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Planet hunter - Alien activity from Wikid

  • Key Stage 3
  • SciQ Sequences

Type: Activity
Learning Strategy: Imaginative inquiry
Topic: Solar System

Earlier missions failed to find life on other planets. Is it still worth looking? Can we justify the expense of the search for extra terrestrial intelligence? In this next sequence the students will be deciding just how likely intelligent life elsewhere in the galaxy is.

This activity is a sample from the Alien unit, from upd8's best-selling 11-14 course. "Are we alone, or are there other life-supporting planets in our galaxy? Where might we find these planets? What sort of life might they support? Scientists from many disciplines are collaborating in the search for answers to these tantalising questions."

Not only is the Alien unit full of fantastic learning material on space, forces and How Science Works, it also comes with comprehensive assessment: APP-based quizzes and levelled problems for assessment.

Spring 2010 offer! Buy the Alien unit at 33% off.

Published: 14th July 2009
Reviews & Comments: 5

Learning objectives

· Astronomers have changed humanity's perception of its place in the Universe from the 'centre of creation' to being part of a solar system on the edge of just one in many billions of collections of stars.
· Astronomy and Space science require a special approach, because of the vast scale of Space, and rely not on experiments but on a mix of very accurate observation, theory, technology and models.

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How astronomy gives insight into the nature and observed motions of celestial objects (PoS Strategy 3.4 and Solar system (5.3))

Running the activity

Download the lesson plan for full details.

Reviews & Comments

Write your online review to share your feedback and classroom tips with other teachers. How well does it work, how engaging is it, how did you use it, and how could it be improved?

Science KS3

Aug 26th, 2011

5 Star

This is brilliant I have done this with a few groups now and they were very engaged. To support this the Technicians set up an orary with just one planet and a light sensor to explain how Scientists find new planets.

Reviewer: Hayley Staple

Great group work

Apr 19th, 2011

5 Star

My top set year 8 boys loved this - the best part was when we realised that our star estimate averaged out to 230 billion - impressively close to the canonical estimate. Great lesson especially if you've got your class trained to work well in small groups.

Reviewer: Rose-Anna Bleasdale


Mar 23rd, 2011

4 Star

Great lesson thank you really saved time

Reviewer: lyn Ottaway

Good Lesson

Jul 4th, 2010

5 Star

My lesson came out to be very good thank you for helping me with the work

Reviewer: magdalena szczepanczyk

Planet hunter - Alien activity from Wikid review

Feb 9th, 2010

5 Star

Very good activity . I used it with my top set and really enjoyed doing it

Reviewer: moses otunga