Inspired Ideas
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Inspired Ideas

Reach For the Stars: A Collection of Solar System Videos for Your Class

Sometimes the best way to motivate and inspire children to learn is to leave the classroom altogether — even if just with their minds — and take a visit to outer space.

To guide teachers on this metaphorical galactic journey, we have collected a series of Solar System videos for you to share with your class. While these videos were published previously to coincide with astronomical events that have already occurred, each contains a variety of fun facts that your students will find engaging, insightful, and timeless. We encourage you to integrate these videos into your normal lesson planning, and to look out for the next installment in our series!

A New Rover Is on Its Way to Mars! Why?

Four thousands of years, humans have wondered if we are alone in the universe — if Earth is the only planet to harbor life. However, scientists believe Mars may also be a home to life — or may have been in the past — given its chemical makeup and position in the solar system. In the video, come along with Perseverance as he prepares for his six-month journey to the Jezero Crater on Mars! Learn about his mission to find signs of ancient life on the Red Planet, and determine whether humans can one day visit themselves.

Asteroids, Comets, and Meteors: What’s the Difference?

Do you know the difference between an asteroid and a comet? What about the subtle discrepancies between meteors, meteorites, and meteoroids? In this video, explore this space terminology and more. Learn what causes meteor showers, what happens when they reach Earth, and the largest meteorite to ever reach Earth’s surface, through the perspective of dynamic characters.

What Happens When a Planet Transits Across the Sun?

You’ve heard all about solar eclipses and meteor showers, about the first ever photos of black holes and whether or not there is a life on Mars. But what about our other celestial neighbors — the ones that quietly orbit the sun alongside us, but never get time in the spotlight? In this video, learn about Mercury — the smallest planet in our solar system — and its transit across the face of the sun, which is only observable 14 times a century.

Why are Total Solar Eclipses so Rare?

In August 2017, North America witnessed a few moments of daytime darkness when the moon passed between the sun and the earth, causing a total solar eclipse. This rare celestial event dazzled the world, and one of its kind won’t occur again until 2024. In this video, you’ll see how moon’s shadow on the Earth affects eclipse potential, and why only some parts of the world can see a solar eclipse, when other parts can’t.

Why Is Pollution Harmful to Earth?

Humans use a lot of plastic, and a lot of that plastic ends up in the world’s oceans. In fact, by the year 2050, scientists estimate that the oceans will contain more weight in plastic than in fish. In this video, learn about what you can do to keep the oceans — and Earth as a whole — clean and healthy through sustainable practices.




Resources, ideas, and stories for PreK-12 educators. We focus on learning science, educational equity, social and emotional learning, and evidence-based teaching strategies. Be sure to check out The Art of Teaching Project, our guest blogging platform for all educators.

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McGraw Hill

McGraw Hill

Helping educators and students find their path to what’s possible. No matter where the starting point may be.

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