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Space Science

Lesson Plan Links

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Asteroid Watch: Fireball in the Sky - This CIESE collaborative project which asks students to determine the consequences of objects from space striking the earth by studying impact craters. The culmination of the project is to find actual asteroids and determine whether they are a threat or not. (Recommended Grade Levels 5-12 but all are invited to participate).
Auroras - Paintings in the Sky by Mish Denlinger. For middle school students. An introduction to auroras and the processes that create these mysterious lights.
Best of the Solar System - by Maureen Kerr and Priscilla Strain. For elementary and middle school students. A student introduction to planetary research through images of solar system objects.
Earth and Mars Modules for 2 - 6 grades. Interactive student activities geared towards planet exploration.
How Satellites See - by Chris Wilder. Intended for use by elementary school students and their teachers. This project compares and contrasts three NASA satellites: The Extreme Ultraviolet Explorer (EUVE), The Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE), and the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) . Students can compare physical parts and orbits of each satellite, will compare images about how each satellite "sees" the Universe. Students can also participate in hands-on experiments to begin to understand visible, infrared, and u.v. wavelengths.
Live from the Aurora (K-12) - This educator guide includes activities and lesson plans designed to challenge students into further investigating the dynamic nature of the Sun and its connection to the Earth.
NSTA - Astronomy with a Stick - Hands-on activities for upper elementary. Students explore daytime observations using a gnomon. They also model the Earth's orientation to the Sun and how this affects seasonal activity.
NASA - "Drawing a Scale Model of the Universe" from NASA's Space Place:
NASA's Deep Impact Mission has a module called Designing Craters in which students model impact cratering. The Deep Impact spacecraft which launched last month is scheduled to impact comet Tempel 1 on July 4, 2005.
Mars Mobiles (K-2) - This activity introduces students to the basic features of the Mars landscape. Students will compare the landscapes of Mars and Earth and create mobiles showcasing some of the features of the Martian landscape.
Martian Real Estate: A Good Investment? (3-5) - This lesson has students compare the landscapes of Mars and Earth and explore why the two planets are so different. They will conclude by writing letters convincing fictitious family friends that it is probably not a good idea to invest in Martian real estate.
MESSENGER Program - Modules contain lessons on the Solar System and our place in space. All of the modules have lessons specifically geared to K-2, 3-4, 5-8, and 9-12 levels. They work well in cooperative groups.
Objects in the Sky - To observe and describe what the sky looks like at different times; to identify objects in the sky and recognize changes over time; to look for objects that are common to the daytime and nighttime sky.
Oreo Moon Phases (K-4) - Use Oreo® cookies to illustrate moon phases.
Our Very Own Star the Sun (K-4) - Downloadable Book (Adobe) - This easy-to-read coloring book is designed for students to learn about solar flares and sunspots and why scientists study the sun. Text is higher level, pictures very (too?) simple.Phases of the Moon - This site has loads of information about moon phases along with a way to retrieve information about what phase the moon was in over 100 years ago. A local teacher used this to have her students look up what phase the moon was in on the day of their birth. They loved it!
Powers of Ten – Not really a lesson plan per se, but so powerful it has been included under lesson plans. Project to your class and students will be in awe of this exercise.
The Space Place - Lots of fun things to make and do from NASA, some teacher activities.
The Sun and the Earth (3-5) - The National Geography Standards recommend that students in grades three to five understand the relationship between the Earth and the Sun and how this relationship affects observable phenomena on Earth, such as the seasons. This activity will help students learn about these concepts and will reinforce their understanding by having them diagram the Earth and Sun during different seasons. Need internet access.
The Sun Times - Global Temperature Project - Join schools from around the world as they try to figure out how their geographic location (i.e. where they live) affects their average daily temperature and hours of sunlight. Specifically, students will: * Measure the temperature and record the number of minutes of sunlight per day over a common week. Compare and contrast the results with classes from all over the world. Determine how proximity to the equator affects average daily temperature and hours of sunlight.
Third from the Sun - by Ronna Voorsanger. For elementary school students. Learn about observing earth from space and guess the locations pictured in Landsat images.
University of Hawai'i at Manoa - The Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology offers more than 25 hands-on science activities are provided in classroom-ready pages for both teachers and students for exploring Earth, the planets, geology, and space sciences.
What Makes Day and Night - Eye on the Sky - Communicate astronomical reasons for day and night; establish the concept of the earth spinning on its axis; discover that the earth spins at a rate of once per day.


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