Children ages 8 and up will find the NASAKids site instructive and fun as they learn about the planets, play games, and view images.
Views of the Solar System offers solid introductory content about the Solar System including images, movies, animations, and illustrations. The site is best for young adults and adults.
NASA’s Solar System Exploration Forum provides the latest on missions (past/present/future) with images and releases, as well as up-to-date background information about our planetary bodies and moons. The education link includes materials, lesson plans, and resources for children and educators.
Enchanted Learning’s Zoom Astronomy offers a compendium of information for all ages, allowing readers to “zoom” to the appropriate level of information for each topic. The user friendly site provides a wealth of information on the planets, moons, smaller planetary bodies, and the origin of the solar system. There are numerous crafts, activities, and coloring pages offered as well.
StarChild is an interactive web site from NASA that challenges young children (ages 14 and under) with fun games, activities, and crafts. Two activity/information levels are provided for all topics.
The Nine Planets offers a multimedia tour of our solar system, including information about planets, moons, asteroids, comets, the Kuiper belt, and the Oort cloud that is most appropriate for young adults and adults. Each component has an overview of scientific information, and is accompanied by images, animations, and links.
Paper Plate Education
Children ages 10–13 can build 3-D models of the planets showing the interiors of each. Using paper plates and colored markers, children draw the layers of the planet to correspond in scale to the planet’s interior. The idea is flexible, but instructions are minimal. Images of planetary interiors can be found at Cutaway Planet Interiors.
The LPI offers a 3-D Tour of the Solar System that provides images of the Sun, planets, moons, and asteroids, and an overview of the entire solar system.
The Planetary Photojournal provides excellent images of the bodies of our Solar System. This site is suitable for children 11 and up and is easy to navigate.
Planetary Science Research Discoveries offers the latest research on meteorites, planets, and other solar system bodies from NASA-sponsored scientists. The site has a good search engine and is designed for young adults to adults.
The American Museum of Natural History’s Astronomy magazine for children ages 10–13 allows viewers to meet people who study astronomy and learn all about our Sun, the Milky Way Galaxy, and the universe. Hands-on activities and games are included.
The unique telescope of the Kepler Mission will be used for detecting terrestrial planets – but not those in our solar system! Kepler will be searching for rocky planets like Earth and Mars — around other stars!
January 9, 2007