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Exploring a New Frontier - America's Space Program - Smithsonian

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6 to 12
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This lesson unit from the National Park service offers a toolkit for learning about the space program of the 1960s. It introduces the formation of NASA and the evolution of ...more
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This lesson unit from the National Park service offers a toolkit for learning about the space program of the 1960s. It introduces the formation of NASA and the evolution of Cape Canaveral, Houston's manned spaceflight center, and other installations. While there's a lot of material here, teachers will no doubt need to use some of their own creativity to mold it into something that fits local needs. This site would be a great addition to a study of 20th century explorers.

tag(s): moon (72), nasa (39), space (205)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans and classroom activities hosted on this site! Save this one as a favorite on your computer to allow for easy access and retrieval.

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Mars - Brainpop

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3 to 6
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You can learn about the red planet, its moons, atmosphere, and recent explorations with this entertaining video. Then test your knowledge with an interactive quiz, see your score, and...more
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You can learn about the red planet, its moons, atmosphere, and recent explorations with this entertaining video. Then test your knowledge with an interactive quiz, see your score, and review your answers.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): mars (41), planets (123)

In the Classroom

Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. If individual computers are available, be sure to use headsets!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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NASA's Return to Flight - PBS News Hour

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9 to 12
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Learn about the components of the space shuttle Discovery and the safety improvements that were made to the spacecraft following the Columbia disaster. This lesson plan involves students...more
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Learn about the components of the space shuttle Discovery and the safety improvements that were made to the spacecraft following the Columbia disaster. This lesson plan involves students in discussing the pros and cons of using liquid fuel propulsion, analyzing the findings of the Columbia accident, and conducting hands-on experiments to test insulating materials. Aligned to National Standards.

tag(s): nasa (39), space (205)

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Return to Flight - STS 114 - NASA

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4 to 12
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The launch of STS-114 marks the first space shuttle misson since the Columbia accident two years ago. This NASA site serves as home base for their multi-format coverage of the ...more
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The launch of STS-114 marks the first space shuttle misson since the Columbia accident two years ago. This NASA site serves as home base for their multi-format coverage of the launch and flight, and there are loads of links from this page to content for various ages and interests.

tag(s): nasa (39), space (205)

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Deep Impact Comet Mission - JPL/NASA

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6 to 12
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This week, scientists at NASA managed to successfully crash a satellite into a passing comet. The result of the impact generated huge amounts of data about the content in the ...more
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This week, scientists at NASA managed to successfully crash a satellite into a passing comet. The result of the impact generated huge amounts of data about the content in the comet, much of which may have been around since the dawn of the universe. This site shows the images and describes the mission in detail.

tag(s): space (205)

In the Classroom

Teachers should pay particular attention to the education section of this site, which contains a nice collection of ready-to-go lesson units.

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Fact Challenge - AAAS

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6 to 10
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This elegantly designed interactive quiz tests student knowledge of the planet Mercury. Students must move their mouse across the virtual sky to reveal questions hidden among clusters...more
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This elegantly designed interactive quiz tests student knowledge of the planet Mercury. Students must move their mouse across the virtual sky to reveal questions hidden among clusters of stars. Feedback and additional facts are provided for each response.

tag(s): planets (123), solar system (119), stars (61)

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Astronomy Workshop - University of Maryland

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6 to 12
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Supplement an astronomy unit with the clever tools provided on this site. Students can take advantage of a variety of solar system calculations, watch animations of solar objects' orbits...more
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Supplement an astronomy unit with the clever tools provided on this site. Students can take advantage of a variety of solar system calculations, watch animations of solar objects' orbits and simulations of the seasons, create a virtual solar system model, and much more.

tag(s): moon (72), planets (123), solar system (119)

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Make A Mission - NASA & AAAS

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6 to 8
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Challenge students to build a virtual spacecraft with this impressive interactive site that focuses on exploration of the planet Mercury. Choose a level of difficulty, select a launch...more
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Challenge students to build a virtual spacecraft with this impressive interactive site that focuses on exploration of the planet Mercury. Choose a level of difficulty, select a launch vehicle, and load it with the instruments needed to meet six vital mission goals while consider cost and available cargo space. This authentic problem-solving activity gives students an understanding of the complex process used by NASA to plan and organize a mission into space. Aligned to National Standards.

tag(s): planets (123), space (205)

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Lunar Calendar - American Association for the Advancement of Science

Grades
1 to 6
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Use these printable calendars to help students learn about phases of the moon. Record observational "sketches" of the moon on the blank monthly calendars, and check them against the...more
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Use these printable calendars to help students learn about phases of the moon. Record observational "sketches" of the moon on the blank monthly calendars, and check them against the lunar cycle illustrations. Or, print out the illustrations, cut them apart, and challenge students to place the phases of the moon in the correct sequence on a blank calendar (a good activity for upper elementary). Aligned to Benchmarks for Science Literacy.

tag(s): calendars (44), moon (72)

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Hubble Turns Fifteen - HST

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6 to 12
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With the 15th anniversary of the hubble space telescope scientists have released a new set of stunning images of stars, galaxies, and other space objects taken with the remarkable space...more
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With the 15th anniversary of the hubble space telescope scientists have released a new set of stunning images of stars, galaxies, and other space objects taken with the remarkable space telescope. These are some of the richer digital treasures on the web.

tag(s): space (205), stars (61)

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Galaxies Galore

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2 to 6
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Introduce students to spiral, elliptical, and irregular galaxies with this engaging site that offers informative text, breathtaking images, and interactive games. Students can participate...more
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Introduce students to spiral, elliptical, and irregular galaxies with this engaging site that offers informative text, breathtaking images, and interactive games. Students can participate in a "Build Our Milky Way" activity and apply their knowledge in several galactic matching games. Visit "Teaching Tips" for complete lesson plan, suggestions for use, and links to National Standards.

tag(s): stars (61)

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Earth and Beyond - Intel Corporation

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5 to 7
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This interactive, multimedia slide show introduces students to the solar system, gravity, stars, the Big Bang Theory, and the search for extraterrestrial life. Mini quizzes and click-and-drag...more
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This interactive, multimedia slide show introduces students to the solar system, gravity, stars, the Big Bang Theory, and the search for extraterrestrial life. Mini quizzes and click-and-drag activities test for understanding along the way. Includes a glossary and a feature that allows visitors to select settings for spoken and displayed text. Use as an anticipatory set or to review concepts at the end of a unit.

tag(s): gravity (46), solar system (119), stars (61)

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Saturn: Jewel of the Solar System - Exploratorium

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6 to 12
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Discover the latest details about the Cassini-Huygens' mission to Saturn on this impressive site that includes a concise description of the spacecraft, recent news updates, and Web...more
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Discover the latest details about the Cassini-Huygens' mission to Saturn on this impressive site that includes a concise description of the spacecraft, recent news updates, and Web casts of some of the mission's exciting findings. Be sure to view the interactive tutorial on Saturn's rings and moons.

tag(s): moon (72), planets (123), solar system (119)

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Still Roving - Discovery.com

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6 to 12
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Read the latest news from Mars, take a panoramic peek at the red planet, and look at some amazing 3-D images of the Martian landscape (but you must provide the ...more
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Read the latest news from Mars, take a panoramic peek at the red planet, and look at some amazing 3-D images of the Martian landscape (but you must provide the 3-D glasses). This nicely structured site by the Discovery Channel is loaded with things to explore and read about. Check out the FAQs and related NASA links for more in-depth information about space explorations.

tag(s): nasa (39), planets (123), solar system (119), space (205)

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Windows to the Universe - University Corporation for Atmospheric Research

Grades
6 to 12
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There is SO much to see and do on this site! Click on one of three main topics (Our Planet, Our Solar System, or Astronomy and the Universe), choose one ...more
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There is SO much to see and do on this site! Click on one of three main topics (Our Planet, Our Solar System, or Astronomy and the Universe), choose one of three levels (Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced), and begin to browse through the rich collection of text, images, movies, animation, and more. Check out the array of interactive games, participate in a group on-line journal, or read some of the latest earth and space news. This is an excellent resource for earth and space science teachers and students. Also available in Spanish.

tag(s): animation (63), images (266), planets (123), solar system (119)

In the Classroom

This is a safe, easy-to-understand resource for independent student research. Design a simple Web hunt to create a differentiated activity for multi-ability classes.

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2004: NASA's Year in Review - NASA

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6 to 12
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It begins with an introductory video and leads visitors through an interactive journey highlighting the exciting accomplishments of NASA during 2004. Features include a review of work...more
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It begins with an introductory video and leads visitors through an interactive journey highlighting the exciting accomplishments of NASA during 2004. Features include a review of work done by the Mars rovers, the Cassini-Huygens journey to Saturn, missions to the International Space Station, and NASA's vision for future explorations of the moon, Mars, and beyond. Outstanding video throughout! Headphones necessary.

tag(s): mars (41), space (205)

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AstroMeeting

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6 to 12
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This site contains some breathtaking amateur photographs of outer space including planetary nebulae, supernova remnants, comets, constellations, and much more. Use the navigation links...more
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This site contains some breathtaking amateur photographs of outer space including planetary nebulae, supernova remnants, comets, constellations, and much more. Use the navigation links at the left to access the photos. Each thumbnail image can be enlarged with the click of the mouse. Text is minimal, so you must provide the explanations and background. Project these images in class for a dramatic addition to an astronomy lesson.

tag(s): planets (123), stars (61)

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Cassini Saturn Mission - Titan Landing - NASA

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4 to 12
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NASA's Cassini spacecraft, which has been observing Saturn, is scheduled to land on Saturn's moon, Titan, on Friday, January 14. This NASA site will provide complete coverage, including...more
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NASA's Cassini spacecraft, which has been observing Saturn, is scheduled to land on Saturn's moon, Titan, on Friday, January 14. This NASA site will provide complete coverage, including images, of this space exploration milestone.

tag(s): moon (72), nasa (39), planets (123), solar system (119), space (205)

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Moon Madness - Quia

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4 to 8
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This battleship-style game pits students against the computer and challenges kids to correctly answer questions about the moon before their ships are sunk. Choose from three levels...more
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This battleship-style game pits students against the computer and challenges kids to correctly answer questions about the moon before their ships are sunk. Choose from three levels of difficulty.

tag(s): moon (72), solar system (119)

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Constellations of the Northern Hemisphere - Quia

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4 to 8
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Use this online activity as a review after introducing constellations. Click "list of terms" to view the constellations used on the site, then select from three games - concentration,...more
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Use this online activity as a review after introducing constellations. Click "list of terms" to view the constellations used on the site, then select from three games - concentration, word search, or matching. Each can be played multiple times with different content. Try out the virtual flash cards for a quick memory test.

tag(s): stars (61)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a review activity before an assessment on Astronomy. Have students complete the activities individually on classroom computers, choosing their methods of review. (i.e. flashcards, matching, wordsearch or concentration) Make sure to post the site on your wiki or webpage too, allowing students to review both in and out of the classroom.

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