Exploring Mars: A New Twist on Science (or Math)
Target Grade(s): K-12
Use a wealth of data sets and technological tools to explore and understand features of Earth’s neighbor, the Red Planet. Look for and study the physical and chemical evidence of water and ice; compare erosion patterns on Mars and Earth; and make inferences about the planet's history as you study both its geologic features, including volcanoes and craters, and the physics of the atmosphere. Teach Next Generation Science Standards topics in Earth, physical, and chemical science integrating mathematics, in the context of Mars using recent data from Curiosity Rover and other missions.
What can I expect from this course?
Participants attend 5 LIVE, online sessions in a user-friendly format, which include, but are not limited to the following topics:
Session 1: Introduction and Mars Missions, a Historic Context
Participants engage in exciting and meaningful instructional design activities that are directly applicable to each educator's needs. Participants tailor assignments with course instructors to ensure greatest impact with students. Some may design a human habitat for Mars, incorporating math and engineering design; others may explore investigations of evidence of water on Mars using real-time data, for example. All participants receive 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; and a simple-to-use viewers, including work with Google Mars to import Mars data and look for features including water in imagery.
NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas:
Remote Sensing, Atmospheric and Vapor Pressure, Density, Electromagnetic Spectrum, Geologic Time Scales, Glaciers, Global Climate Change, Maps (Topographic and Geologic), Meteorites, Ocean Topography, Rocks and Minerals, Soils, Topography and Elevation, Volcanoes, Water, Weathering and Erosion; Temperature, Phase Change of Matter, Electromagnetic Spectrum, Chemical Properties and Reactions, Water Cycle
NGSS Scientific Practices (8 of 8 addressed):
What other opportunities may I pursue?
Participants may implement course content and develop a portfolio following the guidelines of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, with the goal of submitting work for National Board Certification.
Educators may seek opportunities to present at conferences, or among colleagues and education community stakeholders. Course instructors and mentors will support your individual goals to become leaders in integrated STEM education.