User login

Making An Impact!

Source Institutions

    Astronomical Society of the Pacific

Add to listGo to activity
Making An Impact!

In this activity (on page 14 of PDF), learners use a pan full of flour and some rocks to create a moonscape. Then, learners illuminate the moonscape with a flashlight to investigate why scientists think water ice could remain frozen in always-dark craters at the poles of the Moon. This activity will help learners understand 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 activity should be conducted outdoors at night or indoors in a darkened room. A version involving Play Doh (or clay from provided recipe) is included in the guide. 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:
10 to 30 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

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

Age Range:
Ages 6 - adult

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan, Simulation


Materials List (per group of students)

  • 5 cm (2”) polystyrene ball (draw a small square on the ball with a pen or magic marker)
  • Short skewer stick or toothpick
  • Flashlight covered with a paper towel or wax paper and secured with a rubber band
  • A few grains of sand or salt
  • Large pan or plastic tub similar in shape to a 33cm x 20cm x 7cm (13”x8”x3”) baking pan
  • Several “meteoroids”: rocks (you can also supply small balls of clay or even bite- sized wrapped candy)
  • Packet of powdered hot cocoa mix
  • 2-kg (5-pound) bag of flour
  • Broom, dustpan
  • Newspaper
  • (Optional) Play Doh or make your own clay from recipe provided


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Astronomy
      • Probes, Satellites and Spacecraft
      • Size and Scale
    • Solar System
      • The Sun
      • The Moon
  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Aerospace Engineering
  • Mathematics
    • Measurement
      • Size and Scale
  • Physical Sciences
    • Heat and Thermodynamics
      • Heat and Temperature
  • The Nature of Technology
    • Technology and Society
      • Impacts of Technology

Informal Categories

  • Food and Cooking
  • Model Building
  • Outdoor Activity


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All Rights Reserved, Astronomical Society of the Pacific,