What does the start of a new year bring besides resolutions? The beginning of another orbit of the Earth around the sun! Use this timely hook to explore the solar system. Not surprisingly, NASA has cornered the market on high-quality, free astronomy teaching resources. Here are just a few of our favorite NASA education sites.

NASA Solar System Education
A national team of educators and scientists worked together to create this one-stop shop for NASA solar system exploration education resources. Activities, background information, career exploration, lesson plans, experiments and mission details can be accessed by grade level, curriculum standard, mission or theme.

Do It Yourself Podcast
NASA’s Do-It-Yourself Podcast activity sets the stage for students to host a show that features astronauts doing experiments on the International Space Station or NASA experts explaining scientific concepts. NASA provides a set of audio and video clips along with links to images and information about a STEM-related topic. Students can choose as many items as they want to include in a project and download them to their computer. Students can use the information provided or conduct their own research to write a script for an audio or video production.

NASA Kids’ Club
A new offering from NASA, the Kids’ Club features games, interactive activities, and images for students to explore, play, and learn from. At the center of the NASA Kids’ Club is a set of games and interactive activities arranged on five skill levels. The activities range from simple things like guessing numbers in “Airplane High Low” to more difficult tasks like identifying planets based on some clues provided in prompts in “Go to the Head of the Solar System.”

Three Resources for Exploring our Solar System 10 January,2013Jessica Neely


Jessica Neely

Jessica, an Oakland native, joined KQED in 2004 for the early stages of QUEST. She has always had a passion for science and holds a Bachelors of Science in Evolution and Ecology from UC Davis. After a stint in the education department at the Sacramento Zoo, she fell in love with science education and completed a single subject teaching credential in Biology and General Science at Mills College. She taught high school science at San Lorenzo High School where she served as Science Department Chair. In addition to working on QUEST, Jessica ran the national educational outreach for the first season of Jean Michel Cousteau: Ocean Adventures. Jessica currently supports KQED Education and QUEST remotely from her home in Oregon.

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