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Earth & Space Solar System Trading Cards Training Games

Professional development training tool solar system card games to prepare staff and volunteers to facilitate Earth and space science activities.

DESCRIPTION

All of the games included in this guide are designed to be played with NASA’s Solar System and Beyond Trading Cards (available from solarsystem.nasa.gov). For some, you may need to print and assemble additional decks based on the number of participants, remove certain cards from the deck and/or make use of the provided blank card template. Any additional materials to gather are listed in the guide for each game.

How to use these games

The activities outlined in this packet were designed as professional development exercises for educators. We recommend playing and debriefing one or more of these games as part of a longer staff or volunteer training session.

The games serve multiple purposes:

  • They work well as icebreakers, allowing facilitators to get to know one another while reflecting on their role and strengthening essential skills.
  • They allow facilitators to experiment and practice with different ways of engaging activity participants, asking open-ended questions, and guiding learning.
  • They help players gain content knowledge by becoming familiar with the information on NASA’s Our Solar System trading cards.
  • They empower educators to facilitate positive, memorable learning experiences for diverse learners.

Games

  • SORT IT OUT is a simple, tried-and-true exercise that gets participants moving and interacting. Players explore non-verbal and other novel communication strategies, while learning about the order and relative size of the solar system objects. They also practice categorization—an important communication and science process skill.
  • The game can be completed in as little as 30 minutes (including time to debrief), and works best with nine or more players.
  • SPACELEBRITY allows participants to practice giving succinct explanations, developing shared points of reference, and using body language. Players navigate various restrictions on communication while giving clues to teammates, and build rapport along the way. The game takes at least 45 minutes to play, and requires 6 or more people.
  • GREAT MINDS THINK ALIKE requires players to anticipate teammates’ thought processes and come up with creative content connections to succeed. The game can be adapted to various time frames, taking anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour, and plays best in groups of 4–8 players.

NASA Solar System and Beyond Trading Cards 

A download link is provided for this set of 15 trading cards representing our solar system and beyond. Cards are 3 5/8 inches tall and 2 5/8 inches wide. 

JUMP TO BROWSE RELATED RESOURCES

DESCRIPTION

All of the games included in this guide are designed to be played with NASA’s Solar System and Beyond Trading Cards (available from solarsystem.nasa.gov). For some, you may need to print and assemble additional decks based on the number of participants, remove certain cards from the deck and/or make use of the provided blank card template. Any additional materials to gather are listed in the guide for each game.

How to use these games

The activities outlined in this packet were designed as professional development exercises for educators. We recommend playing and debriefing one or more of these games as part of a longer staff or volunteer training session.

The games serve multiple purposes:

  • They work well as icebreakers, allowing facilitators to get to know one another while reflecting on their role and strengthening essential skills.
  • They allow facilitators to experiment and practice with different ways of engaging activity participants, asking open-ended questions, and guiding learning.
  • They help players gain content knowledge by becoming familiar with the information on NASA’s Our Solar System trading cards.
  • They empower educators to facilitate positive, memorable learning experiences for diverse learners.

Games

  • SORT IT OUT is a simple, tried-and-true exercise that gets participants moving and interacting. Players explore non-verbal and other novel communication strategies, while learning about the order and relative size of the solar system objects. They also practice categorization—an important communication and science process skill.
  • The game can be completed in as little as 30 minutes (including time to debrief), and works best with nine or more players.
  • SPACELEBRITY allows participants to practice giving succinct explanations, developing shared points of reference, and using body language. Players navigate various restrictions on communication while giving clues to teammates, and build rapport along the way. The game takes at least 45 minutes to play, and requires 6 or more people.
  • GREAT MINDS THINK ALIKE requires players to anticipate teammates’ thought processes and come up with creative content connections to succeed. The game can be adapted to various time frames, taking anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour, and plays best in groups of 4–8 players.

NASA Solar System and Beyond Trading Cards 

A download link is provided for this set of 15 trading cards representing our solar system and beyond. Cards are 3 5/8 inches tall and 2 5/8 inches wide. 

JUMP TO BROWSE RELATED RESOURCES

OBJECTIVES

LEARNING GOALS

  • Become familiar with various facilitation techniques and strategies for engaging learners

  • Increase players’ confidence related to talking and learning about Earth and space science topics

Credits

YEAR CREATED
2020
OWNING INSTITUTION

Training Activities: Sciencenter, Ithaca, NY

Solar System cards: NASA

FUNDING

Training Activities:

Developed for the NISE Network with funding from the National Science Foundation under Award Numbers 0532536 and 0940143. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this product are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Foundation.

Solar System cards:

NASA

PERMISSIONS

Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 3.0 United States (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 US).
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DEVELOPMENT PROCESS

NISE Network products are developed through an iterative collaborative process that includes scientific review, peer review, and visitor evaluation in accordance with an inclusive audiences approach. Products are designed to be easily edited and adapted for different audiences under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike license. To learn more, visit our Development Process page.

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