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Interactive Internet Sites Books top
Adventures of Amelia the Pigeon (K-4) - a new interactive Web site from NASA. Has supporting lesson plans and hands-on activities to illustrate science concepts such as remote sensing, helping student to understand how scientists use satellite imagery to study Earth's environmental changes. Also on this site is Echo the Bat, which helps students learn about light and the electromagnetic spectrum (grades 5-8).
Apollo 11 - 30th Anniversary - This is a Web site for the 30th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. It has links to other NASA and non-NASA sites. Be sure to check out the galleries for great pictures. The timelines of Manned Apollo Missions and Lunar Exploration Chronology are really fascinating.
Astronomy and Space Sites
This website is a one stop shop when it comes to planning your astronomy lessons! There are numerous lessons on the solar system, the origin of the universe, stars and other stellar objects and more! Each grade level (elemenatry, middle and high) has links to lessons and activities on this webpage.
Astronomy Picture of the Moon - This site shows you the moon contiunually cycling through its phases. Be sure to click on "Discover the Cosmos". Each day a different image or photograph of the universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.
Astronomy Diagrams - For introductory astronomy classes.
Bad Astronomy Misconceptions - Phil Plait, find a series of refutations of commonly held beliefs regarding astronomy, for example: "Appalled at Apollo: Uncovering the Moon-Landing Hoax" the infamous "You can only balance an egg on end during an Equinox" urban legend, and even "Flushed with Pride: the Coriolis Effect in Your Potty."
Celesta - An extensive free download which students can use to research the planets, stars and other space topics. Also includes lesson plans.
The Center for Mars Exploration - A Web page outlining NASA's strategy for Mars exploration, including video clips from past missions.
Classroom Planetarium - Stellarium is a free open source planetarium for your computer. It shows a realistic sky in 3D, just like what you see with the naked eye, binoculars or a telescope. It is being used in planetarium projectors. Just set your coordinates and go.
Colonizing Mars - Will Earthlings ever try to inhabit Mars? What would a human colony look like? This site imagines a Mars where humans are landing at a rate of 2,000 a week. Take a look at what some people think is the fate of Mars and then imagine one of your own.
Earth and Moon Viewer - This site allows you to explore the earth and moon, viewing each from different perspectives. Additional links to other sites.
Earth Science Internet Campus - from EOA Scientific Systems. Find a series of clever, interactive, shockwave animations, ranging in size from 36 K to 2000 K, that can be used to introduce the following concepts:
1. Earth: Earthquakes, Seismic Waves and Activity, Earthquake Epicenter; Tectonic Plates and Tectonic Mapping; Glaciers; Hydrological Cycle;
2. Ocean: Sea Pressure and Depth; Secchi Disk; Animal Adaptations - Animals Which Camouflage; Fill the Earth with Oceans (sea level change);
3. Atmosphere: Variations of Tropospheric Thickness; Temperature of the Atmosphere; Wind Direction - The Jet Stream / Jet Stream Map; The Coriolis Effect; Sun's Radiation on Earth - Angle of Incidence/solar altitude; Weather Education, Facts and Trivia; Lightning Game;
4. Space: The Solar System Planets; Satellite Remote Sensing / Taking Satellite Pictures;
5. Science: Periodic Table of Elements; Weight Mass Volume Density Gravity; Characteristics of All Waves. and then look for "interactive exercises" under the "earth," "ocean," "atmosphere," "space," and "science" links. Audience: Middle School and Up. Need a classroom of powerful computers, will have you download Shockwave.
Earth-Sun Relationships - Lots of interesting information, no real lesson plans:
Earth vs. Mars: The Two Planets Weigh In - from find a concise comparison of the two planets on almost two dozen variables including weather, caves, gravity, cosmic radiation.
The Exploratorium - A museum with space resources for teachers and students. This site also has updates on the Mars landing of the Spirit exploration rover.
Free Astronomy Lessons - Dr. Jamie Love - Principles of Astronomy. This course is a healthy mix of observational and academic (scientific) astronomy so you will learn identification and a great deal about stars and the universe. This is a low math (no math?) astronomy course but it covers a great deal of astronomy.
Genesis Education and Public Outreach -
How to Identify Meteorites -
The Inconstant Moon - This extremely useful site contains a calendar to see the phase of each day and to get information about the moon. Scroll down to the menu at the bottom of the main page and click on Atlas to be able to see pictures of the moon's surface.
Interplanetary Distances - Information on how to get a lesson plan on planetary distances.
Keith's Moon Page - Facts, Phases, Photos, and Folklore - There is quite a bit of information about the moon here. Enjoy!
Living with a Star (K-12) - This educator guide is designed to provide educators with a quick reference to an impressive amount of materials and resources that are useful for understanding the connections between the Sun and Earth.
Lunar Eclipses for Beginners - This site has an explanation of why an eclipse occurs. Scroll down for information about when other eclipses will be happening. Scroll down to find pictures of lunar eclipses.
Mars City Alpha - Mars City Alpha is a site based simulation for grades 6-12. The year is 2043 and an international venture to Mars is in the initial planning stages, an exciting mission--to design and build the first Mars habitat. This science and mathematics based simulation emphasizes experiential learning with a focus on teamwork, decision-making and creative and critical problem solving. The Mars City Alpha kit contains: Teacher's Guide Mission Manuals for 5 student design teams, Mission Log tablet and additional resources, including the full color poster, "An Explorer's Guide to Mars." The kit can be ordered from Challenger Center, 1029 North Royal Street, Suite 300, Alexandria, VA 22314. (703) 683-9740. Cost is $85/kit plus $5.50 shipping. Mars City Alpha is copyrighted program produced by Challenger Center for Space Science Education.
One example can be found at:
Mars Exploration Rover Mission Fun Zone - All the latest images and data, updated daily, from Spirit, which landed on Mars 1/4/04. Other Mars resources, games, activities, etc. From NASA.
Mars: The Red Planet - This globe of Mars is a mosaic of images from the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft. It is centered on Valles Marineris, the "Grand Canyon" of Mars.
Moon Phases - This site has an interesting way of viewing the Moon. Change the POINT OF VIEW to BOTH and see the position of the Moon in its orbit around the Earth and the phase at the same time.
Moon Phases - This site contains: 2 complete photographic maps of the moon, pictures of the moon and quizzes about the phases of the moon.
Moon Phase Claendar - This is a great calendar showing the current and future months with moon phases and the current phase of the moon. Be sure to click on the moon to see an animated progression of the phases. Neat!
The Moon - The Nine Planets - This site has very useful and comprehensive information about the planets. Here you will find information and links to other planet sites as well.
NASA - For upcoming NASA Quest Events, please visit the NASA Quest
Calendar at:
NASA's Astrobiology Institute - search for life on other planets.
NASA Educator Resource Center - Space Foundation - Order form for available teacher resources, including curriculum booklets, videos and posters. All materials are FREE and Public Domain. Items are available for a shipping and handling fee to cover costs, either fax or send in the request.
NASA - Lunar Eclipse Page - This site has information about recent and upcoming eclipses. Be sure to check out the resources at the bottom of the page for information about solar eclipses.
NASA Science News - All the latest space science news in an easy to read format. Great reading for a class studying science.
New Observatory in Southern Utah - The opening of the new Musk Mars Desert Observatory marks a major new addition to the MDRS (Mars Desert Research Station). It will be used to support both the operations research program of the station itself, and to provide a means for greater direct public involvement in science and space exploration. Starting in late January, the observatory will be made available to school and other groups to control through interaction with the crew several nights each week. Schools, individuals or groups who wish to participate should send an email to:
To find out more about the Mars Society, visit the website at
NOAA Space Environment Center -
NOVA: Origins - Has the universe always existed? What was the birth of our planet like? Are we alone, or are there alien worlds waiting to be discovered? NOVA presents some startling new answers in "Origins," a NOVA miniseries hosted by dynamic astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, Director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History. This Web site presents many of the facts and ideas in the series as well as interactive programs that delve into these questions and more.
Pictures Of Our Universe - Stefan Seip is a German astrophotographer and has written illustrated articles for many magazines as well as the Astronomy Pictures of the Day. Find photos of star trails around Polaris, atmospheric phenomena such as auroras, the "green flash" of the sun, comets, constellations, galaxies, and more.
Planetary Geology - And you use to think that the USGS was concerned only with earthly pursuits. Find a comprehensive site with planetary images, wallpaper and screen savers, a map-a-planet interactive that allows you to create a map at your preferred level of customization, a current research section, a kids' section, and even GIS for the planets: U.S.G.S. Planetary GIS Web Server. Audience: middle school and up.
Planetary Science Research Discoveries - PSRD is an educational site sharing the latest research on planets, meteorites, and other solar system bodies being made by NASA-sponsored scientists. PSRD is a vital link for education, planetary and space science, and for learning how science works.
The Planetary Society - Earth Dial Project - Links to activities and useful tools In teaching about the sun and time:
Searchable Image Collections for space science that teacher can use:
1. Astronomical Image Library:
2. Multiwavelength Milky Way:
3. Astronomy Picture of the Day:
4. Skyview Virtual Observatory:
5. Solar Data Archive Center:
6. Constellation photos. This site has a few bugs, but the photos make up for it:
7. NCSA Astronomy Digital Image Library (this one is tough - more for research)
8. Astronomy Today
Size of Your World - Uses images to allow size comparisons of our solar system to distant stars. A real eye opener.
Solar Terrestrial Probes Program -
Space Day - Learn about space day and what teachers and students can do for space day.
Star Count - A new project from NASA: Investigation: Do people everywhere see the same number of stars in the night sky? Why or why not?
Storms from the Sun (K-12) - This educational poster contains information about the Sun, coronal mass ejections and how they affect Earth. Very informative.
Sun-Earth Connection
Thursday's Classroom - The aim of Thursday's Classroom is to provide a lasting connection between NASA's latest research and the classroom environment.
USGS Astrogeology Research Program - The mission of the USGS Astrogeology Research Program is to establish and maintain geoscientific and technical expertise in planetary science and remote sensing to perform the following tasks: scientifically study and map extraterrestrial bodies, plan and conduct planetary exploration missions, and explore and develop new technologies in data processing and analysis, archiving, and distribution. One of the best resources included in this site is a complete catalog of the hundreds of USGS maps of the moons of the solar system, including Earth's Moon, Io, Ganymede, Titan, and more, and all of the planets. This site also includes a maps and globes gallery for the planets and moons, and Lunar, Venus, and Mars online interactive maps, animations, and GIS data downloads.
Virtual Reality Moon Phase Pictures - You can use this site to view the phase of the moon for any time and date from 1800 to 2199.
Windows to the Universe - A fun and different Web site about the Earth and Space sciences. Windows to the Universe is graphics intensive! Tons of space information, teacher resources, and kid stuff including quizzes and educational 'games'. A great site to visit.
Interactive Internet Sites Books top

Mystery of Mars by Ride, Sally and Tam O'Shaughnessy. Grade 3-6. Intelligent, comprehensive, and colorful introduction of Mars aimed at young readers. The book is presented as if you were on your way to solve the mystery of Mars yourself--flying over or stepping onto the surface. Hardcover: ISBN 0517709716.


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