Cassini image of Enceladus
Introduction to Planetary Science for Teachers

The general objective of this course is to provide an introduction to the dynamic range of processes, features, and histories of the solar system and its bodies. We’ll take a tour of solar system formation, compare surface processes (e.g. impact cratering, volcanism) on different planets, discuss near earth asteroids and their interaction with Earth, and a host of other exciting topics. Our knowledge of what is happening in space around us has grown dramatically in the last several decades as we send more spacecrafts out to distant planets and places. We will discuss what kinds of data those spacecraft collect, how we use it to explore the solar system, and what kinds of discoveries we’ve made about our planet-neighbors.

This is an introductory course designed to provide a basic framework of planetary science content for high school and middle school science teachers. It will not focus on the application of content in other classrooms, however some activities will be included to help students adapt content for their own use.

This is an online course, and will be managed through the University of Arizona's D2L system. You can read about course topics, policies, etc in the syllabus below.

UPDATE: What a great semester everyone! Keep an eye out for when I get around to posting materials here that educators may want to use.

Feel free to email me at jmolaro (at) if you have any questions!

Download the syllabus.