Comet on a Stick! Activity – Grades 4-8

Created in conjunction with the Deep Impact/EPOXI missions, this stand-alone activity allows students to examine their concepts of a comet using the scientific method by designing and building a model of a comet from common household items. The activity is aligned with national education standards.


December/January Topic for Year of the Solar System – A Family Affair!

Join NASA during December and January in exploring our planetary family tree. Conduct the “Explore the Celestial Neighborhood…In Your Neighborhood,” activity and others that examine what a planet is and how they are investigated. Observe the total lunar eclipse in December or simply note the change in lunar phases over the course of a month. There are many opportunities to find out more about our solar system’s family tree. Visit the Year of the Solar System website to find activities, events, mission milestones, and resources:

Aerosols: Tiny Particles, Big Impact

This resource from NASA’s Earth Observatory features background information on aerosols, their effect on the Earth’s climate, images and maps showing the distribution of aerosols worldwide, and information on how aerosols are measured.

NASA EDGE Live@A-Train Symposium Vodcast

The NASA EDGE vodcast, recorded at the A-Train Symposium, features interviews with scientists discussing the A-Train. The information presented includes discussion of the Earth observing satellites that compose the A-Train (Calipso, CloudSat, Parasol, Aqua, Aura, OCO, Glory and GCOM-W1), as well as discussion on what information is being collected and how that information is used to study the Earth’s climate.

Unlocking the Mysteries: Science on the Edge of the Solar System Video and Activities

This video serves as a springboard for classroom investigation and highlights the work of individuals who develop, test and launch robotic spacecraft. Ten segments depict each mission’s science objectives, timeline, and unique aspects utilizing real mission footage and visual simulations. Students are then asked to respond to a request from NASA to design a future robotic space science mission. For access to the video and activities, visit:

Jupiter Lithograph: Largest, Fastest, Strongest

This lithograph provides general public audiences current information about the planet Jupiter. It also provides multiple images of the planet, its moons and a list of past and future mission that have flown by Jupiter.

Year of the Solar System Website

The Year of the Solar System celebrates a Martian year (Oct. 2010-August 2012) of NASA space exploration within our Solar System. These 23 months will reveal the familiar objects of our solar system as new worlds through the use of activities highlighting a new topic each month. The website features multiple resources, activities and a calendar highlighting events during the Year of the Solar System.