Centre for Planetary Science and Exploration

Single Period Activities

Single period presentations have been designed to be completed within 45-90 minutes, and engage students by involving them in the presentation and having activities to increase interaction. A list of the various topics can be found below:

The Moon

Earth rise as seen from the Moon (NASA)

Earth rise as seen from the Moon (NASA)

The aim of this presentation is to expose students to the Earth-Moon system and the impact this system has on the Earth. This presentation is activity driven, with the students actively playing out the roles of the Moon, Earth and Sun. With a personal model Moon, students will create the phases of the Moon by turning on the spot a set distance from a model Sun. Students will also see the effects of the various eclipses using these techniques. 

Recommended Age Group: Grade 3-7

Resources:

Mining Space

Conceptualization of the industrialization of space

Conceptualization of the industrialization of space

As our own planet’s resources are being depleted, are there other places we should begin to look to replenish those supplies? Not just science fiction anymore, this presentation will focus on the scientifically viable options currently being explored for off-world resources. If the organizer wishes, this presentation can be combined with the hands-on activity, the space lander challenge for greater student interaction.

Recommended Age Group: Grade 3-9

Resources:

Exploring and Mapping Mars

Martian Landscape, Pathfinder camera (NASA)

Martian Landscape, Pathfinder camera (NASA)

Why do the surfaces of some planetary bodies look so similar? This presentation will discuss how different planetary landscapes form, focusing on the Martian landscape. By comparing the Earth’s surface to that of Mars, concepts of erosion and mapping will be explored. A culminating activity will allow the students to identify and analyze what they have learned on a map of Mars.

Recommended Age Group: Grade 3-12

Hazards and Challenges of Space Exploration

Tarus booster lift-off. (Orbital Sciences Crop.)

Tarus booster lift-off (Orbital Sciences Crop.)

This presentation will discuss the hazards of human space flight and outline some of the challenges scientists and engineers face when trying to get to space. It will address the challenges of humans physically going to space, working in space, and of returning to the Earth, as well as the hazards of the space and planetary environments. Students will then participate in an engineering challenge where they design and create a "space lander". 

If the organizer wishes, this presentation can be supplemented with a space exploration debate. A long-standing debate among planetary scientists, politicians, and the public alike: should humans explore space? In this activity, students break into groups depending on their opinions (yes to human exploration, yes to robotic-only exploration, no to both, and undecided) and then get to debate the issues with guidance from experts.

Recommended Age Group: Grade 3-9

Resources:

Spin Off Technology

Wind turbine (Global Wind Group Inc.)

Tarus booster lift-off (Orbital Sciences Crop.)

What would life be like without space exploration? Students will learn about a variety of spinoff technologies while competing in three rounds of fun activities.

Recommended Age Group: Grade 3-9

Resources:

Meteorites: Rocks from Space

Meteorite RKPA 79015 (NASA)

Meteorite RKPA 79015 (NASA)

This presentation will explore the origins of meteorites, where they come from, how they get here and what they can tell us about the Earth, our solar system, and even the origin of life. It will also go into the collection of meteorites and why the best place on Earth to look for them is Antarctica.

Recommended Age Group: Grade 6-12

Resources:

Tour of the Solar System

Solar system montage (NASA)

Solar system montage (NASA)

Looking at the solar system through different eyes, this presentation will explore those solar-system bodies that are less frequently discussed.

This activity can be combined with Mission Meteorite to give students a better understanding through hands-ons interaction with the planetary material discussed in the presentation

Recommended Age Group: Grade 3-6

Resourses: