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Kid Moon: Splat!


Source Institutions

    Lunar and Planetary Institute

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Kid Moon: Splat!

In this activity, learners model ancient lunar impacts using water balloons. By measuring the diameter of the crater area, learners discover that the Moon's largest impact basins were created by huge asteroids! Like these huge asteroids, the water balloons are destroyed on impact and leave a splash (i.e. a "crater") that is 10 to 20 times wider than the impactor. Learners find the impact basins--the Moon's largest features--on a map and consider how they have changed since they first formed to become the dark patches ("maria") on the Moon's face. Learners may examine a type of Earth rock (named breccia) that is also found on the Moon and that would have been shaped by the processes explored here.

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:
Over $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
      • Size and Scale
    • Earth Structure
      • Rocks and Minerals
    • Earth's History
      • Geologic Time
    • Solar System
      • The Moon
      • Asteroids and Comets
      • Origin of Solar System
  • Mathematics
    • Measurement
      • Size and Scale
      • Circles
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results

Informal Categories


  • Outdoor Activity
  • Toys

Audience


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • be mobile
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • 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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