- Armstrong Flight Research Center
- Goddard Space Flight Center
- Jet Propulsion Laboratory
- Kennedy Space Center
- Marshall Space Flight Center
- Earth Science
- Physical Science
- Exploring NASA Missions
- Exploring Space
- 045 min(s)
- 060 min(s)
Has Mars ever or still today have an environment able to support microbial life? How can we determine Mars' habitability?
Our understanding of the science of Mars continues by sending the most advanced suite of instruments to the Martian surface. Rovers examine samples and use imagery to detect chemical building blocks of life on Mars and assess what the Martian environment was like in the past. Join us as NASA takes its next steps exploring Mars. See how Curiosity made its way to the Red Planet, and engage in the data that comes from approximately 78 million kilometers (48,360,000 miles) away.
Sequence of Events
How big is Mars? How far is it relative to Earth? The activity, Earth, Moon, Mars Balloons, will give students the opportunity to construct a scale model of Mars and discover how far one might travel to visit the most Earth-like planet in our Solar System. Earth, Moon, Mars Balloons can be found in the Mars Activity Guide at:
Students will learn about characteristics of the Red Planet by playing Mars Bingo. Next, they will learn about how the rovers and Phoenix Lander entered the Martian atmosphere and landed on the planet's surface. At the end the video conference, students will build and test their landers. Come and explore the Red Planet with NASA.
There are 11 different bingo sheets at this link for this video conference, you will need to provide a bingo sheet for each student:
- Mars Bingo Sheet
- Pen or pencil to mark off the Bingo boxes
Activity 1: At the end of the video conference, students will build and test a lander. You will need the following materials:
- Mars Aeroshell Template (used for open inquiry)
- Mars Aeroshell Template with Directions ( used for guided and coupled inquiry)
- Four pieces of string/yarn approximately 8 inches long
- One piece of string/yarn approximately 2 feet long
- One square napkin with the four corners cut off (when it is unfolded)
- Transparent tape
- One paper clip
**To make an open inquiry lesson have students build an aeroshell without any instructions
**To make a guided inquiry lesson, provide the template and review the instructions
**To make a coupled inquiry lesson, provide the template and instructions, but do not review
Earth and Space Science; Standard D: Grades 5-8
- The earth is the third planet from the sun in a system that includes the moon, the sun, eight other planets, and their moons, and smaller objects such as asteroids and comets. The sun, an average star, is the central and largest body in the solar system.
Physical Science: Content Standards B: Grades K-4
- The position of an object can be described by locating it relative to another object or background.
Physical Science: Content Standards B: Grades 5-8
- An object that is not being subjected to a force will continue to move at a constant speed in a straight line