Finding the Right Crater

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This quick demonstration (on page 11 of PDF) allows learners to understand why scientists think water ice could remain frozen in always-dark craters at the poles of the Moon. This activity also demonstrates why the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) Mission launched in 2009 is targeting craters at the Moon's north/south pole to search for signs of water ice. This demonstration can be conducted with one or several learners, but requires a dark room or can be done at night. The PDF contains step-by-step instructions, photos and presentation tips. [Activity is publicly available through a web crawler capture on]

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 6 - adult

Resource Types:
Activity, Demonstration, Lesson/Lesson Plan, Model


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Foam moon ball
  • Skewer stick or toothpick
  • Bare light bulb (40-60 watt) or a flashlight with a paper towel or wax paper and secured with a rubber band


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Astronomy
      • Probes, Satellites and Spacecraft
    • Solar System
      • The Sun
      • The Moon
  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Aerospace Engineering
  • Physical Sciences
    • Heat and Thermodynamics
      • Heat and Temperature
    • States of Matter
      • Solids
      • Changes of Phase
  • The Nature of Technology
    • Technology and Society
      • Impacts of Technology

Informal Categories

  • Model Building


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access