Interactive Minds: Solar System

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Travel through space as you learn about the galaxy, solar system, planets, and much more. An extensive resource for studying astronomy in upper-elementary and middle school classrooms.

3rd - 8th Science 2 Collections 519 Views 180 Downloads
CCSS: Adaptable
NGSS: Adaptable
App Overview

Flip through screen after screen of diagrams, real-life images, and videos of outer space in this virtual solar system encyclopedia. Study the creation, size, and movement of different planets, dwarf planets, and moons. Learn about smaller objects like comets, asteroids, and meteors that are flying through space. Even travel back thousands of years and explore the history of astronomy. Abstract concepts related to scale and planetary motion are reinforced with engaging hands-on activities.

Interactive Content:

  • Scale models of the planetary orbits, allowing users to zoom in and out from multiple points of view
  • Side-by-side scale comparisons of the sun, planets, and moons
  • Comparisons of human weight on different planets relative to Earth
  • A model showing the relative orbital speeds of planets in the solar system
  • Models demonstrating tilt and rotation of the solar system's eight planets
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Instructional Ideas

  1. If projection technology is available, explore this application as a whole class, supplementing a unit on the solar system
  2. Create a study guide to help learners focus on key concepts and vocabulary as they navigate this resource independently
  3. Allow students to work in pairs, providing them with questions to answer at different points in the app
Classroom Considerations

Be sure pupils keep an eye out for blue arrows, as they will direct them to additional content on specific topics.

Some images are not actual photos, but rather artist depictions. These can be identified by the small text at the bottom of each picture. Make sure students are aware of this, perhaps discussing why artists' drawings are included instead of real-life images.

Pros

  • Full of images and videos that will capture the attention of learners
  • Includes a table of contents and search option for locating specific information
  • Provides definitions for fundamental vocabulary related to the solar system
Cons

  • Does not include sound to reinforce text