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The Mars Exploration Activity Overviews

- Archived Page

Each of the following activities has been extracted from one of the curriculum modules. They were selected because they (a) cover relevant and popular topics, (b) work well as "stand-alone" activities, or (c) enhance topics often found in existing science programs. In addition, they can be completed in one to three days. Consequently, teachers who do not have the time necessary to complete a full module now have a relevant, engaging way to integrate the topic of Mars into their curriculum.
planets.jpg Make Scale Models Of The Planets
(Grades 4-12, One to Two Days)

By creating scale models, students see how the planets compare in size.
Make A Scale Model Of The Solar System
(Grades 4-12, One to Two Days)

By creating a scale model, students learn about the organization and size of the solar system.
splat.jpg What Can Craters Tell Us About a Planet?
(Grades 6-12, Three to Four Days)

By interpreting images, creating models, experimenting, and making Mars-Earth comparisons, students see how crater characteristics enable one to infer a great deal about a planet.
viewfromlander.jpg What Can Sand Indicate About How And Where Water Flowed?
(Grades 6-12, One to Two Days)

By examining sand samples from different locations, students see that sediments can provide information about where they originated and how they were deposited. They speculate on why scientists chose Ares Vallis as Pathfinder's landing site and see if they can determine the kinds of sediments likely to be deposited there.
watervalleys.jpg How Does Flowing Water Shape a Planet's Surface?
(Grades 6-12, Two to Three Days)

By pouring water over sand in a tray, students see that flowing water creates distinctive patterns and shapes in the sand. They compare these patterns and shapes with images of the surface of Mars to see if any Martian landforms suggest the presence of flowing water. Finally, students examine an image of a Martian landform that might have been shaped by flowing water and conduct experiments to determine whether it could actually have been created by flowing water.
balloon.jpg What Is So Special About Pathfinder's Landing Site?
(Grades 6-12, One to Two Days)
By interpreting images of Pathfinder's landing site, students are able to (a) deduce that Mars once had flowing surface water that transported vast quantities of sediment, (b) understand how Pathfinder can use the deposited sediments to shed light on four-billion years of Martian geologic history, (c) understand why scientists landed Pathfinder at this site.

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