Life in Space:
Part 1– Colonize the Solar System
Assignment 1– Planet Information
Assignment 1 notes for teachers
This assignment introduces the project. Students research a chosen planet to determine general environmental conditions.
Lesson plan 1 – Motions of the Earth,
Moon and Sun
Students model the motions of the Earth, the Sun and the Moon, taking turns acting out the 3 different objects.
Assignment 2 – Requirements for Life
Assignment 2 notes for teachers
Students begin to evaluate the suitability of their chosen planet for human habitation. They begin thinking about how they can provide the necessities for life on their planet.
Lesson Plan 2 – Lunar Phases
Students use a Styrofoam ball and a lamp to determine the positions of the Earth, the Sun and the Moon during different lunar phases.
Assignment 3 – Drawing
Assignment 3 notes for teachers
This assignment encourages students to begin thinking about what their final project will look like. Students make a drawing of their colony or space station from the perspective of someone in the colony looking out through a window onto the planet.
Lesson Plan 3 – Earth Seasons
In this lesson the students use a lamp and a globe to determine the tilt of the Earth during the different seasons in North America.
Assignment 4 – Journal Entry
Assignment 4 notes for teachers
This short assignment prepares students for writing their reports about their space colony. They imagine that they are a member of their colony and write a journal entry about a typical day there.
Lesson Plan 4 - Constructing a Model
of the Solar System
Part 1: The relative size of the planets
Part 2: The relative distances of the planets from the Sun
Final Project notes for teachers
Includes instructions for students and grading criteria.
Back to Home
Links and Resources
Part 2: Build Your Own Planet
Background image courtesy
of NASA, H. Ford (JHU), G. Illingworth (USCS/LO), M. Clampin (STSci), G.
Hartig (STSci), and the ACS Science team