Moon's Long History: Impact Paintings

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Complete Nickel/Iron Meteorite

ERN Item Type: 

  • Classroom Activities

Organization: 

Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI)

Description: 

Pairs of children model how scientists use craters to determine the ages of lunar surface. One child 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. The children 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!

Grade Level: 

Tags: 

Earth Science Big Ideas: 

Is this tagged to NGSS by the organization?: 

No

NGSS Crosscutting Concepts: 

NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas: 

NGSS Science and Engineering Practices: 

NGSS Performance Expectations: