Space Science Teacher Resources
Find Space Science educational ideas and activities
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NASA Plans Moon Base
Students react to statements about the moon, then read a news article about NASA's plans to build a permanent base on the moon. For this space science and current events lesson, the teacher introduces the article with a discussion and a vocabulary activity, then students read the news piece and participate in a think-pair-share discussion. Lesson includes interdisciplinary follow-up activities.
Weather and The Water Cycle
Seventh graders investigate the physical states of water and about weather observations in the fourth grade when studying Earth and Space Sciences.This unit represents the next phase of learning about the topics of water and the weather.
Space Science: Adventure is Waiting
These full-color handouts feature two activities. The first is a reading on comets, meteors, and meteoroids. Your space science learners will examine ten phrases and determine which of the three each characterizes. The second activity involves a Web Quest in which participants visit websites about black holes, gravity, and the use of robots in space exploration. These activities are most appropriate for your upper elementary scientists.
Flight's Contributions to the Study of Earth and Space Sciences
Eleventh graders watch a NASA film about the history of flight. They discuss a quotation by Sir Isaac Newton: "If I have seen further, it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants." Students choose, or are assigned, the name of a person who contributed to flight research. They perform research about this person, finishing by drawing a picture of the character and constructing a narrative bubble that has the character talking about his or her contributions to flight.
Black Holes: The Ultimate Abyss
Middle schoolers compare and contrast the characteristics of the three different types of black holes. In this space science lesson, students research black hole's lifetime, location and evidence of existence. They present their findings to class.
The Future of the Milky Way
Young scholars brainstorm ideas about the future of our galaxy. In this space science lesson plan, students research the three main events happening in the Milky Way. They write a report about their findings.
Return to the Moon
Students react to statements about space exploration, then read a news article about plans to resume manned flights to the moon. In this space science and current events lesson plan, the teacher introduces the article with a discussion and vocabulary activity, then students read the news report and participate in a class discussion. Lesson includes interdisciplinary follow-up activities.
High schoolers focus on stellar luminosities to estimate size of habitable zones, map out habitable zone around hot light bulbs that serve as models of stars, investigate how size of model "habitable zone" around light bulbs depends on wattage of bulb, and transfer information to discuss habitable zones around real stars. Students then draw some conclusions about probability of finding planets within star's habitable zone.
Plate Tectonics: Movin' and Shakin'
Learners are introduced to the causes of plate movements and the hazards they present. They plot the location of 50 earthquakes and 50 volcanic eruptions on a map and explore the relationships between plate tectonics, earthquakes, and volcanoes. In the final activity, they test the effect of volcanic gases on the growth of plants.
Sending Messages to Space
Students interpret a message sent to space using a radio telescope and draw inferences from the interpreted message. Working with a partner, they interpret data that scientists believe is a message from aliens. They work on organizing the message using mathematical concepts.
Could the Solar System have Ten Planets?
Students react to statements about the solar system, then read a news article about a recently discovered object that could be another planet. For this space science and current events lesson, the teacher introduces the lesson with a discussion and vocabulary activity, then students read the news report and participate in a class discussion. Lesson includes interdisciplinary follow-up activities.
The Weather Classroom - Atmosphere
Meteorology learners explore the weight of air, layers of the atmosphere, and air pressure action through a series of discussions, demonstrations, and hands-on group activities. Enough discussion prompts, background information, student handouts, and internet resources are provided to build a complete atmosphere mini-unit.
Discovering Saturn, The Real "Lord of the Rings"
Reading, writing, and rings! A lesson from NASA combines space science with authentic reading and writing tasks. Included in this lesson are pre-reading activities, four mini informational booklets on Saturn, a structured note-taking guide, and an authentic final writing assessment. Young astronauts practice note-taking skills while gathering information about Saturn through their reading. Then they use this information to write a descriptive paragraph for mission control.
Light and shadow
Students experiment with light and shadow. In this light lesson, students look at the relationship between shadows and light. They experiment with light source, shadow size, transparent objects and reflective objects.
Categorizing Celestial Objects
Learners work together to develop a classification system for planets. They take a class vote and read an article about an astronomer's classification system. They write an essay on how scientists make decisions for the general public.
A Whole New World
Students work in small groups to investigate statistics regarding the solar system and participate in a 'scientific conference'. They explore available information about the extrasolar planet and assess the importance of this astronomical find.
HISTORY OF SCIENCE: ASTRONAUTS
Students study the pioneers of space exploration and travel; identify some of the early astronauts who prepared the way for others; examine the social and political conditions at the dawn of the Space Age; and differentiate among space practices.
Causes and Effects of ENSO
Students analyze monthly sea surface temperature data from the Pacific Ocean to determine if the period is an El Nino or a normal year. They recognize signs to see if there are any patterns that signal either occurrence. Satellite images are interpreted and conclusions are drawn from various maps.
Students study water resources that are important to the people of North American and Africa. They use satellite images and data to explore how human actions can degrade, improve, or maintain water resources. They analyze and interpret graphic data to make recommendations for improving future use of these resources.
Another World - Activity 1
Students create working kaleidoscopes and discuss the science behind the project in this introductory lesson on Space, Science, and Art. The lesson includes resource links and a downloadable video.