An Educational Mission to Mars

Curriculum Review, March 2004 | Go to article overview

An Educational Mission to Mars


As NASA's twin rovers explore the Red Planet's surface, help students launch their own Mars exploration by using the wealth of free educational resources offered by the following 11 sites:

The Mars Exploration Rover Mission site from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/ home/index.html, features fresh images from Mars, mission webcasts hosted by science guy Bill Nye, and links to science quest units for K-12 students. Explore the Mars Curriculum Modules at http://marsprogram.jpl.nasa.gov/cla ssroom/resources.html.

Welcome to Mars, from the American Museum of Natural History, features an online Martian Math activity plus offline lessons on Balloon Rockets and Mapping Unknown Surfaces. The site, at http://www.amnh.org/rose/mars/ind ex.html, also includes a fact-filled Red Guide to Mars and a fun Mars Gazette complete with travel tips and an interview with a Martian rock.

Science Friday Kids, a spinoff of NPR's Talk of the Nation: Science Friday program, offers several online resources in connection with its recent programs on the Mars mission. Listen to the shows and check out the links at http://www.sciencefriday.com/kids/ sfkc20040102-1.html.

The Red Rover Goes to Mars Project from The Planetary Society enables students to control the movements of a Lego rover from thousands of miles away by going to http://www.redrovergoestomars.org/. The site also features student-written accounts from Spirit mission control and several Mars-related activities.

Maestro Headquarters allows visitors to download a scaled-down version of the program NASA scientists use to operate the rovers from afar. …

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