Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Asteroids and Meteorites


National Middle School Science Standards

Earth Science, Physical Science

Key Terms

geology, meteorites, asteroids, minerals, space missions, orbit, solar system history

Key Concepts

  • Evidence from meteorites about Earth's formation 
  • Characteristics of meteorites, meteors, asteroids 
  • Mineral origins of the universe 
  • Importance of space missions for astronomy 
  • Technology used by meteoriticists

Resource Types

Geosciences Subject Guide Smithsonian Libraries

Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

The Asteroids and Meteorites  teaching resources support students in meeting the following middle school NGSS Performance Expectations.

Earth Science

MS-ESS1 Earth's Place in the Universe

  • MS-ESS1-2 Develop and use a model to describe the role of gravity in the motions within galaxies and the solar system.
  • MS-ESS1-3 Analyze and interpret data to determine scale properties of objects in the solar system.
  • MS-ESS1-4 Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence from rock strata for how the geologic time scale is used to organize Earth's 4.6-billion-year-old history.

Physical Science

MS-PS2 Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions

  • MS-PS2-1 Apply Newton's Third Law to design a solution to a problem involving the motion of two colliding objects.
  • MS-PS2-2 Plan an investigation to provide evidence that the change in an object's motion depends on the sum of the forces on the object and the mass of the object.
  • MS-PS2-4 Construct and present arguments using evidence to support the claim that gravitational interactions are attractive and depend on the masses of interacting objects.
Resource Type
Subject Guides
Grade Level
Learning Standards
Next Generation Science Standards
Earth Science, Physical Science