Middle School Astronomy

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Middle School Astronomy Collection Resources (55)

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7th Grade Life Science at the Observatory: Life Throughout the Universe
Conditions of Use:
Remix and Share
Rating

This classroom activity will show students that there is a lot we don't know about science, for example life throughout the universe. It will hopefully encourage students to question what we know and don't know, and exploration and study of the unknown.

Subject:
Astronomy
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Teaching/Learning Strategy
Provider:
Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College
Provider Set:
Pedagogy in Action
Author:
Brad Snyder
Date Added:
08/10/2012
The Amazing Red Planet
Conditions of Use:
Read the Fine Print
Rating

The purpose of this lesson is to introduce students to the planet Mars. This lesson will begin by discussing the location and size of Mars relative to Earth, as well as introduce many interesting facts about this red planet. Next, the history of Martian exploration is reviewed and students discover why scientists are so interested in studying this mysterious planet. The lesson concludes with students learning about future plans to visit Mars.

Subject:
Engineering
Astronomy
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Chris Yakacki
Daria Kotys-Schwartz
Geoffrey Hill
Janet Yowell
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Are We Alone?
Conditions of Use:
Read the Fine Print
Rating

The year is 2032 and your class has successfully achieved a manned mission to Mars! After several explorations of the Red Planet, one question is still being debated: "Is there life on Mars?" The class is challenged with the task of establishing criteria to help look for signs of life. Student explorers conduct a scientific experiment in which they evaluate three "Martian" soil samples and determine if any contain life.

Subject:
Engineering
Astronomy
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Chris Yakacki
Daria Kotys-Schwartz
Geoffrey Hill
Janet Yowell
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Astronomy Snakes & Ladders Game
Rating

The classic snakes and ladders game is replaced by rockets and comets in this astronomy themed version. The game is challenging and interactive way to learn various astronomical topics while moving your way to the winning square as space travellers.

Subject:
Astronomy
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Game
Provider:
International Astronomical Union
Provider Set:
astroEDU
Author:
Avivah Yamani
Date Added:
04/04/2014
Beyond the Milky Way
Conditions of Use:
Read the Fine Print
Rating

When we look at the night sky, we see stars and the nearby planets of our own solar system. Many of those stars are actually distant galaxies and glowing clouds of dust and gases called nebulae. The universe is an immense space with distances measured in light years. The more we learn about the universe beyond our solar system, the more we realize we do not know. Students are introduced to the basic known facts about the universe, and how engineers help us explore the many mysteries of space.

Subject:
Engineering
Astronomy
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Denise W. Carlson
Jane Evenson
Jessica Butterfield
Jessica Todd
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Sam Semakula
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Children's Planetary Maps: Mars
Conditions of Use:
No Strings Attached
Rating

Using planetary maps, students will be able to read cartographic information and compare the environmental conditions of Mars to those Earth. They will understand the conditions needed for life to exist, and be able to explain why it cannot exist on Mars.

Subject:
Environmental Science
Astronomy
Geology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
International Astronomical Union
Provider Set:
astroEDU
Author:
Henrik Hargitai
Mátyás Gede
Date Added:
02/06/2018
Children's Planetary Maps: Pluto & Charon
Conditions of Use:
No Strings Attached
Rating

Using planetary maps, students will be able to read cartographic information and compare the environmental conditions of Pluto/Charon to those Earth. They will understand the conditions needed for life to exist, and be able to explain why it cannot exist on Pluto or Charon.

Subject:
Environmental Science
Astronomy
Geology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
International Astronomical Union
Provider Set:
astroEDU
Author:
Henrik Hargitai
Mátyás Gede
Date Added:
02/06/2018
Children's Planetary Maps: The Moon
Conditions of Use:
No Strings Attached
Rating

Using planetary maps, students will be able to read cartographic information and compare the environmental conditions of The Moon to those Earth. They will understand the conditions needed for life to exist, and be able to explain why it cannot exist on The Moon.

Subject:
Environmental Science
Astronomy
Geology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
International Astronomical Union
Provider Set:
astroEDU
Author:
Henrik Hargitai
Mátyás Gede
Date Added:
02/06/2018
Children's Planetary Maps: Titan
Conditions of Use:
No Strings Attached
Rating

Using planetary maps, students will be able to read cartographic information and compare the environmental conditions of Titan to those Earth. They will understand the conditions needed for life to exist, and be able to explain why it cannot exist on Titan.

Subject:
Environmental Science
Astronomy
Geology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
International Astronomical Union
Provider Set:
astroEDU
Author:
Henrik Hargitai
Mátyás Gede
Date Added:
02/06/2018
Children's Planetary Maps: Venus
Conditions of Use:
No Strings Attached
Rating

Using planetary maps, students will be able to read cartographic information and compare the environmental conditions of Venus to those Earth. They will understand the conditions needed for life to exist, and be able to explain why it cannot exist on Venus.

Subject:
Environmental Science
Astronomy
Geology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
International Astronomical Union
Provider Set:
astroEDU
Author:
Henrik Hargitai
Mátyás Gede
Date Added:
02/06/2018
Coma Cluster of Galaxies
Conditions of Use:
No Strings Attached
Rating

This classroom activity for high school students uses a collection of Hubble Space Telescope images of galaxies in the Coma Cluster. Students study galaxy classification and the evolution of galaxies in dense clustered environments.

Subject:
Astronomy
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
International Astronomical Union
Provider Set:
astroEDU
Author:
Keely Finkelstein, McDonald Observatory
Date Added:
06/24/2014
Come On Over Rover
Conditions of Use:
Read the Fine Print
Rating

Have you ever wondered why it takes such a long period of time for NASA to build space exploration equipment? What is involved in manufacturing and building a rover for the Red Planet? During this lesson, students will discover the journey that a Mars rover embarks upon after being designed by engineers and before being prepared for launch. Students will investigate the fabrication techniques, tolerance concepts, assembly and field-testing associated with a Mars exploratory rover.

Subject:
Engineering
Astronomy
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Chris Yakacki
Daria Kotys-Schwartz
Geoffrey Hill
Janet Yowell
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Country Movers – Visualizing Spatial Scales in Planetary and Earth Sciences
Conditions of Use:
No Strings Attached
Rating

Students learn about local and planetary physical geography / geology, toponymy, planetary landing site selection and cartography. The students learn a complex process of landscape evaluation and city planning, based on the interpretation of photomaps or digital terrain models.

Subject:
Astronomy
Physical Geography
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
International Astronomical Union
Provider Set:
astroEDU
Author:
Henrik Hargitai
Mátyás Gede
Date Added:
02/06/2018
Create Your Own Astro-Music
Conditions of Use:
No Strings Attached
Rating

In this activity, students learn about astronomical phenomena we can see in the universe and create their own music inspired by astronomical images. By performing original musical improvisations, students enhance their knowledge of what astronomical phenomena are represented in images and experiment with creative ways of representing these using music. This activity engages students in first hand exploration of music and astronomy connections.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
Astronomy
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
International Astronomical Union
Provider Set:
astroEDU
Author:
Matthew Whitehouse
Date Added:
12/09/2016
Egg-cellent Landing
Conditions of Use:
Read the Fine Print
Rating

The purpose of this activity is to recreate the classic egg-drop experiment with an analogy to the Mars rover landing. The concept of terminal velocity will be introduced, and students will perform several velocity calculations. Also, students will have to design and build their lander within a pre-determined budget to help reinforce a real-world design scenario.

Subject:
Engineering
Astronomy
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Chris Yakacki
Daria Kotys-Schwartz
Geoffrey Hill
Janet Yowell
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Date Added:
10/14/2015
Exploration of Shadows in the Earth, Moon, and Sun System: Moon Phases and Eclipses
Conditions of Use:
Remix and Share
Rating

This guided inquiry activity has students using models to create variations of alignment of the Earth, Moon, and Sun. By varying their arrangement, students will discover how the positions of the Earth, Moon and Sun interact, how shadows can be cast on the Moon and on the Earth, and how Earth's view of the lit portion of the Moon changes.

Subject:
Astronomy
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College
Provider Set:
Pedagogy in Action
Author:
Jill Baumtrog
Date Added:
08/10/2012
The Fibre Optic Cable Class
Conditions of Use:
No Strings Attached
Rating

This activity is an interactive “out-of-the-seat” demo that allows the students to become involved in learning about fibre optic cables by imitating the way that one basically functions. While enjoying the physicality of the demo the children will pick up basic details of light, reflection, optical properties, and applications to technology. Additionally, the activity will go into details of how fibre optics are used in astronomy technology and how it is used to improve our understanding of the universe. An emphasis should be placed on asking direct questions to the children about how these concepts can influence technology, astronomy, and our world to reinforce the concepts that they are learning about.

Subject:
Astronomy
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
International Astronomical Union
Provider Set:
astroEDU
Author:
Amee Hennig
Date Added:
02/06/2015
Get Me Off This Planet
Conditions of Use:
Read the Fine Print
Rating

The purpose of this lesson is to teach the students about how a spacecraft gets from the surface of the Earth to Mars. The lesson first investigates rockets and how they are able to get us into space. Finally, the nature of an orbit is discussed as well as how orbits enable us to get from planet to planet specifically from Earth to Mars.

Subject:
Engineering
Astronomy
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Chris Yakacki
Daria Kotys-Schwartz
Geoffrey Hill
Janet Yowell
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Globe at Night Activity Guide
Conditions of Use:
No Strings Attached
Rating

Students participate in a global campaign to observe and record the faintest visible stars as a means of measuring light pollution in a given location. By locating and observing the constellation Orion in the night sky and comparing it to stellar charts, students from around the world will learn how the artificial lighting in their community contribute to light pollution. Student contributions to the online database will document the visible night time sky.

Subject:
Astronomy
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
International Astronomical Union
Provider Set:
astroEDU
Author:
Amee Hennig
Date Added:
04/17/2014
How Light Pollution Affects the Stars: Magnitude Readers
Rating

Light pollution affects the visibility of stars. Building a simple Magnitude Reader, students determine the magnitude of stars and learn about limiting magnitude.

Subject:
Astronomy
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
International Astronomical Union
Provider Set:
astroEDU
Author:
Amee Hennig
Date Added:
04/04/2014
How Many Stars Can You See at Night?
Conditions of Use:
No Strings Attached
Rating

Students will study through investigation the effects of light pollution on night sky observation. They will share their results and suggest improvement within the community.

Subject:
Astronomy
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
International Astronomical Union
Provider Set:
astroEDU
Author:
Jose Goncalves, Nucleo Interativo de Astronomia; Franziska Zaunig, Cardiff University
Date Added:
02/02/2016
Impact Craters
Conditions of Use:
No Strings Attached
Rating

The students will learn about recent meteor strikes and the effects they can have. They will then examine their significance in the history of the planet, and what they do to the surface of a planet when forming a crater. The students will then experimentally determine how the size and impact velocity of a meteorite determine the size of the crater.

Subject:
Astronomy
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
International Astronomical Union
Provider Set:
astroEDU
Author:
Christian Eistrup
Ronan Smith
Date Added:
02/06/2018
An Inflated Impression of Mars
Conditions of Use:
Read the Fine Print
Rating

Students use scaling from real-world data to obtain an idea of the immense size of Mars in relation to the Earth and the Moon, as well as the distances between them. Students calculate dimensions of the scaled versions of the planets, and then use balloons to represent their relative sizes and locations.

Subject:
Engineering
Astronomy
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Chris Yakacki
Daria Kotys-Schwartz
Geoffrey Hill
Janet Yowell
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Let's Break the Particles
Conditions of Use:
No Strings Attached
Rating

This is a hands-on activity to learn that energy can be transformed into various forms. Potential energy is converted into kinetic energy. Moreover, this kinetic energy can be used (if more than the relative binding energy) to break atoms, particles and molecules to see “inside” and to study their constituents.

Subject:
Astronomy
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
International Astronomical Union
Provider Set:
astroEDU
Author:
Sandro Bardelli, INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico di Bologna; Amalia Persico, Sofos-Divulgazione delle Scienze
Date Added:
02/02/2016
Linear Equations Game
Conditions of Use:
Read the Fine Print
Rating

Students groups act as aerospace engineering teams competing to create linear equations to guide space shuttles safely through obstacles generated by a modeling game in level-based rounds. Each round provides a different configuration of the obstacle, which consists of two "gates." The obstacles are presented as asteroids or comets, and the linear equations as inputs into autopilot on board the shuttle. The winning group is the one that first generates the successful equations for all levels. The game is created via the programming software MATLAB, available as a free 30-day trial. The activity helps students make the connection between graphs and the real world. In this activity, they can see the path of a space shuttle modeled by a linear equation, as if they were looking from above.

Subject:
Engineering
Astronomy
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Stanislav Roslyakov
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Lunar Learning
Conditions of Use:
Read the Fine Print
Rating

Why does the Moon not always look the same to us? Sometimes it is a big, bright, circle, but, other times, it is only a tiny sliver, if we can see it at all. The different shapes and sizes of the slivers of the Moon are referred to as its phases, and they change periodically over the course of a lunar month, which is twenty-eight days long. The phases are caused by the relative positions of the Earth, Sun, and Moon at different times during the month.

Subject:
Engineering
Astronomy
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Catie Liken
Teresa Tetlow
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Lunar Lollipops
Conditions of Use:
Read the Fine Print
Rating

Students work in teams of two to discover the relative positions of the Earth, Sun and Moon that produce the different phases of the Moon. Groups are each given a Styrofoam ball that they attach to a pencil so that it looks like a lollipop. In this acting-out model exercise, this ball on a stick represents the Moon, the students represent the Earth and a hanging lightbulb serves as the Sun. Students move the "Moon" around them to discover the different phases. They fill in the position of the Moon and its corresponding phase in a worksheet.

Subject:
Engineering
Astronomy
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Catie Liken
Teresa Tetlow
Date Added:
10/14/2015
Mars and Jupiter
Conditions of Use:
Read the Fine Print
Rating

Students explore Mars and Jupiter, the fourth and fifth planets from the Sun. They learn some of the unique characteristics of these planets. They also learn how engineers help us learn about these planets with the design and development of telescopes, deep space antennas, spacecraft and planetary rovers.

Subject:
Engineering
Astronomy
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Denise W. Carlson
Geoffrey Hill
Jessica Butterfield
Jessica Todd
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Measure Diameter of the Sun
Conditions of Use:
No Strings Attached
Rating

The Sun moves across the sky at an approximately constant rate because of the rotation of the Earth. By measuring how fast the Sun moves, you can work out how big the Sun appears in the sky. All you need are some household items and about 30 minutes on a sunny day.

Subject:
Astronomy
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Interactive
Provider:
International Astronomical Union
Provider Set:
astroEDU
Author:
Edward Gomez, LCOGT
Date Added:
01/30/2014
Meet Our Home: Planet Earth
Conditions of Use:
No Strings Attached
Rating

Converting a visual to a tactile experience, this activity lets visually impaired students learn about and explore some of the characteristics of our home planet, the Earth.

Subject:
Astronomy
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
International Astronomical Union
Provider Set:
astroEDU
Author:
Lina Canas, Nucleo Interativo de Astronomia
Date Added:
02/02/2016
Meet Our Neighbours: Moon
Conditions of Use:
No Strings Attached
Rating

Converting a visual experience to a tactile one, this activity lets visually impaired students learn and explore our Moon and its characteristics.

Subject:
Astronomy
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
International Astronomical Union
Provider Set:
astroEDU
Author:
Lina Canas, Nucleo Interativo de Astronomia
Date Added:
06/25/2014
Mercury and Venus
Conditions of Use:
Read the Fine Print
Rating

Students explore Mercury and Venus, the first and second planets nearest the Sun. They learn about the planets' characteristics, including their differences from Earth. Students also learn how engineers are involved in the study of planets by designing equipment and spacecraft to go where it is too dangerous for humans.

Subject:
Engineering
Astronomy
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Denise W. Carlson
Jessica Butterfield
Jessica Todd
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Sam Semakula
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Meteoroids, Meteors and Meteorites
Conditions of Use:
No Strings Attached
Rating

Students will experimentally learn how meteoroids are formed. They will melt a comet, learning about its composition, and break apart asteroids. The students learn the differences between meteoroids, meteors and meteorites and how the impact of asteroids/meteoroids can affect life on Earth.

Subject:
Astronomy
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
International Astronomical Union
Provider Set:
astroEDU
Author:
Christian Eistrup
Jorge Rivero González
Ronan Smith
Date Added:
02/06/2018
Model of a Black Hole
Conditions of Use:
No Strings Attached
Rating

Many children may have heard of black holes and already have the understanding that they are ‘bottomless wells’. If something falls into a black hole, it is impossible for it to escape—even light cannot escape and is swallowed. The lack of light is how black holes get their name. These objects are mysterious and interesting, but they are not easy to explain. This activity will allow children to visualize, and therefore help them decompose, the concepts of space-time and gravity, which are integral to understanding these appealing objects.

Subject:
Astronomy
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Game
Interactive
Provider:
International Astronomical Union
Provider Set:
astroEDU
Author:
Monica Turner, UNAWE
Date Added:
12/13/2013
Moon Walk
Conditions of Use:
Read the Fine Print
Rating

Students learn about the Earth's only natural satellite, the Moon. They discuss the Moon's surface features and human exploration. They also learn about how engineers develop technologies to study and explore the Moon, which also helps us learn more about the Earth.

Subject:
Engineering
Astronomy
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Denise W. Carlson
Jane Evenson
Jessica Butterfield
Jessica Todd
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Sam Semakula
Date Added:
09/18/2014
My Moon Colony
Conditions of Use:
Read the Fine Print
Rating

Students are introduced to the futuristic concept of the moon as a place people can inhabit. They brainstorm what people would need to live on the moon and then design a fantastic Moon colony and decide how to power it. Students use the engineering design process, which includes researching various types of energy sources and evaluating which would be best for their moon colonies.

Subject:
Engineering
Astronomy
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Brian Kay
Janet Yowell
Jessica Butterfield
Jessica Todd
Karen King
Sam Semakula
Date Added:
10/14/2015
Navigating at the Speed of Satellites
Conditions of Use:
Read the Fine Print
Rating

For thousands of years, navigators have looked to the sky for direction. Today, celestial navigation has simply switched from using natural objects to human-created satellites. A constellation of satellites, called the Global Positioning System, and hand-held receivers allow for very accurate navigation. In this lesson, students investigate the fundamental concepts of GPS technology trilateration and using the speed of light to calculate distances.

Subject:
Engineering
Astronomy
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Janet Yowell
Jeff White
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Matt Lippis
Penny Axelrad
Date Added:
09/18/2014