Resource Detail: Science Object

Resource Image Solar System: A Look at the Planets
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Type of Resource: Science Object
Average Rating: Rating
 based on 7 reviews
Publication Title: None
Grade Level: Elementary School, High School, Middle School


Science Objects are two hour on-line interactive inquiry-based content modules that help teachers better understand the science content they teach. This Science Object, co-developed between NASA and NSTA, is the second of four Science Objects in the Solar System SciPack. It explores the similarities and differences in the planets that make up our solar system. Each planet moves around the Sun in the same direction in a nearly circular orbit, though each planet has its own unique orbital period and speed. The planets vary in size, surface and atmospheric composition, and surface features. In orbit around the planets, we find a great variety of moons, flat rings of rock and ice debris, and/or artificial satellites. Features of many of the planets and their moons show evidence of formation and evolutionary processes similar to those that occur on Earth. These processes include earthquakes, lava flows, erosion, and changes in the atmosphere.

Ideas For Use


Getting to Know the Solar System
Posted in Earth and Space Science by Adah Stock on Tue Apr 12, 2011 10:39 AM

Ladies: This is great news that your students enjoyed learning about the solar system. I am glad you joined the discus...

Additional Info

Science Discipline: (mouse over for full classification)
Intended User Role:Elementary-Level Educator, High-School Educator, Middle-Level Educator, Teacher
Educational Issues:Inquiry learning, Professional development, Teacher content knowledge, Teaching strategies


Resource Format:
Size: KB
Installation Remarks:

National Standards Correlation

This resource has 4 correlations with the National Standards.  

This resource has 4 correlations with the National Standards.  

  • Earth Science
    • Earth in the solar system
      • The earth is the third planet from the sun in a system that includes the moon, the sun, eight other planets and their moons, and smaller objects, such as asteroids and comets. (5-8)
  • Process Standards for Professional Development
    • Research-Based
      • Address teachers' needs as learners and build on their current knowledge of science content, teaching, and learning. (NSES)
    • Design
      • Introduce teachers to scientific literature, media, and technological resources that expand their science knowledge and their ability to access further knowledge. (NSES)
    • Learning
      • Build on the teacher's current science understanding, ability, and attitudes. (NSES)

State Standards Correlation

Use the form below to view which of your state standards this resource addresses.

User Reviews

I Love Science Objects!
  Naomi Beverly (Marietta, GA) on September 3, 2014
  I really enjoy Science Objects. In 1-3 hours, the Solar System: A Look at the Planets Science Object will help me re-learn, refresh, or learn for the first time some critical science concepts I will have to know to obtain my Science Educator credentials. I appreciate that I can complete them at my own pace, and that, if used as park of a SciPack, I have access to a content expert to go to for help. The NSTA Learning Center Science Objects are very beneficial! Not only do they enrich my teaching, the knowledge enriches my life as well!.

Terrestrials vs Gas Giants
  Lorrie Armfield (Laurel, MD) on December 8, 2011
  This is an excellent source for reviewing information as it pertains to the inner and outer planets of our solar system. From the small, dense terrestrial planets with rocky surfaces, to the much larger and more massive jovian planets, NSTA presents the material in a way to actively engage even the most apprehensive of learners. An added addition is the inclusion of the now ‘dwarf planet’ Pluto and its moon Charon. I especially like the videos and the pictures taken from various telescopes. The matching activity is definitely a bonus.

Check this one out!!!
  Anthony O'Bannon on February 19, 2012
  A great way to start into a study of the planets and early planetary theory!

Perfect amount of background
  Laura on February 25, 2012
  This gave me just the right amount of background on the Solar System so that I feel I can answer my third graders' questions without having to check online. Just right. Thank you.

Great Article
  Andrea H on July 30, 2012
  Great information on the solar system.

  Kelly (Brewster, NY) on January 19, 2012
  I'll be using pieces of this to help create my lessons. It was helpful.

Good for Beginning Solar System Understanding
  Kate Geer (Louisville, CO) on October 11, 2010
  This is a great resource to introduce teachers to the planet in the solar system. It gives good background information on each planet. It also have lots of visual images and charts to organize content. It discusses Pluto's change of status to a dwarf planet as well.