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Ice in the Solar System

Part Two of Explore! Ice Worlds Ice in the Solar System investigates the who, what, where, why, and how of exploring ice in the solar system. Children ages 8 to 13 examine different types of ices, discover where these different ices occur in the solar system, how scientists determine what ice is where, meet some of the scientists who are exploring these ice worlds, and explore why their work is so important!

Ice and Seek: What is Ice?
In this two–part, 60-minute activity, children ages 8 to 13 begin explorations of ice on planets and moons in our solar system by building an understanding that there are different types of ice. As teams, the children examine three types of ice — dry ice, alcohol ice, and water ice. They identify the ices based on clues and then match the type of ice to the planet or moon on which it occurs.

Reflections on Ice: How We Look for Ice
To build an understanding of how scientists study ice properties remotely, children ages 8 to 13, observe ice through different wavelengths of light. In this 60 minutes of exploration, teams of children travel to three ice stations and examine the ice with black lights, flashlights, and colored lenses to discover that there is more to ice than meets the eye!

Ice Zones: Where We Look for Ice
In this 30 minute activity, children, ages 8 to 13, draw conclusions about where on a planetary body scientists might look for ice – and why.  They use a clay ball, ice cubes, and a heat lamp to model the permanently-shadowed polar regions of planets and moons that may harbor ice.  They learn that our Moon and even Mercury may have areas with ice!

Ice Quest!
In this 45–60-minute activity, children ages 8 to 13 take on the roles of NASA scientists! They seek information collected from remote locations to ultimately answer questions about ice on Earth and in our solar system and discover why ice is so important. Children work individually or in teams of three to four on a quest for ice! Each team rolls a die that directs them to one of six posters at each turn. They collect information that will help them construct solutions — or challenge their advancement — in the game.


Last updated
September 18, 2009



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