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Educational Level:
Middle school  
SMD Forum - Primary:
Planetary Science  
Learning Time:
1 to 2 hours  
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This activity is about planetary rovers. Learners will simulate the challenges in communications that engineers face when driving a rover on Mars. They will particpate as part of a rover team to design and execute a series of commands that will... (View More)

This activity is about rocket shape and performance. Learners will test a rocket model and predict its motion. They will launch their rocket multiple times, make observations and record the distance it traveled. They will have the opportunity to... (View More)

This is an activity about spacecraft design. Teams of learners will model how scientists and engineers design and build spacecraft to collect, store, and transmit data to earth. Teams will design a system to store and transmit topographic data of... (View More)

This is an activity about visual analysis. Learners will create art inspired by planetary images while learning to recognize the geology on planetary surfaces. This presentation and accompanying activity uses the elements of art - shape, line,... (View More)

This is an activity about the atmospheric conditions (greenhouse strength, atmospheric thickness) Mars needs to maintain surface water. Learners will use a computer interactive to learn about Mars past and present before exploring the pressure and... (View More)

This is a lesson about measurement and cratering. Learners will read about the origin of the foot as a standardized unit of measure, work collaboratively to conduct an experiment about cratering, and collect and record data to draw logical and... (View More)

This is an activity about the way distance, reflectivity, and atmosphere affect the temperature of a planet. Learners will create a planet using a computer game and change features of the planet to increase or decrease the planet's temperature. This... (View More)

Keywords: Water; Climate

Learners will record detailed observations of a simulated surface and core sample of Mars, analyze a simulated surface and core sample of Mars, compare and contrast an unknown foreign object with the surface and interior of Mars, and learn... (View More)

Audience: Middle school, Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

Learners will explore the features of Mars through a demonstration of Google Earth Mars, gather, and analyze data from multiple sources on the internet as well as print sources, develop and use strategies for reading informational text to... (View More)

Audience: Middle school, Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

Learners will identify, become familiar with and use the Engineering Design Process, use the engineering design process to sketch a reasonable drawing of the rover that will be built, use the steps of the engineering design process to build a Mars... (View More)

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