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Back to School 2010


Don't miss these space and Earth science activities as you make lesson plans for the 2010 school year.

Fun With Space

Introduce elementary and middle school students to space exploration through these hands-on and online activities. Allow 15 minutes for each activity.

How to Make a Crater
How to Make a Crater: This new video demonstrates how cake ingredients can be whipped into a moon-like crater. The activity works in classrooms, camps and at home.

› Play video

Build Your Own Space Mission
Build Your Own Space Mission: This online game allows students to design their explorer, build their spacecraft and study a planet or moon in our solar system. It blends kid-friendly graphics with real space images.

› Play now

paper rockets
Soda-Straw Rocket Activity: This activity is short on time but big on learning and fun. Students study rocket stability as they construct and launch paper rockets.

› Activity description


Science Demonstrations and Activities

These demonstrations are appropriate for upper elementary, middle school and, with some adaptations, high school students. Allow 30 minutes for each activity.

moon activitydemo
Moon Phases: The Moon Phases activity helps students understand lunar phases.

› Activity description

water balloon demo
Water Balloon / Climate Demo: Try this activity using a water balloon to show how Earth's oceans are absorbing most of the heat being trapped on our warming world.

› Activity description | › Video lesson and demo


Eyes on the Earth 3D
Eyes on the Earth 3D: Fly alongside NASA satellites in 3D and learn what these satellites tell us about Earth. Check out the video demonstration to learn about the nifty features.

› Explore now


In-depth Learning

The following directly involve students in thinking through requirements for space missions. They are appropriate for middle school and high school students. Each activity requires at least two 30 minute periods, if not more.

Marsbound activity
Marsbound! Mission to the Red Planet: This fun board activity teaches students the process of design, engineering and technology on a mission they create for Mars.

› Staff pick: Activity overview | › Marsbound

Imagine Mars
Imagine Mars: This is a national arts, sciences and technology education initiative that leads students to work together with scientists, engineers, artists and civic leaders to design and share a futuristic Mars community.

› Learn more

Reading, Writing and Rings
Reading, Writing and Rings: This activity blends the excitement of space exploration at Saturn with reading and writing.

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Teacher Resources

Find links to space and Earth science curriculum-based lessons, images and more.

› Go to resources