Common Core State Standard L.CCS.1/2/3/4 Grades 6-12: Video of a current news event is presented for discussion to encourage student participation, but also inspire the use of evidence to support logical claims using the main ideas of the video. Students must analyze background information provided about a current event, draw out the main ideas and key details, and review different opinions on the issue. Then, students should present their own claims using facts and analysis for support.
Space capsule brings NASA’s first asteroid samples to Earth
After a seven-year journey through the solar system, a space capsule about the size of a car tire returned to Earth Sunday with a cargo of asteroid rocks and dust that scientists are eager to see. The pod touched down in the Utah desert and was flown by helicopter to a waiting clean room to avoid contamination. The samples from a near-Earth asteroid called Bennu could offer a look at the formation of the solar system 4.6 billion years ago and maybe some hints about how life got started on Earth.
■Class discussion: What do you know about the formation of our solar system? How could this bunch of rocks help scientists learn more about our own planet? Bennu’s obit around the sun gives it an outside chance of hitting Earth in the next 300 years. Could learning more about the construction of this asteroid help humanity avoid some future catastrophe? While asteroids or comets hitting Earth may have led to past extinctions, how could these collisions also have helped make life on this planet possible?