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Space Science

Viewing Ideas

Astrospies
Use Google Earth to simulate what satellites "see" from different distances from Earth...

Galileo's Battle for the Heavens
Ask students what they know about Galileo Galilei. Where and when did he live?...

Hunt for Alien Worlds
It's nearly impossible to actually see planets next to distant stars. However, there are ways to collect evidence that can be used to infer their existence...

Kidnapped by UFOs?
Have students draw images of space creatures that they may have seen in books, on television, or in movies...

MARS Dead or Alive
Ask students to imagine that they can visit Mars. What would they want to find out about the planet?...

Monster of the Milky Way
List on the board what students know about black holes. Where did students learn their information (e.g., science fiction books or movies, articles, news reports)?...

NOVA scienceNOW: 10th Planet
Discuss the following questions as a class: Why is it important to have a clear definition of a planet? Why is it important, in science, to classify objects and use precise vocabulary?...

NOVA scienceNOW: Asteroid
Use a concept map to review asteroid-related terms...

NOVA scienceNOW: Dark Matter
Demonstrate a way to prove invisible matter has mass

NOVA scienceNOW: Phoenix Mars Lander
Ask student pairs or groups to discuss and write down their ideas about what it means for something to be alive

NOVA scienceNOW: Saving Hubble
Explore the major discoveries of the Hubble Space Telescope

NOVA scienceNOW: Space Elevator
Familiarize students with terms related to the space elevator...

NOVA scienceNOW: Space Storms
Make a concept map of the aurora-formation process

NOVA scienceNOW: The Search for ET
Survey students' opinions about whether we are alone in the universe

Origins: Back to the Beginning
Ask students how they think TV images are transmitted. (Via radio waves.) How do they think a television remote works? (Through infrared waves.) How does a light bulb give off light? (With light waves.)...

Origins: Earth is Born
The universe is about 14 billion years old, while Earth is estimated to be about 4.6 billion years old. Homo sapiens evolved about 600,000 years ago. Have students calculate...

Origins: Where are the Aliens?
To help students understand that the light they see from stars is a snapshot of what happened long ago, have them consider light from the sun. If the sun stopped shining, how long before anyone on Earth would see it "go out"?...

Runaway Universe
Ask students what kind of objects they see when they look up into the sky. Review the visible objects students might see...

Sputnik Declassified
To help students understand the historical context in which Sputnik was launched, have them make a time line that includes political events on the top and space exploration events on the bottom part of the time line...

Terror in Space
Astronauts were sent to Mir to help scientists understand some of the effects of living in space for extended periods of time. Ask students what they think are some of the challenges...

Time Travel
Have students debate this quote from physicist Stephen Hawking: "Time travel might be possible, but if that's the case why haven't we been overrun by tourists from the future?"...

Voyage to the Mystery Moon
The evening before showing the program, have students observe the night sky...

Welcome to Mars
Find a map of Mars and help students locate where on Mars each of the rovers were directed to land (Spirit was sent to Gusev Crater, Opportunity to Meridiani Planum)...

Teacher's Guides by Subject Space Science
Space Science
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