Iowa Public Television

K-12 Connections Event
Cosmic Connections
Subject Area:

Students will learn the order and names of the planets in our solar system. We'll also have a discussion on the latest controversy of Pluto's status of a 'dwarf planet'. Students will also learn about the asteroid belt and the different types of stars as we board an imaginary rocket ship and tour the galaxy. This interactive program also allows time for students to ask questions, so come prepared.

For this session each student will need a 3 foot piece of adding machine or calculator paper.

Following the ICN session, registrants receive the complimentary books Seeing Stars and Night Sky or alternate titles.

Other Polk County Conservation Board ICN events include:
Monarch Tagging
Animal Winter Preparation
Unhuggable Animals
Mammal Tracks
Amazing Reptiles
To Be a Seed
Sing a Song of Science

We must have at least 2 registered and confirmed classes in order to offer this ICN session. If we have to cancel the class you will receive email notification prior the day of the session.

Suggested Prerequisites:

Session Related Web sites:

  • Kids Astronomy.Com - The most awesome Web site for students and educators! Make your own solar system and watch it move, night sky maps, coloring sheets, worksheets, games and much more.
  • abc Teach Network - Solar system thematic unit including graphic organizers, KWL charts, puzzles and more.
  • NASA's Solar System Exploration: Kids - The Solar System Exploration Home Page is part of NASA's Office of Space Science and describes NASA's program to explore the solar system.
  • NASA's Space Place - Explore our solar system through animations, games, and home projects.
  • Polk County Conservation Board - Learn about nature and the fun you can have in Polk County.

Related Lesson Plans and Units:

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PBS Teachers - PBS Teachers offers free lesson plans, professional development and more for preK-12 educators.

Standards: (Hide Standards)

Applicable standards from MCREL:

Life Sciences

Standard 3: Understands the composition and structure of the universe and the Earth's place in it

Level II [Grade: 3-5]
1. Knows that night and day are caused by the Earth’s rotation on its axis
2. Knows that the Earth is one of several planets that orbit the Sun and that the Moon orbits the Earth
3. Knows that the patterns of stars in the sky stay the same, although they appear to slowly move from east to west across the sky nightly and different stars can be seen in different seasons
4. Knows that planets look like stars, but over time they appear to wander among the constellations
5. Knows that astronomical objects in space are massive in size and are separated from one another by vast distances (e.g., many stars are more massive than our Sun but so distant they look like points of light)
6. Knows that telescopes magnify distant objects in the sky (e.g., the Moon, planets) and dramatically increase the number of stars we can see

Level III [Grade: 6-8]
1. Knows characteristics and movement patterns of the nine planets in our Solar System (e.g., planets differ in size, composition, and surface features; planets move around the Sun in elliptical orbits; some planets have moons, rings of particles, and other satellites orbiting them)


Classroom Resources:

The following related programs are available on IPTV's broadcast or from the AEAs: (Check the K-12 Classroom Television ( Web site for broadcast dates and times.)

  • BILL NYE THE SCIENCE GUY (500s) (Grade Level: 4-12)
  • NASA CONNECT (Seasons 1-4: Program 307. Rocket to the Stars (Grade Level: 5-8)
  • REAL SCIENCE VIII: Program 801. Space Encounters (Grade Level: 5-10)

Sessions are provided at no cost by Iowa Public Television in collaboration with the Iowa Communications Network to PK-12 students and the adults working with or on behalf of PK-12 students in Iowa.

Sign up for the K-12 Connections eNewsletter to receive timely information regarding ICN sessions like this one.

Contact Person:
Abby Brown

(800) 532-1290 or (515) 242-4181
Offering Dates & Times: Registration Deadlines:
January 22, 2014
 Wednesday, 9:30 AM - 10:20 AM
Audience: Grades 2-5
Friday, January 17, 2014
Contact Us:
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