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FOSS Planetary Science Investigation 7: Landing on the Moon (6 days)
Big Idea
The patterns of motion of the objects in teh solar system can be described and predicted on the basis of observations and an understanding of gravity. (ESS1) Very early rock record on Earth and other objects in the solar system, such as lunar rocks, asteroids, and meteorites have changed little over billions of years. Studying these objects can provide information about Earth's formation and early history. (ESS1.C)
Essential Questions
What questions would need to be answered to land a man on the moon and return successfully?
How long will the mission to the moon take?
Where would be the best lunar landing site?
When would be the best time to leave for the mission?
What should be included in a detailed account of the mission?

Formulate questions based on observations that lead to the development of a hypothesis.
Analyze the use of technology in science-related careers.
Describe a scientific discovery that influences technology.
Formulate a conclusion based on data analysis.
Describe how science is an ongoing process that changes in response to new information and discoveries.
Construct a model for the relative positions of the Earth, Sun, and Moon as they relate to corresponding eclipses.
Communicate the results and conclusion of the investigation.
Apply the following scientific processes to other problem solving or decision making situations
  • observing
  • questioning
  • communicating
  • comparing
  • measuring
  • classifying
  • predicting
  • organizing data
  • inferring
  • generating hypotheses
  • identifying variables
Explain the relationship among common objects in the solar system, galaxy, and the universe.
Describe how a major milestone in science or technology has revolutionized the thinking of the time (e.g., global positioning system, telescopes, seismographs, photography).
Calculate the time needed to complete a Moon Mission Collect and analyze data for the purpose of selecting a Moon-mission landing site. Construct a model Earth/Moon system.
Science & Engineering Practices
Asking Questions:  students brainstorm ideas and questions that need to be answered be for embarking on a trip to the Moon.
Students create an Earth-Moon model to scale for the solving the problem of distance and speed.
  • Developing and Using Models
  • Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking
Construct Explanations and Designing Solutions:  students solve the day/night problem for their trip to the Moon
Content/Core Ideas
  • Moon exploration involves robotic probes and manned spacecraft.
  • The Moon's rotation produces lunar day and night.
Crosscutting Concepts
Scale, Proportion, and Qantity
Stability and Change
Learning Practices
CC:7.RI.1 Read Sun, Planets, and Satellites by Size
CC: 7.RI.1:  Lunar Probes
CC: 7.SL.1:  group discussion on lunar surface data
CC: 7.SL.1:  group discussion on day and night on the Moon
CC:7.W.1:  student write a mission report
Academic Vocabulary
  • Sputkik
  • reconnaissance
  • survey
  • lunar day
  • lunar night
Mid-summative Exam 7
Lunar Day and Night Response Sheet
Mission Reports