Resources for Educators
Mars Exploration Student Data Teams
Resources for the segment: "Science and the Mars Science Laboratory"
-- Through the Mars Exploration Student Data Team, teachers and students work from their schools to help study and characterize different aspects of Mars, from the atmosphere to the surface, to help support the Mars Exploration Rover mission.
NASA Solar System Exploration Education
-- Use these NASA activities to help students learn more about Mars. The activities challenge students to compare the relative size of Mars to Earth and the moon; investigate the geologic landforms found on Mars; investigate water on the Red Planet; and more.
NASA's Real World: Abiotic Conditions
-- Students investigate the freezing point of distilled water and solutions in this 5E lesson that includes links to NASA eClips™ video segments.
NASA's 21st Century Explorer: What Would You Hear in a Weather Report From Mars?
-- Compare the weather on Mars to weather on Earth. Complete a hands-on activity that helps students understand how radiation impacts exploration of the Red Planet.
Lunar Planetary Institute Mars Education Resources
-- Explore these activities and additional resources including 3-D maps and images of Mars.
Science News: Salt Water May Flow on Mars
-- Learn about recent observations from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter that have revealed possible flowing water during the warmest months on Mars.
SpaceMath @ NASA
-- SpaceMath @ NASA introduces students to the use of mathematics in today's scientific discoveries. To access these problems click on the green registration button on the top right and follow the instructions at http://spacemath.gsfc.nasa.gov
We suggest the following problems related to Mars and the Mars rovers:
- Problem 393: Taking a Stroll Around a Martian Crater! -- Students use a recent photograph of a crater on Mars to estimate its circumference and the time it will take NASA’s Opportunity Rover to travel once around its edge.
- Problem 139: How Big Is It? Mars -- Students use an image of a crater wall on Mars to investigate ancient water gullies discovered in 2008 by the Mars Orbiter.
- Problem 133: How Big Is It? The Mars Rover -- Students work with an image of the Spirit landing site taken by the Mars Orbiter satellite. They determine the image scale and calculate the sizes of various surface features from the image.
- Problem 74: A Hot Time on Mars -- The NASA Mars Radiation Environment, or MARIE, experiment created a map of the surface of Mars and measured the ground-level radiation background that astronauts would be exposed to. This mathematics problem lets students examine the total radiation dosage that these explorers would receive on a series of 1000-kilometer journeys across the Martian surface. The students will compare this dosage to typical background conditions on Earth and in the International Space Station to get a sense of perspective.
- Problem 70: Calculating Total Radiation Dosages at Mars -- This problem uses data from the Mars Radiation Environment Experiment, or MARIE, that orbited Mars and measured the daily radiation dosage that an astronaut would experience in orbit around Mars. Students will use actual plotted data to calculate the total dosage by adding up the areas under the data curve. Students will calculate the dosages for cosmic radiation and solar proton flares, and then they will decide which component produces the most severe radiation problem.
Resources for Students
Ask Dr. C: Your Personal Mars Expert
-- Do you have a question about Mars? Then ask Dr. C, a computerized "scientist" designed to answer questions about Mars The character is based on Mars scientist Dr. Phil Christensen.
Space Place: Let's Go to Mars!
-- You and your crew are about to blast off to Mars! Now you must decide what to take on the long journey in space.
NASA eClips™ Video Clips About Mars
-- Have you wondered if you could make a snowball on Mars or how the new Mars rover Curiosity will get to Mars? Learn more about Mars and the new rover Curiosity with these fun, short videos.
Space Place: So What Are We Really Doing About Mars?
-- Find out what we know already about Mars and learn why we still want to explore the Red Planet.
Space Place: What Is a Laser?
-- The Mars Science Laboratory has a powerful laser on board to help scientists learn more about the rocks on Mars. Learn more about how lasers work.
Solar System Exploration: Mars
-- Learn about the Red Planet and what we hope to learn with the new Mars Science Laboratory.