Solar System 101
NASA’s Solar System 101 borrows from computer games designers to create a visually engaging website for students in grades 5-8.
Introduction to the Solar System
Planets opens with an overview of the solar system and features a menu of images, 10 need-to-know-things, extreme facts, timeline, most recent missions, news, homework helper, and people. Clicking a planet, moon, comet or other object on the page’s solar system map provides information pertaining to the specific body under the previously listed menu categories. Students can also use the menu bar at the page top or the solar system graphic navigate the website.
Activities & Games
The Games section offers puzzles, ion engines, and your weight in space. The ion engine section has eight interactive lessons that let students experiment with positive and negative charges and prepare them to use two ion simulations. A culminating activity challenges students to design an ion engine.
K-4 Kids has puzzles, coloring books, art gallery, videos of a space school musical, a kid-friendly solar system, and links to more NASA sites for kids.
Homework Helper houses information for student reports. Side tabs provide facts, links to more detailed NASA information, PowerPoint templates and other report building help, and videos. Tabs across the top provide additional information and help.
Do-It-Yourself provides students with PDF model building resources rated easy to challenging for a space fleet, tips for creating a scale model solar system, tips for making your own 3D images, solar system cookbook, instructions for making your own 3D glasses, and a gallery of student art.