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For Teachers

FRAMING PATHWAYS TO ANSWERS: THE SCIENTIFIC PROCESS IN ACTION
STAYING COOL

Sensing Energy

Grade Level: 2 -4
Duration: Two - 45 minute periods

Link to the complete lesson

sunstar

Lesson Summary

Students will explore the unseen energy produced by the Sun.

Essential Question

How can a spacecraft be protected form the Sun’s visible and invisible radiation?

Concepts

MESSENGER Mission Connection

The atmosphere on Earth provides a measure of protection to the planet, and everything on it, from the harmful effects of exposure to sunlight. Once the MESSENGER craft leaves the atmosphere, it will be more exposed to the dangerous invisible forms of the Sun’s energy. As the craft gets closer to Mercury, this exposure will intensify. The potential for damage to the craft and its instruments is very high. MESSENGER team scientists are constantly refining their design of the craft so that exposure to the Sun’s energy will be minimized.

Standards & Benchmarks

NATIONAL SCIENCE EDUCATION STANDARDS

Standard D2: Objects in the Sky

Standard A2: Understandings about scientific inquiry

Standard B8: Light, Heat, Electricity, and Magnetism