Construct a Comet
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What exists way out in our solar system, beyond Pluto, in the Kuiper Belt - Comets! Made up of materials from the birth of our solar system, comets give us clues to the past. What better way to learn about them, then to build your own!
30 min. class time, Prep time to gather materials
5, Middle School (6-8)
Next Generation Science Standards:
Utah Core Standards:
- 1 rubber mallet to crush dry ice
- 1 canvas tote to place ice in when crushing
- 1 small cooler to store crushed dry ice
- 2 pairs heavy garden gloves per group
- 2 heavy duty kitchen bags per group
- 3 small drinking cups (dixie or plastic) per group
- 1 tsp dirt per group
- 1 tsp Karo dark corn syrup
- 1 tsp ammonia
- 2 cups crushed dry ice (1 lb)
- 1 large plastic mixing bowl
- 1 long handled wooden spoon
- 2 measuring cups
- 2 cups water
- 1 10 inch plastic plate or bowl
- You may prepare the dry ice earlier, by placing 1 lb. per group into a canvas bag, smashing it with a mallet into powder and small chunks, and placing it into your cooler, or keeping it in your freezer until ready and then bringing to school in your cooler.
- It can be helpful to have extra adults for this activity and to set up all of your materials ahead of time.
- Follow the Build a Comet instruction sheet to complete activity. Download is below.
- Show Birth of a Comet video for lesson introduction and/ or
- Show The Rosetta Mission video for concuding lesson
- For videos see above tab
Video to introduce Comets