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Third from the Sun is designed to be a self-guided lesson for 4th through 8th graders. Ninth graders in a junior high school setting may also enjoy using it.

Learning Objectives:

1. Students show understanding of the history and development of Earth sensing.
2. Students can describe Landsat and its role in modern Earth imaging.
3. Students use knowledge of Landsat's capabilities to make reasoned inferences about the geographic locations shown in Landsat images.

This lesson fulfills National Science Education Standards requirements in some areas of Science as Inquiry, Earth and Space Science, Science and Technology, and the History and Nature of Science.

Time required:  1 to 3 hours for individuals or small groups.

Equipment and materials: Internet-connected computers with browser program, map or globe of the Earth.  

Other content areas: Geography. A good section-starter activity for planetary studies or geography.

Assessment: The Landsat image activity is self-guided and self-assessed. Students or groups may be assigned to present various parts of the Earth sensing and Landsat material to the rest of the class, jigsaw style, and assessed on their presentations.

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Do you have suggestions for other features not included? Please let us know. Ronna Voorsanger.

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