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Moon's Long History: Impact Paintings


Source Institutions

    Lunar and Planetary Institute

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Moon's Long History: Impact Paintings

In this activity, pairs of learners model how scientists use craters to determine the ages of lunar surfaces. One partner keeps time while the other creates a painting for the other to interpret. Cotton balls coated in different colors of paint are thrown at paper to simulate asteroids striking the lunar surface over time. Learners take turns in the time-keeping/painting roles to decipher a mystery: In what order did the "impacts" occur? Which painting has more "impacts"? They learn that scientists can estimate the age of a lunar surface by counting its craters--much like counting candles on a birthday cake!

This activity station is part of a sequence of stations that can be set up to help learners trace the Moon's 4.5-billion-year history from "infancy" to the imagined future. Learners tie together major events in the Moon's geologic history as a series of comic panels in their Marvel Moon comic books.

Quick Guide


Preparation Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$10 - $20 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan, Simulation

Language:
English

Materials List (per group of students)


Subjects


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Astronomy
      • Origins of Universe
    • Solar System
      • The Moon
      • Asteroids and Comets
      • Origin of Solar System
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results
    • Science as a Career

Informal Categories


  • Arts and Crafts

Audience


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Links STEM to other topics of interest such as arts and humanities
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities

Other


Components that are part of this resource:

Includes alignment to state and/or national standards

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access

By:

Rights:

  • Lunar and Planetary Institute, 2010

Funding Sources:

  • NASA Lunar Science Institute
  • Center for Lunar Origins and Evolution

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