapping, mapping
Playground Changes (76 KB PDF)
In this integrated activity, students develop both writing and artistic skills as they document changes in their school environment. Children will observe how the environment of their school playground changes throughout the year by drawing and describing plants, animals, landforms, or playground scenery. On three occasions (fall, winter, spring), students will record of the effects of seasonal changes on the playground environment. These records not only help them understand seasonal changes, but also provide teachers and students with a portfolio that will show their growth as writers and artists throughout the year.
Grades: K-2
Documents:
Assessment and Standards Table (31 KB)
Playground Changes Activity Sheet (78 KB)
Source
environmental changes over time, seasonal changes, Temperature, Season, Precipitation, Environment, Caption
Playground Greenup (82 KB PDF)
Children will document changes in the playground vegetation during the year by making drawings or taking digital photographs of grass, trees, bushes, weeds, and other vegetation. Children will learn how the color of vegetation changes during different seasons by turning brown in the winter (brown-down) and green in the spring (green-up). Children may also learn that some plants are evergreen.
Grades: 2-4
Documents:
Assessment and Standards Table (31 KB)
Playground Photos/Drawings Summary Sheet (99 KB)
Source
seasonal changes, changes in vegetation, evergreen, deciduous,
Playground Mapping (86 KB PDF) This is the second of two lessons (with Playground Modeling) that help children develop their spatial visualization skills as they learn to represent features and physical objects on their playground. In this lesson students will convert the physical models from Playground Modeling into a map of the playground complete with a scale and key. As extensions, children can use their map to locate (and measure between) objects on the playground, and to think about how plant and animal habitat on their playground might be impacted by humans.
Grades: K-2
PowerPoints:
Image to Map Photo Essay (1.01 MB)
Documents:
Assessment and Standards Table (33 KB)
Playground Mapping Activity Sheet (50 KB)
Source
perspective, map, features, influence, symbols, directionality, scale, proportional reasoning, approximate, finer scale, grid map
Playground modeling (81 KB PDF) In this two-lesson series (Playground Modeling and Playground Mapping), children will use and develop their spatial visualization skills as they learn to represent features and physical objects on their playground. Working in groups, students will use everyday classroom materials (blocks, crayons, counters, etc.) to build a simple physical model of their school playground. This activity will introduce mathematical ideas of perspective and scale. In the second lesson (Playground Mapping), children will examine a satellite image and corresponding map, and then use their playground model to draw their own map of the playground. As extensions, children can use their models and maps to locate (and measure between) objects on the playground, and to think about plant and animal habitats on the playground and how humans can affect those habitats.
Grades: K-2
Documents:
Assessment and Standards Table (33 KB)
Source
visualize space, fine scale, models, scale, physical space, representations
Playground Pounding (1 MB PDF)
In this lesson, students will learn that soils, plants, and people are closely connected. In particular, soils have structure that can be broken down if trampled by humans or animals. Students will first view and discuss photographs that show where soil-compression has occurred. Then, using soil and sponges, students will observe how soil can be compacted, and the implications of this compaction on soil structure and function. At the end of the lesson, students will have a deeper understanding of how people, animals, and plants are all connected through soils.
Grades: K-4
PowerPoints:
Pounding and Paths Photo Essay (3.85 MB)
Documents:
Assessment and Standards Table (34 KB)
Soil Compaction Activity Sheet (7.5 MB)
Squishing the Soil Activity Sheet (1.1 MB)
Soil Draw Activity Sheet (45 KB)
Source
soil structure, soil composition, soil, compact, water, aerial photos, satellite images, soil compaction
Playground Zoom (79 KB PDF) Children will observe and draw small objects on the playground or in the classroom with and without a magnifying glass to learn that visual remote sensing depends on using lenses. This lesson builds the foundation for children to understand how the Earth may be observed in great detail by satellites in orbit around our planet.
Grades: K-2
PowerPoints:
Assessment Slideshow (4.07 MB)
Documents:
Assessment and Standards Table (30 KB)
Playground Zoom Activity Sheet (28 KB)
Source
remotely sensed, visual perspectives, spatial patterns, lens, zoom, magnify, magnifying glass, telescope, astronaut
Pollution Patrol (97 KB PDF) Building on the previous lesson, Just around the Bend, Pollution Patrol continues to concentrate on maps highlighting a section of the Missouri River in order to focus students' thinking on waterways and pollution. To introduce the lesson, students observe satellite imagery that illustrates how waterways can contain large amounts of pollution and sediment that eventually makes its way to larger bodies of water. Using that context as a springboard, students then participate in a dynamic, cooperative activity in which they hypothetically rescue two 50-gallon barrels of oil from the Missouri River. To do so, students will use and explore number lines, units of measurement, distances, scales, and directions. This lesson provides the mathematical framework for students to move on to Search and Rescue and other lessons involving graphing in the coordinate plane.
Grades: 2-4
PowerPoints:
Riverbend Map (12 KB)
Water Pollution Photo Essay (5.82 MB)
Volga River Pollution slideshow (1.33 MB)
Documents:
Assessment and Standards Table (36 KB)
Pollution Patrol Activity Sheet (62 KB)
Source
delta, peninsula, sediment, water cycle, pollution, agriculture, spatial sense
Precipitation (1.04 MB PDF) This module was developed as part of the series "Investigating the Climate System." The series includes five modules: Clouds, Energy, Precipitation, Weather, and Winds. While these materials were developed under one series title, they were designed so that each module could be used independently.
Grades: 5-8
Source
active sensor, bright band, climate, climatology, coalesce, condensation nuclei, cloud nuclei, dew point, humidity, graupel, hail, latent heat, meteorology, passive sensor, radiometer, radar, radiation, rainfall intensity, rainfall rate, scientific method, Sun synchronous, supercooled water, total integrated rainfall rate, total ozone concentration, turbulence, weather
Quad Squad (132 KB) Have you ever been awakened by lightning and thunder in the middle of the night? In this lesson, students will pretend they have visited a forest research station on an overnight field trip. During their overnight stay, a terrific thunderstorm cuts through the area. As daylight breaks the next morning, students and scientists at the research station form the "Quad Squad", a team whose mission is to locate and make discoveries about possible forest fires that may have been ignited by lightning. Using maps and images of a forested area, the students will be introduced to the 4-quadrant coordinate plane as they learn about forest fires, use compass directions, read maps, interpret imagery, and think about the impact of fire on ecosystems.
Grades: 4-5
PowerPoints:
Forest Fires slideshow (16.94 MB)
Forest Maps and Images (1.67 MB)
Sounds:
Need Macromedia Shockwave Player to play sounds.
Nighttime at Eagle's Nest--nocturnal forest sounds (319 KB)
Documents:
Assessment and Standards Table (36 KB Word)
Mapping Eagle's Nest activity sheet (95 KB)
Forest on Fire! activity sheet (98 KB)
Source
coordinate plane, four quadrants, negative numbers, axes, ordered pairs, distances, scale, place value, coordinates, scale, direction, spatial sense, landform, logging, Lakota Sioux, Paha, Tatanka, Hehaka, Mato
Quantifying Changes in the Land Over Time (1.19 MB PDF) Students learn to identify kinds of land cover (such as roads, fields, urban areas, and lakes) in Landsat satellite images. They decide which land cover types allow the passage of water into the soil (are pervious) and which types do not allow it (are impervious). They consider some effects of increasing impervious surface area on ecosystem health.
Grades: 5-12
Source
and use change, impervious surfaces, urban growth
Question Mars (24.88 MB) All science starts with a question. Writing a good research question can be a challenge for students. In this activity, students pose questions related to the study of Mars and evaluate the quality of their questions. Students will explore remote sensing data collected by a camera orbiting Mars - the Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) and develop a team science question. Students will practice critical thinking skills, use a collaborative approach to this first critical step of the scientific process. Exploring the images of the surface of Mars in Visible (VIS) images, students will come up with a topic of study, their team science question and hypotheses.
Grades: 5-12
Source
Big Picture Question, Hypothesis, Mission, Observations, ORbiter, Planet, Research Question
Relief Map Jigsaw Puzzle (98 KB PDF) Make a miniature world, complete with mountains, valleys, rivers, lakes, and volcanoes.
Grades: 3-7
Source
topography, Earth, land masses, maps, geology
Remote sensing and Geoarchaeology (3.15 MB PDF) This module explores ways geographers and geoarchaeologists use remote sensing to uncover previously undiscovered sites of human occupation. Photographs have long been used by geoarchaeologists to document sites before, during, and after excavation. In the early 1980s, remote sensing became a tool used to detect human features on the contemporary landscape. These skills were applied to see ancient landscapes as well. Students apply remote sensing and map skills to study ancient and prehistoric sites.
Grades: 5-8
Source
systems, order, organization, populations, ecosystems, resources, environments, technology, history, geometric shapes, visualization, spatial reasoning
Remote Sensing Math (14.4 MB) This collection of activities is based on a weekly series of space science problems distributed to thousands of teachers during the 2009-2010 school year. They were intended for students looking for additional challenges in the math and physical science curriculum in grades 9 through 12. The problems were created to be authentic glimpses of modern science and engineering issues, often involving actual research data.
Grades: 3-12
Source
digital picture, image, math, pixel, array, dark current, flat fielding, manipulating, Earth, Telemetry, Binary numbers, glitches, bad data, corruption, giga, tera, peta, exa, photons, photon energy, camera, F-stop, photon statistics, calibrating
Rockets Educator Guide (14.91 MB PDF) The scientific, technological, engineering and mathematical foundations of rocketry provide exciting classroom opportunities for authentic hands-on, minds-on experimentation. The activities and lesson plans contained in this educator guide emphasize hands-on science, prediction, data collection and interpretation, teamwork, and problem solving. The guide also contains background information about the history of rockets and basic rocket science.
Grades: K-12
Source
forces, airplane, rocket, Newton's Laws, payload, frames, propulsion, trajectory, gravety, weight, rocket parts, Aeronautics, Newton, physics, aerodynamics, lift, thrust, motion
Roots and Shoots (137 KB) In this lesson, students will learn that plants are more than meets the eye-they consist not only of shoots (stems, trunks, and leaves), but also of all-important roots. Students will first learn about different types of roots by observing and comparing photographs. Then they will observe the growth of a lima bean plant and document changes in root and shoot size by creating scaled drawings or taking digital photos. Finally, students will create a "paper garden" in which they categorize plants according to how their roots can access water underground. By the end of the lesson, students will have an understanding of the important shapes and functions of the often "unseen side" of plants-their roots.
Grades: K-4
PowerPoints:
Interactive slide show (1.38 MB)
Documents:
Assessment and Standards Table (32 KB)
Plant Growth Chart (161 KB)
Several overhead transparencies of Roots and Shoots Grid (109 KB)
Grow a Paper Garden activity sheet (331 KB)
Source
estimate, area, centimeter, grid, number line, variations in root systerm, shapes, sizes, anchoring plants, water, nutrient absorption, groundwater, depth, digital camera, computer, root, shoot, nutrient, anchor, estimate
Roots of the World (129 KB) In this lesson, students will learn that plants are more than meets the eye—they consist not only of shoots (stems, trunks, and leaves), but also of all-important roots. Students will first learn about different types of roots by observing and comparing photographs. Then, they will observe the growth of a lima bean plant and document changes in root and shoot size by creating scaled drawings or taking digital photos. By the end of the lesson, students will have an understanding of the important shapes and functions of the often “unseen side” of plants -their roots.
Grades: K-2
PowerPoints:
Interactive slide show (1.58 MB)
Documents:
Assessment and Standards Table (33 KB)
Plant Growth Chart (158 KB)
Source
variations, root systems, shapes, sizes, anchoring plants, water, nutrient absorption, anchor, estimate
Round and Round We Go: Exploring Orbits in the Solar System (873 KB PDF) To appreciate the complexity of the Solar System requires an understanding that it is a dynamic system-a system in motion. Objects bound to the Sun by gravity-planets, dwarf planets, comets, asteroids, and Trans-neptunian (or Kuiper Belt Objects) follow elliptical orbits around the Sun. Students first explore the geometric nature of ellipses, and the circle as a special case. These newly developed mathematical skills are then used to plot an accurate model of the outer Solar System, which contains the size, eccentricity, and orientation in space of the orbits for different classes of objects. Students are then able to understand how orbits can be used to help categorize objects in the Solar System.
Grades: 5-8
Source
Earth, planet, sun, system, moon, asteroids, comets, solar system, star, gravity, phases of the moon, and eclipses
Salmon Run (97 KB) In this lesson, students will learn about the life cycle of the Pacific salmon and the impact of humans on salmon migration. Salmon commonly migrate hundreds of miles from their freshwater birthplace to the ocean, and later return to their birthplace to spawn (i.e. lay eggs). The cycle of life and death of the salmon is important to inland vegetation, as nutrients are transported from the ocean to the headwaters by the salmon and released after the salmon dies. Students will learn how damming of rivers has disrupted salmon migration routes and affected reproduction of salmon populations by tracing migration routes as they appear on satellite imagery, and completing mock calculations of the differences in expenditure of energy that enable salmon to cross dams where no migration impediments previously existed. Important cultural connections of the salmon to Native Americans are explored through legends that illustrate the importance of this magnificent fish to native peoples of North America.
Grades: 4-5
PowerPoints:
Life Cycle Journey photo essay (2.46 MB)
Documents:
Assessment and Standards Table (34 KB)
Human Impact photo essay (1.34 MB)
Salmon Migration activity sheet (344 KB)
Salmon Energy activity sheet (266 KB)
Salmon Legends Activity Sheet (128 KB)
Source
life cycle, salmon, migrations, spawn, recycling of nutrients, energy, satellite image, maps
Satellite Eyes (94 KB) In Satellite Eyes, students will explore the ways in which satellite images provide details of the Earth's surface. By using lenses, satellites are capable of taking digital images of the Earth from space that vary in detail (i.e. resolution) and breadth. In this activity, the action of satellites is explored, as cameras are used to zoom in on a plot of ground without changing the distance between the camera and the ground. Students will build upon previous understandings of lenses, surface area and field of view developed in the lessons Playground Zoom and Scenes of the Earth. Students will learn about the use of lenses as a means of magnifying the field of view seen by a satellite.
Grades: 2-4
PowerPoints:
Satellite Eyes activity slideshow (3.58 MB)
Satellite Eyes assessment slideshow (2.31 MB)
Documents:
Assessment and Standards Table (31 KB)
Source
resolution, resolve, scale, notions of similarity, proportional reasoning, scale, magnify, digital images, satellite imagery
Satellite Mobiles (82 KB) In Satellite Eyes, students will explore the ways in which satellite images provide details of the Earth's surface. By using lenses, satellites are capable of taking digital images of the Earth from space that vary in detail (i.e. resolution) and breadth. In this activity, the action of satellites is explored, as cameras are used to zoom in on a plot of ground without changing the distance between the camera and the ground. Students will build upon previous understandings of lenses, surface area and field of view developed in the lessons Playground Zoom and Scenes of the Earth. Students will learn about the use of lenses as a means of magnifying the field of view seen by a satellite.
Grades: K-2
PowerPoints:
Satellite Mobiles slideshow (2.85 MB)
Documents:
Assessment and Standards Table (27 KB)
Movies:
Need Quicktime to play movies.
Satellite Mobiles movie (13.31 MB)
Source
satellites, space technology
Save the Trees, Please (133 KB) In this 4-part lesson, students will explore the impact of deforestation on the Earth. Satellite imagery is used to show the vast devastation that humans have inflicted upon the Earth - the loss of forests and its impact on animal habitat, erosion, and sediment flow in oceans and rivers, etc. Students are encouraged to examine the role that humans play in deforestation (and reforestation), as well as the way that forests provide important resources for humans.
Grades: 4-5
Documents:
Assessment and Standards Table (31 KB)
Lesson One: The Amazon Rain Forest (2.99 MB)
Lesson Two: Deforestation in Bolivia (645 KB)
Lesson Two: Area Investigation (256 KB)
Lesson Three: The Red Island (1.20 MB)
Lesson Four: De/Reforestation in the Pacific Northwest activity sheet (443 KB)
Lesson Four: De/Reforestation in the Pacific Northwest questions (88 KB)
Source
deforestation, ecosystems, erosion, global climate change, animal habitat, grid overlay, satelliste images, geometry, surface area, perimeter, pattern recognition
Scenes of the Earth (101 KB) By the end of the lesson, students should have an appreciation for how the earth can be viewed and recorded in different ways.
Grades: 2-4
PowerPoints:
Scenes of the Earth Slide Show Assessment Activity (2.31 MB)
Documents:
Assessment and Standards Table (34 KB)
Scenes of the Earth Activity Sheet (99 KB)
Grid tiles sheets (59 KB)
Movies:
Need Quicktime to play movies.
Pixel the Satellite Scenes of the Earth Animation (11.98 MB)
Source
ground field of view, scene, detail, area, tiling, image, square decimeter, tessellate, estimate, perimeter, perspectives, plants, insects, dirt, stones, environments, observation, description, recording of data, record image data, scene, size, detail
The Scientific Method: An Investigation of Impact Craters (1.17 MB) This provides students with an opportunity to apply their knowledge of the scientific method. They will investigate the factors that determine the appearance of impact craters and ejecta on surfaces found in space. Students will be guided to follow the scientific method and formulate a hypothesis about various aspects of projectiles that may strike a surface, causing impact craters and ejecta. Each step of the scientific method is explored and discussed as a visually demonstrated experiment unfolds.
Grades: 4-7
Source
Systems, order, organization, Evidence, models, explanation, Change, constancy, measurement, Form, function, scientific inquiry, Properties of objects and materials, Position, motions, forces of objects, Interactions of energy and matter, Properties of earth materials, Objects in the sky
Search and Rescue (111 KB) In this lesson, students will be introduced to the fundamentals of graphing on the coordinate plane. Given maps of a forested area that is culturally important to a tribe of Native Americans, students are asked to help field ecologists locate an injured crow named Kangi. Additionally, they will explore Native American cultural sites and other landmarks that appear on the map. Through the lesson, students are introduced to concepts of axes, coordinates, ordered pairs, and the origin. Students will be asked to identify the coordinates of a particular object on a map, as well as determine a location on a map given a set of coordinates. This lesson provides exposure to mathematical skills and understandings that are prerequisites for later lessons that involve the tracking of animal migrations, as well as lessons that further develop understanding of the four-quadrant coordinate plane.
Grades: 4-5
PowerPoints:
Forest Map #1 (91 KB)
Forest Map #2 (93 KB)
Tracking the Motion slideshow (584 KB)
Coordinate Plane Assessment slideshow (62 KB)
Documents:
Assessment and Standards Table (35 KB)
Navigating the Coordinate Plane activity sheet (88 KB)
Movies:
Need Quicktime to play movies.
Meet Leonard Little Finger (3.02 MB)
Kangi the Crow (19.73 MB)
Forest Landmarks: Sage (18.91 MB)
Forest Landmarks: Tipi Rings (59.39 MB)
Source
coordinate plane, axes, origin, orgered pairs, value placement, meter, scale units, spatial sense, coordinate system, cutsoms, language, Lakota Sioux, ecologist, rock outcrop, transmitter, Inipi, Kangi, Mato, Paha, Sage, Tatanka, Tipi, Tipi rings
Sensing Something (90 KB) In this lesson children will learn that they can gather information about objects using the five senses of vision, touch, smell, taste, and hearing. They will then learn that some sensing, like sight, is done remotely. This lesson sets the stage for young children to understand that interesting and important information about the Earth can be gathered using various devices that create images.
Grades: K-2
PowerPoints:
Sensing something Assessment Slideshow (745 KB)
Documents:
Assessment and Standards Table (33 KB)
Sensing Something activity sheet (119 KB)
Movies:
Need Quicktime to play movies.
Meet Pixel the Satellite movie (12.82 MB)
Source
information, smell, state, touch, sight, hearing, remotely, remote sensing, images, spatial patterns, camera, human eye
Separate Vacations (91 KB) Sometimes you will hear people talk about family members who take separate vacations. In this lesson plan, students will discover that some birds do the same thing! Using data about two Osprey mates named X2 and X3, students will plot the migration paths of these two birds using latitude and longitude data from a table. As students compare the paths of X2 and X3, they will find out that these birds, although mates, migrate southward to different places of the Earth. After spending several months apart, their northward migrations return them back together at the same place they started.
Grades: 4-5
PowerPoints:
Tracking the Motion slideshow (598 KB)
Documents:
Assessment and Standards Table (31 KB)
Osprey Mate Graphing Activity (298 KB)
Osprey Mate Graphing Questions (88 KB)
Scientific Data Table (132 KB)
Scientific Data questions (95 KB)
Movies:
Need Quicktime to play movies.
Separate Vacations movie (13.57 MB)
Source
Migration routes, latitude, longitude, graph, coordinate grid, plotting latitude, data tables, migration, migratory path
Soda Straw Rockets (710 KB) During this 5E lesson, students will build a paper rocket that will engage the entire classroom in this fun activity for grades K-6. Students will investigate how a nose cone variation influences distance of flight. Aligned to standards in Science Education and Mathematics this activity helps to build 21st Century Skills in creativity, innovation, collaboration, information literacy, productivity, leadership and more.
Grades: K-8
Source
Analyze, Data, Empirical Evidence, Engineering, Explanations, Graph, Hypothesis, Inquiry, Mission, Models, Prediction, Questions, Rocketry
Soda-Straw Rocket Activity Soars (276 KB PDF) This experiment allows classrooms to study rocket stability as students construct and fly small "indoor" paper rockets. The goal of this exercise is for students to conduct an experiment, analyze the data and interpret the results.
Grades: K-12
Source
scientific inquiry, rockets, motions, forces, technological design, measurement, patterns, functions
Solar System Bead Distance Activity (72 KB PdF) The goal of the activity is for students to get a better understanding of the distances between the planets and the vastness of the solar system, by making a model of the solar system with beads.
Grades: K-12
Source
planets, solar system, models, astronomical units, number relationships, measurements
Solar System Magnetism (870 KB) In this activity, polystyrene spheres and strong magnets are used to represent the Sun and Earth and their distinct magnetic fields. Participants construct and use a "field detector" to predict where the magnetic fields are, and "field bits" to form loops and trace the invisible magnetic fields of the Sun and Earth.
Grades: 5-8
Source
sun, Earth, sunspots, magnetism, magnetic field, two poles, matter, electrical currents, atmosphere, solar wind, space weather
Solar System Scale and Size (1.69 MB) Students will learn about the scale and distances of all of the planets from the Sun through modeling during this hands-on, 5E activity. Aligned to National Science Education Standards and National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, this activity helps to build 21st Century Skills in critical thinking, communications and measurement.
Grades: K-8
Source
Astronomical Unit (AU), Models, Planets, Prediction, Relationship, Scale, Solar System, System
Space-Based Astronomy (2.28 MB PDF) Why does NASA put telescopes in space? Students build simple spectroscopes and telescopes to learn the answer to this question. This educator guide is divided into units of study that include science demonstrations, lesson plans and student sheets so that students may learn about Earth's atmosphere, the electromagnetic spectrum and telescopes.
Grades: 5-8
Source
Earth's atmosphere, electromagnetic radiation, visible light spectrum, electromagnetic spectrum, energy, wavelength, satellites, data, astronomical objects
Space Math VII (10.90 MB) This collection of activities is based on a weekly series of space science problems distributed to thousands of teachers during the 2010-2011 school year. The problems were intended for students looking for additional challenges in the mathematics and physical science curriculum. The problems deal with modern science and engineering issues, often involving actual research data.
Grades: 3-12
Source
black holes, moon, lunar rocks, math, angular scales, sea level, atom, molecular mass, molecule, stars, orbits, polar, planet, meteorite, temperature, weather, astronomy,
Stardust (1.06 MB PDF) This guide focuses on parts of the Solar System that do not get much attention: the small bodies of the Solar System, namely asteroids, meteoroids, and comets. These small bodies play a significant role in the formation of the Solar System, and they can leave a lasting impact in their own right.
Grades: 5-8
Source
Comet cratering, asteroids, meteoroids, comets, small bodies, solar system, Stardust mission
Strange New Planet (1.43 MB) This 5E hands-on lesson engages students in how scientists gain information from looking at things from different perspectives. Students will gain knowledge about simulated planetary surfaces through a variety of missions such as Earth-based telescopes to landed missions. Students in grades K-8 will learn the importance of remote sensing techniques for exploration and observation. In this team engaging activity, students will work on valuable 21st Century Skills in communications, information and communications technology literacy, critical thinking and more.
Grades: K-8
Source
Ask questions, Fly by, Empirical Evidence, Lander, Mission, Models, Observations, Orbiter, Rover, Planet
Sun and Shade (127 KB) In this lesson, students will explore the ways that plants adapt to their environments. Specifically, students will examine plants that thrive in the shade, versus plants that thrive in direct sunlight. Special attention is devoted to the shape of leaves on respective sun and shade plants, and what those leaves tell us about the environments of the plants. This lesson can be used as a foundational lesson for later explorations that study plant and animal ecology and, in particular, the "green-up" and "brown down" of the earth.
Grades: K-2
Documents:
Assessment and Standards Table (31 KB)
Plants in the Sun Activity Sheet (770 KB)
Plants in the Shade Activity Sheet (187 KB)
Sun or Shade? Activity Sheet (520 KB)
Sunny-Shady Drawing Activity Sheet (49 KB)
Source
plants, environment, leaves, size
Taking a Voyage Away From Home (650 KB PDF) From common observations of the sky, students understand that the Sun is a star that is close to the Earth, and it appears to go through a daily motion in our sky. By building a dynamic model of the Earth and the Sun-an orrery-students realize that cycles of night and day are caused by a rotating Earth. A puzzle version of Voyage, a scale model of the Solar System, is then constructed to explore the locations of the Sun, Earth and other planets, and to get a sense of the relative sizes of these objects. By combining the two activities, the Solar System is put in motion, reflecting both the objects within the Solar System and their motions.
Grades: K-2
Source
Earth, sun, model, solary system, planets, motion
Two Ways About It (111 KB) In this lesson, students will go on an "E-quest", that is, a quest for energy. During their quest, they hike along a large lake, searching for a source of energy along its shore. Along the way, students learn about important mathematical concepts such as negative numbers, ratio tables, multiplication, and number sense to the hundreds of thousands and millions place. In addition, students will hone their skills of viewing and interpreting satellite imagery. Finally, students will be introduced to the pros and cons of hydroelectric dams, including discussion on the environmental effects of dams. This lesson provides the mathematical background necessary for Quad Squad, as well as scientific background of hydroelectric power that will enrich students' understanding of Salmon Run.
Grades: 4-5
PowerPoints:
E-Quest Image Slides (1.02 MB)
Documents:
Assessment and Standards Table (34 KB)
E-Quest Activity Sheet (954 KB)
Assessment Activity Sheet (91 KB)
Source
negative number, number line, ratio tables, multiply, hungreds, thousands, millions place, distances, scale, positive scale units, negative scale units, direction, story probelms, multiplication, energy, electricity, environmental issues, hydroelectric energy, satellite images, ground photos, computer, map, anxious, exhausted, hydroelectric dam, kilometer, kilowatt, terrain
Urban Changes (531 KB) In this five-part lesson, students discover that landscapes undergo constant changes with urban development, and are challenged to consider what the landscape looked like prior to their own city's development. Students explore several images (both from the ground level and from satellites orbiting the Earth) associated with the development of various cities, and learn about the environmental changes that happen when a city is built. Children learn that because natural areas can vary widely with respect to vegetation, climate, and topography, the changes that these areas undergo when they are transformed into urban areas are often very different. Children learn that not all human dwellings are the same-different people live in different ways with different effects on the environment. Finally, students plan and build their own "city" by including features that will have minimal resource demands to sustain the city itself.
Grades: 4-5
PowerPoints:
Urban Changes Assessment slideshow (1.96 MB)
Urban Changes: Lessening the Impact slideshow (1.05 MB)
Spread of a City slideshow (2.49 MB)
Urban Development Slideshow (3.27 MB)
Neighborhoods Then and Now Slideshow (2.36 MB)
Documents:
Assessment and Standards Table (39 KB)
Picturing a Neighborhood activity sheet (87 KB)
Urban Development Activity Sheet (103 MB)
Urban Temperatures Activity Sheet (93 KB)
Spread of a City activity sheet (293 KB)
"Urban Growth in American Cities" (36.48 MB)
Source
change through time, urban development, environment, resource use, energy, resources, urban growth, diversity of life, area, space inside, three-dimentional city, tens of thoursands, hundreds of thousands, millions, thermometer, natural surface, manmade surface, temperatures, dwellings, biodiversity, Insulation, landscape, native, permanent, population, sustainable, temporary, urban
View of Home from the Front Door and from Space (562 KB PDF) The world is full of objects large and small, near and far. Models are built as powerful tools to help study large things such as buildings, towns, countries, and even the Earth and the Moon. With models, things beyond our physical reach can be easily explored. To begin to distinguish "home" from "home planet," students can build a model of their home and neighborhood as it appears from the front door of the house, from a tall building, from an airplane, and from outer space.
Grades: K-2
Source
sun, moon, stars, clouds, birds, airplanes, properties, locations, movements
Volcanoes: Local hazard, global issue? (1.85 MB PDF) Middle school students are interested in volcanic eruptions because of their dramatic nature and because of the sensational destruction they can cause. The National Geography Standards expect students to understand how physical processes like plate tectonics shape and change patterns in the physical environment, how the characteristics of different environments both encourage and constrain human activities, and how natural hazards affect humans. Detecting change and tracking processes in Earth's systems is an important component of NASA research. This module allows students, like NASA scientists, to explore two ways that volcanoes affect Earth: by directly threatening people and the environments adjacent to them, and by ejecting aerosols into the atmosphere. Through three investigations, students explore issues of volcano hazards at different scales, from their local environment to the global effect of volcanic aerosols on climate and aircraft safety.
Grades: 5-8
Source
systems, order, organization, constancy, change, measurement, scientific inquiry, plate tectonics, geology, volcanoes, populations, ecosystems, Earth systems, natural hazards
Voyage of Discovery (865 KB PDF) Models are powerful tools of exploration, especially as students investigate the size and distance relationships between the Sun and the planets in the Solar System. Examining the relative sizes of the planets using models at a one to ten billion scale, students realize that the Earth, the biggest thing they have ever touched, is quite small in comparison to the Sun and some of the other planets. Moving outdoors, students then create a one to ten billion scale model of the Solar System. Walking through their model as cosmic giants, students are awed by the tiny worlds in a vast space, and gain a new appreciation for Earth, their home.
Grades: 5-8
Source
Earth, solar system, planets, Earth, models
Voyage Through the Solar System (509 KB PDF) Students build the Voyage scale model of the Solar System on a playground and "travel" to each planet. This exercise allows students to recognize that the Sun and planets are tiny worlds in a vast space. Students also explore the similarities and differences in the patterns and cycles observable on the planets. The students come to realize that while seasonal variation (except for the length of seasons) seems independent of planet location, both the length of the day and length of the year do reflect planetary position. Students then explore why this occurs, with length of year dependent on the distance from the Sun, and length of day dependent on whether the planet is an inner Earth-like planet, an outer Jupiter-like planet, or a Pluto-like object further out in the Solar System. This experience gives students a new perspective on the Solar System, and allows them to gain a new sense of home.
Grades: 3-4
Source
solary system, planets, patterns, seasons, distance
Warming Oceans (65 KB PDF) Here is a demonstration that is sure to catch students' attention, whether they are at a summer camp or in school. This activity uses a water balloon to show how Earth's oceans are absorbing most of the heat being trapped on our warming world.
Grades: K-12
Source
water, oceans, Eath, climate change
Waste Limitation Management and Recycling Design Challenge (5.79 MB) The Waste Limitation Management and Recycling Design Challenge Educator Guide is a starting point for middle school students to research and answer the challenging questions of how to maintain human habitations on the moon and other planets in the solar system. The guide focuses specifically on the need for water recycling. The guide includes background information on topics relating to the moon, Earth's water cycle and water recycling. Several basic classroom activities on water recycling are also included.
Grades: 5-8
Source
moon, tides, orbit, Earth, lunar day, sun, orbit, water, molecule, water cycle, recycling, international space station, filtration, distillation, separation by force, sedimentation, biological treatment
Water, water, almost everywhere (2.92 MB) The presence of water in solid, liquid, and gaseous forms is one of the primary factors that distinguishes Earth from its neighbors in the solar system. In this module, students compare the amount of land and water on Earth; consider craters as evidence of a lack of water on other planets; define and locate water bodies found on Earth; and identify changes that occur in these water bodies.
Grades: K-4
Source
Measurement, Geometry, number and operations, technology and society, Earth and space science, science as inquiry, unifying concepts and processes, evidence, models, explanation, consistancy, change, measurement
Weather (737 KB) This module was developed as part of the series "Investigating the Climate System." The series includes five modules: Clouds, Energy, Precipitation, Weather, and Winds. While these materials were developed under one series title, they were designed so that each module could be used independently.
Grades: 5-8
Source
active TRMM sensor, air mass, anticyclone, high-pressure system, cold front, complex (occluded) front, cyclone, low-pressure system,Doppler radar, GOES satellite, latitude and longitude, passive TRMM sensor, radar, stationary front, TRMM instruments, Precipitation Radar (PR), TRMM Microwave Imager (TMI), Visible and Infrared Scanner (VIRS), TRMM satellite, warm front
Wet Weather (293 KB) Children will measure and graph the precipitation on the playground throughout the year using a rain gauge. Children will also observe satellite images of clouds and begin to investigate how clouds occur in patterns that sometimes result in precipitation. Children will also begin to learn the difference between weather and climate.
Grades: 2-4
PowerPoints:
Wet Weather, Wet Climate? interactive slideshow (869 KB)
Documents:
Assessment and Standards Table (36 KB)
Rain Gauge activity sheet-one per student (28 KB)
Precipitation Bar Graph activity sheet (107 KB)
How Wet Did it Get? Clouds from the Ground and Space Activity Sheet (85 KB)
Source
snowfall, rainfall, density, gauge, weather, climate, centimeters, millimeters, bar graph, extrapolate, measure, satellite images, climate, clouds, estimate, exact, gauge, liquid, precipitation, rain, snow, solid, weather
What a Colorful World (92 KB) When viewed from space, the Earth exhibits a stunning array of beautiful colors. In this lesson, children will explore the connections between many colors that can be seen from space, and the surface features (e.g. deserts, forests, grasslands/croplands, snow and ice, and oceans) that these colors represent. Children will also learn that clouds look white from space and can obscure the surface colors when they are present. This lesson serves as a foundation for students to interpret satellite imagery and the surface color changes that may occur due to seasonal variability and land cover change.
Grades: K-2
PowerPoints:
What a Colorful World slideshow (3.23 MB)
Documents:
Assessment and Standards Table (36 KB)
What a Colorful World Assessment activity sheet (87 KB)
Source
desert, cropland, obscure, clouds, satelite images, ground surface, Earth's surface
Where Are We Going? (56 KB) Students take imaginary trips through the Solar System on a spacebus and use math skills to find out the next spacebus stop.
Grade: 2-5
Documents:
Student Activity (430 KB)
Source
rounding numbers, ones place, tens place, multiplying numbers, simple fractions, distances, Solar System, planets, sky, estimation, Mars, Pluto, Saturn, Neptune, Uranus
Where on Earth Humans Live? (4.17 MB) This module focuses on Earth as our home and investigates the physical and human landscapes in which we live. Students learn that the world's population is unevenly distributed, and they begin to understand the environmental factors that influence this distribution.
Grades: K-4
Source
maps, geographic representations, tools, spatial perspective, physical and human characteristics, physical environment, past, systems, order, organization, scientific inquiry, natural objects, changes in populations, changes in environments, visualization, spatial reasoning, geometric modeling, units, systems, processes of measurement, formulascultural, social, economic, political, construction technologies
Where to look for life? (922 KB) It is the most exciting question one can ask of the Solar System-is life unique to Earth, or are there abodes of life on other planets-even moons? A starting point is concluding that life as we know it requires liquid water. Given this constraint, in the first Activity students explore a mathematical model for how temperature varies with distance from the Sun. It allows them to find the 'happy place' for possible life-the range in distance from the Sun within which a planet might contain liquid water. At first glance, it appears only Earth exists within this range. Students then plot the actual observed temperatures for planets and moons, which demonstrates that more than just distance from the Sun accounts for planetary temperature, leading to potentially many abodes of life in the Solar System. In the second Activity students research the broader requirements for an abode of life, and whether these requirements are found on other worlds.
Grades: 5-8
Source
Earth, solar system, sun, star, moon, energy, solar, visible light, infrared, ultraviolet radiation, water, fresh water, polluted, rivers, lakes
Why Follow the Water? (1.18 MB) NASA's strategy for Mars exploration is to "follow the water." These lessons will help students understand why water is important for life.
Grades: 5-8
Source
water, evaporation, solubility, solutes, solvents
Winds (895 KB) This module was developed as part of the series "Investigating the Climate System." The series includes five modules: Clouds, Energy, Precipitation, Weather, and Winds. While these materials were developed under one series title, they were designed so that each module could be used independently.
Grades: 5-8
Source
air pressure, barometer, banks, consumers, Coriolis effect, differential heating, divergence, downwelling, easterly trade winds, food chain, Gulf Stream, Hadley circulation, high pressure, low pressure, nutrients, photosynthesis, phytoplankton, polar easterlies, pressure gradient force, producers, Southern Oscillation, trade winds, trophic level, upwelling, westerly winds, wind belts, zooplankton
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