Our Solar Neighborhood

Target Audience
  • Students
Hosting Center(s)
  • Armstrong Flight Research Center
  • Goddard Space Flight Center
  • Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • Kennedy Space Center
Subject Category
  • Earth Science
  • Physical Science
Unit Correlation
  • Exploring NASA Missions
  • Exploring Space
  • Exploring Earth
Grade Level
  • K-04
Minimum Delivery Time
  • 030 min(s)
Maximum Connection Time
  • 050 min(s)

Event Focus

Our solar system is a vast area with planets, asteroids, comets, and other objects orbiting one star, our Sun. What are the distinguishing characteristics of the planets in our solar system, the distances between them, and the paths they travel?



This module is appropriate for video conference AND web conference presentation


During this event, students will exchange information about our distinctive planets orbiting one massive star, our Sun. They will learn about current NASA missions and how we use the information gathered to further our exploration of space.  We hope that you will join us for a journey of discovery about our unique solar system.  Join us and let the discovery begin!




Instructional Objectives




The learner will share prior knowledge about the solar system, such as objects found in the system, and universe with the NASA Education Specialist


The learner will  identify and discuss physical characteristics of the Sun, planets, and asteroids


The learner will distinguish the difference between planets and stars, categorize the planets as major and dwarf planets, and examine the reasons why planets are different sizes by applying their knowledge of the states of matter



The learner will  illustrate the distances planets travel around the Sun by creating a bar graph during the videoconference


The learner will  demonstrate their understanding of the solar system by completing a post-activity assessment, and compare their results from their pre-activity assessment


Sequence of Events


Pre-Conference Activities



The links below are previews of the activities only. For the complete module and event information, please see the Complete Educator Guide link.


          K-4 Complete Educator Guide           



"Make a Solar Model" Activity: Have students work individually or in teams to build their scale model solar system.


          2-4 Make a Solar Model Activity             



“Planet Facts” Activity: Students will discover interesting facts about each planet through this activity.


          2-4 Planet Facts Activity             




Videoconference Activities




Post-Conference Activities



More astronomy activities:




Find out your weight and age on other planets:




Kids study Hubble Space Telescope:



Ask an Astronomer your questions at:






Science Standards (NSES) Science as Inquiry Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry Understandings about scientific inquiry


Physical Science Properties of objects and materials


Life Science Characteristics of organisms


Earth and Space Science Objects in the sky


Science and Technology Understandings about science and technology Abilities to distinguish between natural and objects made by humans


History and Nature of Science Science as a human endeavor


Orbital Period Graph Activity: Data analysis and probability Connections Representation Solar System Scale Activity: Problem Solving Measurement Spatial Relationships Representation of a real world situation with models (including use of scale factors) Connections

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Page Last Updated: November 5th, 2014
Page Editor: NASA Administrator