Exploring Mars: A New Twist on Science
Target Grade(s): 5-9, or high school
Use a wealth of data sets and technological tools to explore and understand the features of the Red Planet. Look for and study the physical and chemical evidence of water and ice; compare erosional patterns on Mars and Earth; and make inferences about the planet's history as you study its geologic features including volcanoes and craters and the physics of the atmosphere. Teach Earth, physical and chemical science in the context of Mars.
|Use Mars as an exciting context to teach standards-based science concepts.|
Standards-based topic areas include:
Earth & Space Science:
Remote Sensing, Atmosphere, Pressure, Density, Electromagnetic Spectrum, Geologic Time Scales, Glaciers, Global Climate Change, Maps (Topographic and Geologic), Meteorites, Oceanbeds, Rocks and Minerals, Soils, Topography and Elevation, Volcanoes, Water, Weathering and Erosion
Physical and Science and Chemistry:
Temperature, Vapor Pressure, Phase Change of Matter, Electromagnetic Spectrum, Chemical Properties and Reactions, Water Cycle
Science Process Skills:
Observational and analytical investigation of Mars data visualizations combined with inquiry allow participants to make connections between Mars with science content covered in classrooms
- Observe and analyze Mars' planetary features using a variety of data types and sources.
- Describe the planetary system of Mars including the planet's atmosphere, lithosphere, and evidence of the hydrosphere.
- Use Mars data to teach Earth Science concepts.
- Incorporate data from various NASA missions and sources into regular classroom instruction.
- Adopt inquiry and technology-based teaching and learning strategies and successfully implement them in the classroom.
Session 1: Topic: Introduction and Mars Missions
Session 2: Topic: Water on Mars and Changes on the Martian Surface Over Time
Session 3: Topic: Mars & Earth Science Topics Explored Together in NASA Imagery for Classroom Use
Session 4: Topic: Volcanoes on Mars and the Similarities with Earth
After the interactive sessions, participants select from a variety of assignments in order to complete the necessary hours to earn credit for the course. Assignment choices include:
- Utilizing videos and content from NASA scientists.
- Completing a survey on the past and future of Mars Missions.
- Designing a habitat for humans to live on Mars.
- Developing lesson or unit plans to implement Mars data into the classroom.
- Implementing "Mars" into the classroom and assessing impact on teaching and learning.
- Access to a comprehensive web-based resource center on Mars data
- Extensive, peer-reviewed curriculum for K-12 classrooms including reasons why water is no longer on Mars
- Free simple-to-use viewer to import Mars data and look for features including water in imagery.