the NASA Johnson Space Center: Astromaterials Research Office
This is a set of 17 inquiry-based lessons on Earth's moon: its properties, formation, and geological history. Designed for use in middle school, the lessons are organized into three units: 1) Pre-Apollo, 2) Learning from Apollo, and 3) The future of lunar exploration. Activities were developed to provide concrete experiences and models. For example, one lesson explores lunar surface formation by using crumbled toast and Oreo cookie crumbs. Another uses marbles, ball bearings, and golf balls to model impact cratering.
Educators who complete a cost-free certification process with NASA may have use of a Lunar Sample Disk and accompanying slide show for classroom use.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Since this resource was created, scientists have discovered compelling evidence of the presence of water at the Moon's polar regions. See Related Materials for more on this topic.
Does not have a copyright, license, or other use restriction.
Use and reproduction of NASA images, video, and audio materials is permitted for educational or informational purposes, provided NASA is acknowledged as the source.
9-12: 1B/H3. Sometimes, scientists can control conditions in order to obtain evidence. When that is not possible, practical, or ethical, they try to observe as wide a range of natural occurrences as possible to discern patterns.
4. The Physical Setting
4G. Forces of Nature
6-8: 4G/M1. Every object exerts gravitational force on every other object. The force depends on how much mass the objects have and on how far apart they are. The force is hard to detect unless at least one of the objects has a lot of mass.
AAAS Benchmark Alignments (1993 Version)
1. THE NATURE OF SCIENCE
B. Scientific Inquiry
1B (6-8) #4. New ideas in science sometimes spring from unexpected findings, and they usually lead to new investigations.
2. THE NATURE OF MATHEMATICS
C. Mathematical Inquiry
2C (6-8) #2. When mathematicians use logical rules to work with representations of things, the results may or may not be valid for the things themselves. Using mathematics to solve a problem requires choosing what mathematics to use; probably making some simplifying assumptions, estimates, or approximations; doing computations; and then checking to see whether the answer makes sense. If an answer does not seem to make enough sense for its intended purpose, then any of these steps might have been inappropriate.
4. THE PHYSICAL SETTING
B. The Earth
4B (6-8) #6. Climates have sometimes changed abruptly in the past as a result of changes in the earth's crust, such as volcanic eruptions or impacts of huge rocks from space. Even relatively small changes in atmospheric or ocean content can have widespread effects on climate if the change lasts long enough.
<a href="http://www.compadre.org/portal/items/detail.cfm?ID=9888">NASA Johnson Space Center: Astromaterials Research Office. Exploring the Moon. Houston: NASA Johnson Space Center: Astromaterials Research Office, November 19, 2007.</a>
Exploring the Moon. (2007, November 19). Retrieved January 19, 2017, from NASA Johnson Space Center: Astromaterials Research Office: http://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/topnav/materials/listbytype/Exploring.the.Moon.html
NASA Johnson Space Center: Astromaterials Research Office. Exploring the Moon. Houston: NASA Johnson Space Center: Astromaterials Research Office, November 19, 2007. http://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/topnav/materials/listbytype/Exploring.the.Moon.html (accessed 19 January 2017).
Exploring the Moon. Houston: NASA Johnson Space Center: Astromaterials Research Office, 1997. 19 Nov. 2007. 19 Jan. 2017 <http://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/topnav/materials/listbytype/Exploring.the.Moon.html>.
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%0 Electronic Source %D November 19, 2007 %T Exploring the Moon %I NASA Johnson Space Center: Astromaterials Research Office %V 2017 %N 19 January 2017 %8 November 19, 2007 %9 text/html %U http://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/topnav/materials/listbytype/Exploring.the.Moon.html
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