Lesson Plan

My Angle on Cooling—Effect of Distance and Inclination

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This My Angle on Cooling—Effect of Distance and Inclination lesson plan also includes:

When exploring Mars, spacecrafts are exposed to 5-11 times more sunlight than when near Earth. Groups of pupils complete a hands-on activity to explore how distance and angle of the sun affect temperature. Through discussions, they then relate this to how scientists keep spacecrafts, which are traveling closer to the sun, cool enough.

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CCSS: Adaptable
NGSS: Adaptable
Additional Tags
Instructional Ideas
  • Fits well in a unit on seasons, in a unit on engineering and design, or in a unit on space exploration
Classroom Considerations
  • Teachers will need to blacken their thermometer bulbs for better efficiency; includes explanation for how to do this
  • Part one takes place inside a dark room with no windows or extra light; part two is done outside on a warm or windy day
  • Third in a four-part space series
  • Part one places learners in groups of three, assigning each a specific job; part two does the same but in groups of five, which keeps groups engaged and on task
  • Includes a plethora of information: teacher tips, extensive background information, worksheets, answer keys, additional resources and extensions
  • None
Common Core