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published by 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.
Subjects Levels Resource Types
- Astronomy Education
= Curricula
- Solar System
= The Moon
- Space Exploration
= Human Exploration
- Middle School
- Informal Education
- Instructional Material
= Activity
= Curriculum
= Instructor Guide/Manual
= Laboratory
= Lesson/Lesson Plan
= Unit of Instruction
- Audio/Visual
= Image/Image Set
Appropriate Courses Categories Ratings
- Physical Science
- Physics First
- Conceptual Physics
- Lesson Plan
- Activity
- Laboratory
- New teachers
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Safety Warnings
Minimal Danger   No Safety Equipment Necessary  

Intended Users:
General Public
Access Rights:
Free access
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.
ARES, Apollo mission, NASA resource, astronomy research, lunar exploration, lunar lava, meteor crater, meteor impact, meteorites, moon craters, moon rocks, moon surface, regolith
Record Cloner:
Metadata instance created March 10, 2010 by Caroline Hall
Record Updated:
August 14, 2016 by Lyle Barbato
Last Update
when Cataloged:
November 19, 2007

AAAS Benchmark Alignments (2008 Version)

1. The Nature of Science

1B. Scientific Inquiry
  • 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)


B. Scientific Inquiry
  • 1B (6-8) #4.  New ideas in science sometimes spring from unexpected findings, and they usually lead to new investigations.


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.


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.
ComPADRE is beta testing Citation Styles!

Record Link
AIP Format
(NASA Johnson Space Center: Astromaterials Research Office, Houston, 1997), WWW Document, (https://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/topnav/materials/listbytype/Exploring.the.Moon.html).
Exploring the Moon, (NASA Johnson Space Center: Astromaterials Research Office, Houston, 1997), <https://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/topnav/materials/listbytype/Exploring.the.Moon.html>.
APA Format
Exploring the Moon. (2007, November 19). Retrieved November 28, 2020, from NASA Johnson Space Center: Astromaterials Research Office: https://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/topnav/materials/listbytype/Exploring.the.Moon.html
Chicago Format
NASA Johnson Space Center: Astromaterials Research Office. Exploring the Moon. Houston: NASA Johnson Space Center: Astromaterials Research Office, November 19, 2007. https://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/topnav/materials/listbytype/Exploring.the.Moon.html (accessed 28 November 2020).
MLA Format
Exploring the Moon. Houston: NASA Johnson Space Center: Astromaterials Research Office, 1997. 19 Nov. 2007. 28 Nov. 2020 <https://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/topnav/materials/listbytype/Exploring.the.Moon.html>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Title = {Exploring the Moon}, Publisher = {NASA Johnson Space Center: Astromaterials Research Office}, Volume = {2020}, Number = {28 November 2020}, Month = {November 19, 2007}, Year = {1997} }
Refer Export Format

%T Exploring the Moon
%D November 19, 2007
%I NASA Johnson Space Center: Astromaterials Research Office
%C Houston
%U https://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/topnav/materials/listbytype/Exploring.the.Moon.html
%O text/html

EndNote Export Format

%0 Electronic Source
%D November 19, 2007
%T Exploring the Moon
%I NASA Johnson Space Center: Astromaterials Research Office
%V 2020
%N 28 November 2020
%8 November 19, 2007
%9 text/html
%U https://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/topnav/materials/listbytype/Exploring.the.Moon.html

Disclaimer: ComPADRE offers citation styles as a guide only. We cannot offer interpretations about citations as this is an automated procedure. Please refer to the style manuals in the Citation Source Information area for clarifications.

Citation Source Information

The AIP Style presented is based on information from the AIP Style Manual.

The APA Style presented is based on information from APA Style.org: Electronic References.

The Chicago Style presented is based on information from Examples of Chicago-Style Documentation.

The MLA Style presented is based on information from the MLA FAQ.

Exploring the Moon:

Is Supplemented By Astronomy Behind the Headlines: Water on the Moon

A set of annotated links on selected books, articles, and web sites relating to lunar science. Includes a podcast about the search for water on the moon.

relation by Caroline Hall
Is Supplemented By http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/LCROSS/main/prelim_water_results.html

A NASA news release dated 11/09/2009 confirms that the LCROSS Mission located the presence of water on the south pole of Earth's Moon.

relation by Caroline Hall
Is Supplemented By http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2010/mar/HQ_10-055_moon_ice.html

This NASA news release dated 03/01/2010 confirms that radar aboard India's Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft located ice deposits at the Moon's north pole, further evidence of water on the Moon.

relation by Caroline Hall

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