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Planetary Image Catalog - NASA

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4 to 12
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NASA offers an easy-to-use collection of images of the planets, their moons, and other comets, asteroids, and similar objects that pass by from time to time. Many of the images ...more
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NASA offers an easy-to-use collection of images of the planets, their moons, and other comets, asteroids, and similar objects that pass by from time to time. Many of the images are indexed by the mission which obtained them, but the thumbnails will help you find what you're looking for. Great image resource for a solar system unit.

tag(s): moon (75), planets (130), solar system (121)

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NASA Express Lesson - NASA

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6 to 12
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This page is the "front door" to a collection of NASA lesson units dealing with assorted topics in astronomy, aeronautics, and science. Each unit contains a collection of on-line and...more
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This page is the "front door" to a collection of NASA lesson units dealing with assorted topics in astronomy, aeronautics, and science. Each unit contains a collection of on-line and classroom materials. You'll find the typical NASA depth of content; the challenge is fitting it into available time and resources. Still, these lessons can be a great resource.

tag(s): aeronautics (13), space (226)

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Project Starshine - NASA

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6 to 12
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NASA's student-participation satellite project has enlisted students to help polish mirrors for a series of satellites students can actually spot from space. The site includes information...more
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NASA's student-participation satellite project has enlisted students to help polish mirrors for a series of satellites students can actually spot from space. The site includes information on how to spot a satellite, how to participate in a mirror polishing assignment, and the objectives of the starshine spacecraft. Try it for a hands-on space study.

tag(s): nasa (37), stars (69)

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NSF Classroom Resources - National Science Foundation

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4 to 12
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This is a collection of science and math lessons and web resources ranging from how the Internet works to nanoscience, engineering, biology, and principles of physics and chemistry....more
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This is a collection of science and math lessons and web resources ranging from how the Internet works to nanoscience, engineering, biology, and principles of physics and chemistry. The content is predictably detailed, "real science" based on topics and phenomena that will interest students. These are the best of the best lessons and resources with applicability to lots of settings.

tag(s): antarctica (29), arctic (46), biomes (139), chemicals (45), computers (100), cultures (108), earth (222), engineering (133), environment (321), fractions (229), geometric shapes (171), numbers (195), origami (15), planets (130), robotics (27), space (226), symmetry (51)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site as a reference site for finding further material. Under each subject find a varity of formats from forums and articles, to videos, interactives, podcasts, experiments and more. Some of the resources on this site may lead to a starting point for individual or group projects. Use parts of this site at a center. Share this site with staff (especially new teachers) and parents looking to extend science and math activities at home.

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The Mir Spacecraft - Terror in Space - PBS

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6 to 12
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The Russian Mir space station is how history, but this site from the PBS NOVA series provides a nice overview of the first permanent space station and how it fell ...more
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The Russian Mir space station is how history, but this site from the PBS NOVA series provides a nice overview of the first permanent space station and how it fell victim to the changes in Russia's economy and politics. Great images and interviews, too.

tag(s): space (226)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a learning center or station during a unit on space exploration. The activity can be very time consuming if inclusive of everything on the site - to be more efficient pre-select which sections you want students to explore. To guide students along the site we recommend using a graphic organizer. For help finding easy to make or pre-prepared organizers, we recommend Graphic Organizer Maker, reviewed here.

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ISS Virtual Tour - NASA

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6 to 12
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This is NASA's virtual reality tour of the space station. Visit the different sections of the space station beginning with the Russian section (Zarya and Zvezda) and proceeding through...more
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This is NASA's virtual reality tour of the space station. Visit the different sections of the space station beginning with the Russian section (Zarya and Zvezda) and proceeding through each section. Your students will master the quirky controls more quickly than you do, and it's a great exploration.

tag(s): space (226)

In the Classroom

Introduce this activity with a projector or on an interactive whiteboard to show students how to navigate the site. Then, in your flipped or blended classroom (or at a computer center), have students explore on their own. Use this site as a learning center or station during a unit on space. To show what they have learned from this site, challenge students to create an interactive infographic using Canva, reviewed here.

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Real-time Tracking - NASA

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6 to 12
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NASA's real-time data site lets you see where and when you can spot the space station with the naked eye. Find "View From the ISS" and click "more photos" under ...more
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NASA's real-time data site lets you see where and when you can spot the space station with the naked eye. Find "View From the ISS" and click "more photos" under that to explore more images taken from the space station. You will need to click on the icon for the image to see a larger version with an explanation.

tag(s): space (226)

In the Classroom

Before Introducing this sight, look through the photos and choose several that lend themselves to further student exploration, i.e. "cubesats." Then, introduce the site to your class as a whole with your projection system. Show student pairs the images to look at and then have them research more about the topic. Have students take notes on the material and write down questions they still have and topics that confuse them. Use Webnote, reviewed here; tell students to be sure to save the URL to share their notes and questions with you and their peers. Once students have gathered all their information, images, and videos challenge pairs to create a digital book using Book Creator, reviewed here. With Book Creator, students can combine their books later as a class book.

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Images from Nasa - NASA

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2 to 12
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This is a nicely indexed, searchable collection of NASA photos whose topics range from aeronautics to space, the planets, and beyond. Most are copyright-free, since they were created...more
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This is a nicely indexed, searchable collection of NASA photos whose topics range from aeronautics to space, the planets, and beyond. Most are copyright-free, since they were created for government use. While some image sizes are quite large, this could be a wonderful resource for creating web projects, student use, or other space and astronomy applications.

tag(s): air (145), images (283), space (226)

In the Classroom

Use the images on this site to create a visual discovery activity in your classroom, introducing the topic of Solar Flares, or another outer space related topic. Select 3-5 images from this site, choosing the most powerful and moving images. Placing the images on individual slides, allow students 1-2 minutes to observe each image. During that time period, students should be taking notes based on what they observe, predict and infer about each image. The more powerful and detailed the image is, the more information students can take out. After the class has observed all the chosen images, have a class discussion based on the notes students took. This is a great way to introduce content in a way that gets students thinking, as well as avoiding the typical lecture format.

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Hubble Space Telescope Site

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6 to 12
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This site is the home page for the Hubble space telescope. In addition to a collection of fabulous photographs, the site offers descriptions of the Hubble's various missions (see the...more
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This site is the home page for the Hubble space telescope. In addition to a collection of fabulous photographs, the site offers descriptions of the Hubble's various missions (see the menu at the bottom of the page) and the information it has collected since an in-flight repair several years ago restored its "eyesight." Well worth a visit, especially for the images.

tag(s): telescopes (10)

In the Classroom

Save this site as a favorite on classroom computers, for use during a unit on space exploration. Begin the unit by introducing the site on the interactive whiteboard or projector before allowing students to explore it on their own. Have students create an online infographic to share using Visme, reviewed here, to show what they have learned.

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Galileo's Villa

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6 to 12
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This site uses Galileo's Villa as the starting point for a lengthy description of the famous astronomer's life, times, and scientific obsevations and achievements. The site is by no...more
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This site uses Galileo's Villa as the starting point for a lengthy description of the famous astronomer's life, times, and scientific obsevations and achievements. The site is by no means new, and it consists mostly of text. That said, the articles will retain the attention of an interested student.

tag(s): galileo (6)

In the Classroom

Use this site as the starting point for individual or group projects. Post the resource on your teacher web page to allow students to use it for research both in and out of the classroom. This site would be a great source for any student working on a biography of Galileo, a report on the Inquisition, or the beginnings of astronomy.

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Auroras: Paintings in the Sky - The Exploratorium

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6 to 12
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This web site shows and tells all about auroras, seen both from the earth and from space. A self-guided tour explains how and why they occur and includes sound clips ...more
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This web site shows and tells all about auroras, seen both from the earth and from space. A self-guided tour explains how and why they occur and includes sound clips from a NASA scientist. The pictures are excellent, text is well-written, and links to other aurora information are included. You can also post your own ideas here. Sound files are accessed with RealAudio, available in the TeachersFirst toolbox.

tag(s): space (226)

In the Classroom

A special section for teachers gives classroom suggestions and ideas for assignments based on this site. You can also post your own ideas here. Sound files are accessed with RealAudio, available in the TeachersFirst toolbox.

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Spectra From Space - The Exploratorium

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7 to 12
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Neil Fetter, The Exploratorium - This well-designed site explains four different kinds of space telescopes, including the Hubble, then outlines hands-on activities to reinforce key...more
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Neil Fetter, The Exploratorium - This well-designed site explains four different kinds of space telescopes, including the Hubble, then outlines hands-on activities to reinforce key concepts. Photos of the activities help explain what to do. This site is a set of lessons in itself.

tag(s): space (226), telescopes (10)

In the Classroom

Introduce each of the kinds of space telescopes on your interactive whiteboard or with projector by reading the section titled Purpose and Discoveries. Consider using Wordie,, reviewed here, or Academic Word Finder, reviewed here, to introduce difficult portions of text before reading. Once you've introduced the space telescope, allow pairs to complete the activity.

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Astrophysics Lesson Plans - NASA

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6 to 12
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Created by the High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center which is located within the Laboratory for High Energy Astrophysics (LHEA) at NASA/GSFC. This is an incredible...more
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Created by the High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center which is located within the Laboratory for High Energy Astrophysics (LHEA) at NASA/GSFC. This is an incredible site. It gives easy to read tables of previously taught background necessary for the students to successfully complete the experiments, necessary materials (for both teacher and students), copy ready data tables, and lesson plans. There is also a list of featured programs (with and without curriculum).

tag(s): gravity (50), space (226), stars (69)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of these free lesson plans for any unit on astrophysics. Search the site to find the appropriate lesson tools, and bring them up on an interactive whiteboard or projector. A lot of the activities can be used for a class activity, or you could also break students up into cooperative learning groups and have them complete them separately. Make sure to post this site on your teacher web page to allow students to access it both in and out of the classroom for review. Challenge small groups of students to create and interactive infographic using a too such as Visme, reviewed here, about what they are learning and what they are still questioning. Challenge cooperative learning groups create podcasts demonstrating their understanding of one of the concepts. Use a tool such as Buzzsprout, reviewed here.

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Astronomy & Space Lessons - Univ. California Berkeley

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4 to 12
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This collection from the Science Education Gateway at U.C. Berkeley includes lessons for elementary and middle school students that use the web to introduce concepts such as measuring...more
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This collection from the Science Education Gateway at U.C. Berkeley includes lessons for elementary and middle school students that use the web to introduce concepts such as measuring the temperature of the sun and tracking the orbits of satellites. As a group, they introduce serious science in an approachable manner. Students will need Internet access to use most of the lessons.

tag(s): space (226)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of these free lesson plans for any unit on astronomy. Search the site to find the appropriate lesson tools, and bring them up on an interactive whiteboard or projector. A lot of the activities can be used for a class activity, or you could also break students up into cooperative learning groups and have them complete them separately. Make sure to post this site on your teacher web page to allow students to access it both in and out of the classroom for review. Challenge cooperative learning groups create podcasts demonstrating their understanding of one of the concepts. Use a site such as Buzzsprout, reviewed here.

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The Satellite Site - The Tech Museum

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4 to 12
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Here's a chance for your space students to build their own satellite, learn about different types of satellites, their orbits, and how they operate. Developed by M.I.T. with help from...more
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Here's a chance for your space students to build their own satellite, learn about different types of satellites, their orbits, and how they operate. Developed by M.I.T. with help from Lockheed Martin, the site includes a number of interactive Java applets that kids can use to test out their own skills. A Java-capable browser is a must.

tag(s): space (226)

In the Classroom

Have small groups compete to see who can design and make the most interesting satellite!

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NASA's SpaceLink - NASA

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1 to 12
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This is NASA's "home page" for school-related information. There's almost too much here, and figuring out where to go next can be a problem. It's a good starting point, though, ...more
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This is NASA's "home page" for school-related information. There's almost too much here, and figuring out where to go next can be a problem. It's a good starting point, though, especially when used in conjunction with the other NASA resources on this page.

tag(s): space (226)

In the Classroom

Open this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector and access the "e-clips." The clips are short video segments that would be an excellent supplement for any lesson on NASA related materials. After completing a lecture, show students a clip to re-enforce the message, and they will be sure to be more interested and see the theories in practical application!

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NASA Kids Club

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4 to 12
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This is NASA's starting point for kids interested in NASA activities. Introduced in June, 1999, it offers dozens of NASA web resources groups into logical categories. Given the hundreds...more
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This is NASA's starting point for kids interested in NASA activities. Introduced in June, 1999, it offers dozens of NASA web resources groups into logical categories. Given the hundreds of pages that NASA has on the web, this page should make it easier for students to find information they can use.

tag(s): space (226)

In the Classroom

After introducing the site with a projector or on an interactive whiteboard, allow students to explore on their own then choose a topic of interest for further research. Have older students make a multimedia presentation or create a digital story about their topic using Adobe Spark, reviewed here. Younger students could create a digital story around their topic using My Storybook, reviewed here. Post a link to this website for students to share with parents at home.

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The International Space Station - A Virtual Reality Tour - CNN

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4 to 12
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CNN offers a virtual reality tour of the International Space Station. It's a great way to explore the station's various components and construction. You'll need a computer with a 166...more
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CNN offers a virtual reality tour of the International Space Station. It's a great way to explore the station's various components and construction. You'll need a computer with a 166 MHz processor or better, and the Cosmo player plug-in for your browser. Depending on the speed of your modem connection, the demo could take 3-5 minutes to load. It's worth the wait.

tag(s): space (226)

In the Classroom

After taking this virtual tour with the entire class, set up a link on classroom computers for those who have a high interest in space and space flight.

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The International Space Station - NASA

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6 to 12
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This is NASA's ISS home page, containing basic information and links to a number of other resources on the construction and uses of the space station. ...more
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This is NASA's ISS home page, containing basic information and links to a number of other resources on the construction and uses of the space station.

tag(s): space (226)

In the Classroom

After introducing students to this site and showing them how to navigate the resources, set up a link on classroom computers for those who have a high interest in space and space flight.

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The International Space Station - City in Space - Discovery Channel

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4 to 12
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Discovery Channel offers a collection of multi-medial and virtual reality demonstrations showing how the international space station will be assembled and function. The site includes...more
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Discovery Channel offers a collection of multi-medial and virtual reality demonstrations showing how the international space station will be assembled and function. The site includes explanations of the scientific and diplomatic objectives of the space station project.

tag(s): space (226)

In the Classroom

Use this site on a projector or interactive whiteboard to discuss and informally assess prior knowledge as you start your study of space exploration. Allow students to access the site on individual computers or the interactive whiteboard to take a closer look at the virtual tours provided of the space station. This site would also be a good jumping point in discussing habitats and human needs. After students have looked at the site, put them in small groups to design their own "space station." Have them include and discuss things that they see as needs, wants, and other objects they couldn't live in space without.

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