Lesson Title: Finding Impact Craters and Water Systems
Remote satellite images of the Earth are used to distinguish impact craters from other landforms. Water systems may also be studied. By constructing a model of a catchment basin, students can see how remote satellite images are used to learn about drainage systems and catchment basins on Earth as well as their possible existence on other planets.
• Describe the effects of extraterrestrial objects upon the Earth's topography, atmosphere and living organisms.
• Describe the role of satellite technology in helping scientists to identify evidence of impact events.
• Define the concept of a catchment basin and a watershed.
• Give examples of how their model relates to the real world.
• Give examples of basic concepts of catchment basins and watersheds, such as water runs downhill, hills make divides, low-lying areas create pooling and water quality is affected by what is upstream.
• Draw conclusions as to how their model may be used to study images of Mars.
• Compare and contrast drainage systems and catchment basins with features on Mars.
• Describe why and how science is an ongoing process of discovery.
Lesson Activities and Sequence
Finding Impact Craters
This activity will guide students through discussions regarding known impacts that have occurred on the Earth and the possible outcomes that have resulted.
Working in teams of three to five, students will then evaluate satellite images of the Earth to determine the traits associated with impact craters in different regions of the world.
The activity description contains six steps with the first three steps providing background, which may or may not be required for every group in the upper grade levels.
- Hydrology Investigation: Model a Catchment Basin
This activity introduces what a catchment basin is and how it works. The students construct a 3–D model of a catchment basin and use the model to investigate basins and water pathways.
Use NASA satellite images to further explore the basins and water pathways. Challenge the students to compare and contrast the known features of Earth with what is evidenced in the satellite images of Mars.
› Mars -- 1
› Mars -- 2
National Science Education Standards, NSTA
• Properties and changes of properties in matter.
• Motion and forces.
• Transfer of energy.
Earth and Space Science
• Structure of the earth system.
• Earth's history.
• Earth in the solar system.
National Geographic Society, NCGE
The World in Spatial Terms
The Uses of Geography