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Getting Dirty on Mars

Cover of Getting Dirty on Mars

Product Type: Lesson Plan/Activity
Audience: Educators, Informal Education
Grade Levels: 5-12
Publication Year: 2007
Subjects: Earth Science, General Science, Space Science

The Mars Phoenix lander is digging through the soil of the Red Planet and collecting samples. In this activity, students will:

-Work in cooperative groups to collect soil samples from the field, just as NASA's robotic Phoenix Mars Mission collects samples on the Red Planet.
-Understand the properties of soils.
-Examine soils for their ability to sustain organisms.

Students will measure the soil moisture content, compare soil colors, look for biomarkers and measure pH to make their comparisons. They will then present a "Soil Properties Report."

Teaching Tips [2MB PDF file]
Student Lab Procedures [6MB PDF file]
Student Lab Cards [51KB PDF file]

Page Last Updated: December 11th, 2014
Page Editor: Flint Wild