Centre for Planetary Science and Exploration

Multi-Period Activities

These activities are designed to follow an inquiry-based learning approach. Students will develop their own experiment while working through the steps of the scientific method. The learning experience begins with a presentation to gain background information, followed by active research and the setup of an experiment. Finally, students perform the experiment they designed to gain better insight into a given topic. Multi-Period/ full and half day activities can be arranged by contacting us.

Impact Cratering

Meteor Crater in Arizona (OnlyImage)

Meteor Crater in Arizona

Craters are seen on every rocky body in the solar system, but understanding their characteristics and how they form continues to be a challenging task for planetary scientists. This activity focuses on answering some of those questions using an inquiry style activity.

Recommended Age Group: Grade 9-12 (Accomodation can be made for Grade 6-8)

Curriculum Connections: 

  • Grade 9 (Academic Science)
    • D2.4 gather and record data, using an inquiry or research process, on the properties of specific celestial objects within the solar system
    • D2.5 compare and contrast properties of celestial objects visible in the night sky, drawing on information gathered through research and using an appropriate format
    • D3.3 – Describe the major components of the solar system and the universe (e.g., planets, stars, galaxies), using appropriate scientific terminology and units (e.g., astronomical units, scientific notation, light years)
  • Grade 9 (Applied Science)
    • D2.3 use a research process to compile and analyze information on the characteristics of various objects in the universe
    • D3.2 compare the characteristics and properties of celestial objects that constitute the solar system
  • Grade 12 (Earth and Space Science)
    • C2.2 identify geological features and processes that are common to Earth and other bodies in the solar system (e.g., craters, faults, volcanic eruptions), and create a model or illustration to show these features, using data and images from satellites and space probes
    • C3.9 describe the major external processes and phenomena that affect Earth

Resources:

Mission Meteorite

Meteorite RKPA 79015 (NASA)

Meteorite RKPA 79015 (NASA)

Mission meteorite is an interactive station-based activity designed to help students understand the different types of meteorites using scientific inquiry methods and questioning. Students will have the opportunity to handle real meteorite samples, use microscopy to differentiate samples, and mine their very own ‘cookie’ meteorite. If you would like us to come in your classroom and conduct this workshop, please feel free to contact us.

Recommended Age Group: Grade 6-12 (Accomodation can be made for Grade 3-6)

Curriculum Connections:

  • Grade 4 (Understanding Earth and Space Science- Rocks and Minerals)
    • 1.1 assess the social and environmental costs and benefits of using objects in the built environment that are made from rocks and minerals
    • 1.2 analyse the impact on society and the environment of extracting and refining rocks and minerals for human use, taking different perspectives into account
    • 2.1 follow established safety procedures for outdoor activities and for working with tools, materials, and equipment
    • 2.2 use a variety of tests to identify the physical properties of minerals
    • 2.3 use a variety of criteria (e.g., colour, texture, lustre) to classify common rocks and minerals according to their characteristics
    • 2.4 use scientific inquiry/research skills (see page 15) to investigate how rocks and minerals are used, recycled, and disposed of in everyday life
    • 2.5 use appropriate science and technology vocabulary, including hardness, colour, lustre, and texture, in oral and written communication 2.6 use a variety of forms (e.g., oral, written, graphic, multimedia) to communicate with different audiences and for a variety of purposes (e.g., use a graphic organizer to show how rocks and minerals are used in daily life)
    • 3.1 describe the difference between rocks (composed of two or more minerals) and minerals (composed of the same substance throughout), and explain how these differences determine how they are used 3.2 describe the properties (e.g., colour, lustre, streak, transparency, hardness) that are used to identify minerals
    • 3.3 describe how igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks are formed
    • 3.4 describe the characteristics of the three classes of rocks), and explain how their characteristics are related to their origin
  • Grade 6 (Understanding Earth and Space Science)
    • 1.2 evaluate the social and environmental costs and benefits of space exploration, taking different points of view into account
    • 3.1 identify components of the solar system, including the sun, the earth, and other planets, natural satellites, comets, asteroids, and meteoroids, and describe their physical characteristics in qualitative terms
  • Grade 9 (Academic Science)
    • D1.2 assess some of the costs, hazards, and benefits of space exploration (e.g., the expense of developing new technologies, accidents resulting in loss of life, contributions to our knowledge of the universe), taking into account the benefits of technologies that were developed for the space program but that can be used to address environmental and other practical challenges on Earth
    • D2.4 gather and record data, using an inquiry or research process, on the properties of specific celestial objects within the solar system
    • D3.2 describe observational and theoretical evidence relating to the formation of the solar system
    • D3.5 explain the causes of astronomical phenomena and how various phenomena can best be observed from Earth
    • D3.6 describe various reasons that humankind has had for studying space
  • Grade 9 (Applied Science)
    • D1.1 research the challenges associated with space exploration, and explain the purpose of materials and technologies that were developed to address these challenges and how these materials and technologies are now used in other fields of endeavour
    • D2.3 use a research process to compile and analyse information on the characteristics of various objects in the universe
    • D3.2 compare the characteristics and properties of celestial objects that constitute the solar system, including their motion and their distance from other celestial objects in the solar system
    • D3.5 describe the causes of major astronomical phenomena and how various phenomena can best be observed from Earth
  • Grade 12  (Earth and Space Science)
    • C1.1 analyse political considerations related to, and economic and environmental consequences (actual and/or potential) of, exploration of the solar system
    • C2.2 identify geological features and processes that are common to Earth and other bodies in the solar system (e.g., craters, faults, volcanic eruptions), and create a model or illustration to show these features, using data and images from satellites and space probes
    • C2.4 investigate the ways in which interactions
    • between solid bodies have helped to shape the solar system, including Earth (e.g., the accretion of minor bodies)
    • C3.3 explain the formation of the solar system with reference to the fundamental forces and processes involved
    • C3.6 compare Earth with other objects in the solar system with respect to properties such as mass, size, composition, rotation, magnetic field, and gravitational field
    • C3.9 describe the major external processes and phenomena that affect Earth

Multiple single peroid activities can be combined into a theme for a full day or multi-day workshop. The theme for such multi-period activities can be discussed. Some of the examples of themes are:

Mission to Solar System 

Topics in this theme can include presentations and activities on topics such as the Tour of the Solar System, Small Bodies, and Mars & Moon Mapping.

Impacts

Topics in this theme can include presentations and activities on topics such as the Impact Cratering, Rocks from Space and Mining Space.

Space Technologies

Topics in this theme can include presentations and activities on topics such as the Hazards & Challenges of Space Exploration, Mining Space and Spin-off Technologies.