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Strange New Planet

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In this simulation of space exploration, participants plan and carry out five missions to a “planet” and communicate their discoveries to their family or a friend.

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  • Rating 
  • Participants Enjoyed the Activity 
    Participants Learned from This Activity 
    Activity Instructions Were Clear and Easy to Follow 
    Would Recommend 

Related Programming Resources

Related Links Websites:
• NASA’s Eyes on the Solar System
Learn about our home planet, our solar system, the universe beyond, and the spacecraft exploring them with this downloadable application

Handouts:
• Our Solar System
lithographs (NASA educational product number LS-2013-07-003-HQ)

Images:
• NASA Solar System Exploration
• Planetary PhotoJournal (NASA/JPL)
Originating Source Lunar and Planetary Institute/National Center for Interactive Learning
Adapted from Mars Activities: Teacher Resources and Classroom Activities, a Mars Education Program product from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Arizona State University.
Related Books
[Suggest a book]
• How to Be a Space Explorer: Your Out-of-This-World Adventure (Brake, Mark, 2014)
• Are there other Earths? (Portman, M., 2013)

Reviews

Rating 
Participants Enjoyed the Activity 
Participants Learned from This Activity 
Activity Instructions Were Clear and Easy to Follow 
Would Recommend 
12/06/2017

A fun and inventive program choice!

I recently did this activity in two library programs, one for 1st-2nd graders, and the other for 3rd-4th, and it was a delight! Because of time and space constraints (we did not have enough room to do the distance viewing), I adapted the activity slightly, in that I had the children pretend to be astronauts and they "landed" on their planets. They were able to use their senses to evaluate the planets, and I gave them observation sheets to record what they saw. What colors were there, was there signs of life (Stickers!), what was the terrain like (I used hot glue to create a terrain, rather than modeling clay), was the planet heavy or light (golf balls hidden inside made for a weightier planet), was it a warm planet or a cold one (cold were put in a freezer beforehand)? For the older kids, we also had them write more in-depth observations and draw what they thought life might be like on their planet. Overall, it was a fun program and activity, and the information provided was really handy!

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Strange New Planet

Strange New Planet

In this simulation of space exploration, participants plan and carry out five missions to a “planet” and communicate their discoveries to their family or a friend.