Earth and Space Science > Activities



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Cracked, Bumpy and Beautiful: Earth's Surface
Lisa Alexander
Using a variety or resources, students will plot the locations of mountain ranges,volcanoes and major earthquakes on a class map. Students will then hypothesize what may be creating concentrated areas of these ...

Using Your Marbles: Making Energy Work for You
Alisa Hilfinger
potential energy, kinetic energy, work

Why is the Earth Still Hot Inside?
Aaron Keller
Inquiry lab in which students study the rate of heat transfer as a function of size. Larger objects lose heat more slowly than smaller objects because their surface area relative to their volume is smaller. Relevant to the study of planetary formation, comparative planetology, basic thermodynamics, scientific inquiry, error checking, and the consequences of scaling.

Creating the Solar System – step by step
Karen Curtin
The goal of this lesson is to encourage the clarification and understanding of the processes involved in the creation of our solar system. The lesson is part of a larger unit of astronomy which addresses the MA ...

Know Your Neighbors--researching the planets
Kathie Kelly, Northeastern University
Utilizing online and traditional resources students will collect data on planets and moons in our solar system. Working collaboratively students will generate a spreadsheet of the data. After verifying one ...

Heat on the Move
Laura Schofield, Northeastern University
To introduce students to the concept that heat transfer via convection is more efficient then heat transfer via conduction.

The Moon on the Map
Meeyoung Choi
[image right border] In this activity students will observe the landscapes of the moon from different sides, make their own hypothesis, and research about the moon's unique geological properties. Students will ...

Fractals: Measuring a Coastline
Andy Katz
In 1967, Benoit Mandelbrot developed his concept of fractals by observing the jagged coastline of Great Britain and asking: "How do we measure such a thing?" In this lesson students will explore fractals ...

Mary Clark
This set of short lessons is intended to use viscosity as a concept to set up understanding of the convective motion of various fluids. The lessons will more broadly deal with important science inquiry skills such as forming and revising meaningful ideas, making inferences, gathering data, and sharing information with others. Key words: viscosity middle school convection inquiry experiment hypothesis data conclusion variables distance speed time

Terrestrials or Aliens from Space: Comparing Igneous Rocks and Meteorites
Joanne Zema
Meteorites and igneous rocks compared Origins of the earth ???

How to Get From Here to There
Nancy Wile
Students develop a theory of plate tectonics looking at how different density liquids have different convection patterns. Students will record observations in their journal.

Investigating Meteorites: Bridging Earth Science to Space Science
Katye Couch
This activity is designed to have students apply previous knowledge about Earth Science to investigate iron-nickel meteorites. Students should have previous knowledge of crystal size/cooling rate correlation in Earth rocks and previous knowledge of Earth's composition. Students will investigate meteorites (real or photographed with scale) using a series of guided questions. They will practice using observation and inference skills as well as data collection skills. Key words- activity, measurement, guided inquiry, astronomy, meteorites, hands-on, investigative, lab, crystal size, cooling rate, differentiation, planetary composition, planetary formation, observation, inference, correlation, space, geology, earth science, solar system, solar system formation

Modeling the Earth-Moon Orbital System
Mike Hansen, Linden School, Malden, MA
Through constructing a physical model, students will come to understand that bodies in orbit and the objects they orbit actually both revolve around their common center of mass (barycenter).

Using Density to Predict Planetary Differentiation
Ashley Lagas
This is an inquiry based lesson designed for middle school students. This lesson serves as an informal assessment of students' understanding of density and also serves as an introduction to Planetary formation and Planetary differentiation.

Reaching for a Star... (and finding its diameter!)
Jan Davagian
The use of metric units and measuring skills are reviewed. Extreme distances are measured using a pinhole camera to set up ratios of similar triangles.

On A Collision Course: The Moon
Madelyn Wenham
Impact craters are found on nearly all solid surface planets and satellites. Although this exercise simulates the impact process, it must be noted that the physical variables do not scale in a simple way to ...

Spacecraft Design for Interplanetary Travel
John Walsh
Students will design and build a reusable spacecraft for interplanetary travel.

Fluid Viscosity
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