Small objects in the solar system

Within the vast expanse of our solar system, between the planets and beyond, amazing discoveries are being made about asteroids, comets, and meteors. In this program, your students will become astronomers for the day by using hands-on models to explore "small bodies" in our solar system, and taking a guided virtual tour of this system we call home. Throughout this interactive program, your class will have multiple opportunities to ask Academy educators questions, and engage in scientific conversations with our experts!

This program integrates the Next Generation Science Standards by focusing on:

  • Crosscutting Concept: Scale, Proportion and Quantity
  • Science and Engineering Practice: Developing and Using Models



Classrooms everywhere are invited to join this FREE webchat!

Dates: Friday, May 10, 2019
This program will be broadcasted three times on this date
Times: 9:10am PT (12:10pm ET) & 10:10am PT (1:10pm ET)
Duration: 45 minutes
Price: Free!
Target Audience: 3rd - 8th grade
Interactivity Options: Teacher using a Chat Box

What to expect during this Special Live Event
Small objects in our solar system

In this 45-minute program, students will travel on a virtual expedition within our Solar System to explore impact craters on a mystery object, and how they compare to impact craters on Earth.

During the scale model investigation, they will place the cutouts of these objects on maps of Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, and the United States to conceptualize and compare their sizes. Students will then make inferences about how the objects’ surface and shape has been affected by impacts.

After exploring the scale of these objects, students will compare their orbits and extrapolate further about how an object’s orbit might affect the likelihood of impact. Students will then observe images of an impact on Jupiter’s surface to examine what impacts look like on gaseous planets.

Finally, as a learning community, we will discuss our collected evidence to hypothesize if we think all objects in the Solar System are affected by impacts.

This program is designed to be interactive in nature!
Students will have the opportunity to ask Academy science educators about their curiosities regarding the solar system. Academy educators will respond to any unanswered questions via email after the program.

Program Materials

We ask that students are split up into groups of 2-3 to have working partners throughout the program.

Print for each working group:

The Academy educators will instruct when and how to use the materials.

Pre-Program Activity

Throughout the program we will reference different objects that are found in our Solar System. As a pre-program activity to help your students become familiar with these objects, please check out our lesson plan: Sorting the Solar System

Technology required

Students get to see and hear the Academy expert, and teachers will enter comments and questions into a text-based chat window.

To participate you must have the following technology available:

  • Desktop, laptop computer, or tablet.
  • Strong internet connection; a wired connection is preferable.
  • An updated version of the free application Zoom installed on your computer or tablet.
  • If you have a large class we also recommend having a projector and speakers.

Groups are limited to no more than 75 students and no more than 3 classes for a single connection.

Can't join us on May 10, 2019? Check out other Special Live Events or book a one-on-one session with an Academy educator.

Grades: 3rd Grade - 8th Grade
Program Duration: 45 minutes
Capacity: 75
Price: Free