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thousands of distant galaxies captured by the James Webb Space Telescope

Postcards From a New Space Telescope

Have you heard about the James Webb Space Telescope’s stunning first images of deep space? Use this guide to help students explore the science behind pictures of exploding stars, dancing galaxies, cosmic cliffs and more, and discuss how images can be thought of as data.

Pushing the boundaries of outer space

Students will answer questions about the Science News article “Here are the James Webb Space Telescope’s stunning first pictures,” which highlights dazzling cosmic wonders seen in farthest and clearest views yet of deep space. A version of the article, “Postcards from a new space telescope,” appears in the August 13, 2022 issue of Science News.

New space images dazzle with data

Share a universal celebration in science with images of deep space from the James Webb Space Telescope. Have students collaborate to think about the science shown in the images and the implications of images as data. Learning Outcomes: Observe, interpret and compare data in images; explore universal questions about science.

Century of Science scavenger hunt

Students will use the clues provided and the Science News Century of Science website to explore how science advances. After making connections across scientific subtopics, student groups will research and present highlights of discoveries from an assigned decade.
image of meteorite ALH 84001

Meteorite’s Organics Aren’t Signs of Life

In this guide, students will learn about the origin of organic material found inside a meteorite from Mars and discuss how new evidence can be used to reevaluate scientific claims.

Evaluating scientific claims with new evidence

Students will compare two Science News articles and analyze how new evidence has revised an initial claim and the reasoning behind that claim. As a bonus, students can answer chemistry questions about abiotic and biotic reactions.

Chemistry that’s out of this world

Students will answer questions about the online Science News article “Organic molecules in an ancient Mars meteorite formed via geology, not alien life,” which describes new research into the origin of organic material found in a space rock. A version of the article, “Meteorite’s organics aren’t signs of life,” appears in the February 12, 2022 issue of Science News.
origami satellite james webb

The Origami Satellite

In this guide, students will learn about NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope and discuss how scientific advances have shaped the telescope’s mission.

Unlocking universal questions

Students will discuss the mission of the James Webb Space Telescope and explore how scientific discoveries over the last few decades have shaped the telescope’s to-do list.

Getting ready for lift-off

Students will answer questions about the online Science News article “When James Webb launches, it will have a bigger to-do list than 1980s researchers suspected,” which details the long journey of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope to make it into space to explore other galaxies. A version of the story, “The origami satellite,” appears in the October 9, 2021 & October 23, 2021 issue of Science News.
clouds of Jupiter

Physics Helps Alien Rain Stay In Shape

In this guide, students will learn how the laws of physics shape rain on other planets and explore how molecules interact within alien raindrops.

Modeling molecules in alien rain

Students will compare and contrast rain on Earth with rain on other planets and practice drawing molecular structures of various rain substances to examine the substances' physical and chemical properties. Students will use that information, along with the planetary conditions needed to form rain, to create a short weather forecast for one planet.