Lunar and Planetary Institute

Jupiter's Family Secrets
EXPLORE! Solar System

Welcome to Jupiter's Family Secrets

Explore! Jupiter's Family Secrets will acquaint you with Jupiter and NASA's upcoming Juno mission! The activities showcase how the Juno mission will unveil Jupiter's deepest secrets, including clues about how our solar system formed and Jupiter's unique traits. You may design your own program of one or more of these flexible selections, or you may choose to build the story of the Juno mission and its science through the complete series of activities! Background information and facilitator resources are provided to help you prepare to lead the activities. The activities are suitable for children ages 8 to 13, with a rich selection of deeper investigations for children ages 11 to 13. Encourage further exploration with the books, websites, and videos listed in the resources section.

Children read about the members of our solar system family and then create scale models of their sizes and distances in the introductory activities Jump Start: Jupiter! and Jump to Jupiter. Children and their families see the planets for themselves in the night viewing event, Planet Party. The children use modeling and experiments to explore Jupiter's unique personality traits, including its dynamic weather (Weather Stations), mysterious interior (Investigating the Insides and Jiggly Jupiter), and amazing magnetic field (Neato-Magneto Planets). In From Your Birthday to Jupiter's, they consider their personal history, a cultural origins story, and the scientific understanding of Jupiter's — and our solar system's — formation. They discover Jupiter's monumental size, mass, and gravitational pull in the Big Kid on the Block sequence: Solar System in My Neighborhood, Dunking the Planets, Heavyweight Champion: Jupiter!, and The Pull of the Planets. They summarize their experiences with a scrapbooking activity, My Trip to Jupiter. Throughout the activities, the children record their observations and findings in a My Trip to Jupiter journal, which is also provided in sections for use in individual activities.

Explore these activities on this website, or download a complete PDF packet at

Last updated
July 30, 2012