Artemis from NASA

BY REBECCAH HAINES

It is no surprise that NASA is a great resource for science teachers, and this page on Solar System Exploration does not disappoint.

The website is as well organized as you’d expect from NASA, with the usual sections for kids and educators.  Like a lot of NASA sites, you can find kid-friendly information and lesson plans. What is different, however, is a thematic search for educators. Five themes — “What We Explore,” “Early Solar System,” “Planetary Processes and Weather,” “Astrobiology,” and “How We Explore” — all include a six-tabbed page at which you can find background information, science questions, education activities, related NASA missions, and careers. It is very well organized and would be helpful for any time-strapped educator.

An additional fun and different feature I found in the Kids’ section was Space School Musical — think High School Musical with a NASA twist. You can view the segments online and even download the transcripts so that you can have your kids sing along with new classics such as S-P-A-C-E and Moon Dance. Other nifty features include a multimedia gallery complete with interactives, videos, audio, and downloads. There is also a section on the planets (and other celestial bodies) that include facts and figures, pictures, and featured lesson plans and/or activities.

Finally, there is a section on NASA’s exploratory missions that can be searched by various criteria. Once you select a particular mission, you can find out its goals, accomplishments, and key people. I used this particular feature with my students in which they created an illustrated time line of space exploration.

Solar System Exploration

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