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Comparative planetology  
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Searching the six satellite images of Mars provided in this investigation, students identify and locate areas that possibly sustained life in the past, might now sustain life, or could in the future. The URL opens to the investigation directory,... (View More)

This activity is about the use of thermal emission spectroscopy in planetary research. Learners will understand how thermal spectroscopy science is used to understand the composition of the Martian surface by simulating the data collection of the... (View More)

This activity is about the use of spectral data to identify mineral composition on Mars. Working in teams, students will compare and contrast spectra to identify similarities between Earth minerals and those from Mars. A short list of suggested... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school, Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

This activity is about crater formation in the solar system. Through a simulation using mud and other materials, learners will observe crater formation and identify the distinctive features of impact sites. A diagram with crater features labeled is... (View More)

This is a lesson about the search for life on Mars. Learners will participate in three activities. In the first activity (Imaginary Martians) learners will compare a fictional organism with what they know about life on Mars today. In the second... (View More)

In this hands-on experiment, students will investigate the basic principle of photosynthesis and learn how light intensity diminishes as a function of distance from the light source. Questions help learners connect these two ideas to determine if... (View More)

Working in teams of two, learners will observe the characteristics of and classify crustal material samples. They will then infer causes for the characteristics of the different samples and the history of the "mystery" planet they originate from.... (View More)

Learners will use candy bars, straws and other materials to simulate the extraction of a Martian core sample and how to derive observations about the history and make-up of Mars. This is activity 3 of 25 from the collection, Mars Activities.... (View More)

This is a lesson about observing and examining meteorites in a Meteorite Sample Disc. Learners will practice scientific techniques, develop skills in acquiring data through the senses, observe, examine, record, and sketch data, use magnifying... (View More)

This is a lesson about planet formation. Learners will observe and describe differentiated samples in the Meteorite Sample Disk (or photographs), conduct experiments to model the separation of light and heavy materials within a planetary body,... (View More)