Planet Mechanic Assessment Ideas

  • Draw a picture and/or write a few sentences to explain why you think Earth has different seasons.
  • What season is it in the Southern Hemisphere when it is summer in the Northern Hemisphere?
  • Venus has a very thick atmosphere. Mars has a very thin atmosphere. How does atmospheric thickness affect the temperature of the planets?
  • Why is a day on Earth 24 hours? Why is a year on Earth 365 days?
  • Mercury is 35 million miles away from the sun. Neptune is 2.7 billion miles away from the sun. Which planet, Mercury or Neptune, do you think has a longer year? Why?
  • Draw a picture and/or write a few sentences to explain where the Moon located during a lunar eclipse.
  • Draw a picture and/or write a few sentences to explain where the Moon located during a solar eclipse.
  • Imagine two planets with oceans. There is a moon orbiting around Planet A. There is no moon orbiting around Planet B. Which planet is more likely to have large tides in its oceans? Why?
  • Draw a crescent moon. Draw a gibbous moon. Explain why the Moon looks different at different times of the month.

Use these assessment ideas to gauge student understanding  after Planet Mechanic online science game play.  Each has been adapted from The Planet Mechanic Game Guide, which also offers answer keys and pre-assessment questions. You might also want to use the game quiz to see what students have learned.