Sunday, April 15, 2012

Questions about the Moon

It was a simple query: "What questions do you have about the Moon?" A group of savvy and intelligent 8th graders (my students) pondered this question and came up with the following comprehensive list:
NASA: A New Map of the Moon

Physical Characteristics and Features
  • How big is the Moon compared to the Earth?
  • What is the diameter of the Moon?
  • What is the Moon’s mass?
  • Is the Moon smaller than Pluto?
  • Why is the Moon a sphere?
  • How far away is the Moon?
  • Why are there craters on the Moon?
  • How do craters on the Moon form?
  • What is the largest crater on the Moon?
  • Why is the Moon gray/white?
  • What is the Moon’s temperature?
  • What is the temperature difference between light and dark sides of the Moon?
  • Does the Moon have a moon?
  • Does the Moon have an atmosphere?
  • What is the Moon’s atmosphere like?
  • Is there oxygen on the Moon?
  • Why isn’t there oxygen on the Moon?
  • Does the Moon have weather?
  • Does the Moon have wind?
  • How much gravity is on the Moon?
  • Does the Moon have a magnetic field?
  • How strong is the Moon’s magnetic field?
  • How high can you jump on the Moon?
  • Can you make a fire on the Moon?
  • Can you cook on the Moon?

Orbital Data
  • Does the Moon rotate?
  • How long does it take for the Moon to rotate?
  • Does the Moon revolve around the Earth?
  • How long does it take for the Moon to revolve around Earth?
  • Why does the Moon orbit the Earth?
  • Why do we only see one side of the Moon?
  • Why are there phases of the Moon?

Lunar Composition
  • What is inside the Moon?
  • What is the Moon made of?
  • What type of rock is the Moon made of?
  • Does the Moon have layers like the Earth?
  • How many layers does the Moon have?
  • What’s in the Moon’s core?
  • Is the core of the Moon the same as the core of the Earth?
  • Does the Moon have landforms?
  • Does the Moon have natural disasters (like, earthquakes, etc.)?
  • Are there any fossils on the Moon?
  • Is there life on the Moon?
  • Does the Moon have water?
  • Does the Moon have tectonic plates?
  • Does the Moon have earthquakes?
  • Is there lava on the Moon?
  • How old is the Moon?

Lunar Formation
  • How was the Moon formed?
  • How did the Moon get there?
  • How has the Moon changed over time?

Lunar Exploration
  • How many people have landed on the Moon?
  • Who else landed on the Moon?
  • How many missions have we had to the Moon?
  • How long does it take to get to the Moon?
  • How much fuel does it take to visit the Moon?
  • Where are the flags on the Moon?
  • What have we accomplished by landing on the Moon?
  • When did we first discover the Moon?
  • Who hit the golf ball on the Moon?
  • Will the Moon have livable conditions on the future?

Philosophical Questions
  • What is the Moon’s purpose?
  • What if we had no Moon?
  • Who owns the Moon?
  • Why is it called “Moon”?

Question for educators, boards of education, policy makers, textbook publishers, et al.:
  • Do your standards, curriculum, and educational materials reflect the innate curiosity and learning desires of our students?

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