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Lesson Title: Is it Safe?
May 11, 2012

Unit: Earth and Space Science - Universe

Grade Levels: 7-9

Connection To Curriculum: Science and Technology

Teacher Prep Time: 1 hour

Lesson Time Needed: 4 hours

Complexity Moderate

Keywords: stars, nebula, Hubble Space Telescope, galaxy, stellar evolution


Drawing supplies (colored pencils or crayons)
Three-ring binder
20 pocket-style sheet protectors
Four clipboards
Four composition-style notebooks
Science display board
Styrofoam ball
Package of pipe cleaners (multicolored)
Glue sticks
Heavy-duty Velcro
Felt markers (multiple colors)

This lesson guide integrates a series of activities designed to look at how we are protected from the sun's atmosphere.

Students will:
• Contrast the geologic features of Venus and Mars with Earth in terms of protection from solar radiation.
• Employ data about solar emissions to produce a space weather newscast.

First page of Is It Safe?

Lesson Guide
Is It Safe? Lesson
[109KB PDF file]



Professional Development Training Module for This Lesson

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Lesson Activities and Sequence
The suggested sequence introduces students to the geologic features, which protect life on Earth from solar radiation, and then leads students to study the daily fluctuations in the solar atmosphere to produce a space weather report.

  1. Astroventure Geology Mission
    Students explore the roles of various geologists as they compare the geology of Earth, Mars and Venus in an online tutorial and activity.
    Keywords: astrobiology, radiation, planetary geology, space weather, magnetosphere

  2. Space Weather Action Centers
    Students investigate solar storms and their effect on the Earth to produce a space weather daily report.
    Keywords: space weather, radiation, magnetosphere, aurora, northern lights

National Standards:

National Science Education Standards, NSTA
Science as Inquiry
• Skills necessary to become independent inquirers about the natural world.
• An appreciation of "how we know" what we know in science.

Physical Science
• Interactions of energy and matter.
• Transfer of energy.

Earth and Space Science
• Earth in the solar system.

History and Nature of Science
• Science as a human endeavor.

ISTE NETS Performance Indicators for Students, ISTE
Research and Information Fluency
• Process data and report results.

Critical Thinking, Problem Solving and Decision Making
• Collect and analyze data to identify solutions and make informed decisions.


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Page Last Updated: July 28th, 2013
Page Editor: NASA Administrator