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June 20 Science or Fiction? Explore silly and true stories about the planet Mars. Put together your summer club notebook. June 27 Scratching the Surface.

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Presentation on theme: "June 20 Science or Fiction? Explore silly and true stories about the planet Mars. Put together your summer club notebook. June 27 Scratching the Surface."— Presentation transcript:



3 June 20 Science or Fiction? Explore silly and true stories about the planet Mars. Put together your summer club notebook. June 27 Scratching the Surface Create your own planet surface complete with volcanoes, craters, and channels. July 11 Recipe for a Planet Rice Krispie treats and Mars how are they related? July 18 Mars Gardens Could you grow a garden on Mars? Plant your own take-home garden and find out! July 25 Martian Creatures What would a Martian really look like? Create your own creature from space! August 1 Red Rover, Red Rover Build your own Mars Rover! August 8 Happy Landing Party Watch a video of the Curiosity Rover landing and celebrate everything you have learned about Mars!

4 Materials for participants: a selection of nonfiction books, copies of the journal pages for this activity, pencils. Optional: a variety of craft materials that may be used to draw or make a model of Mars. Materials for facilitators: poster paper, markers

5 1. Welcome the children and tell them that today they will be exploring what life may be like on Mars through books which they will then use to create their own story 2. Invite the children to read about Mars (5 minutes) 3. Assemble the children in a group and invite them to share what they know about Mars. Keep track of ideas on poster paper. 4. If children have questions about the vocabulary words they are reading, start a vocab wall

6 Introduce the children to the science fiction books about Mars. Ask: Why do you think there are so many stories about Mars? What about the authors description do you think is accurate? How do you think what we know about Mars has changed since this book was written? How would you change this description to make it more realistic to what we currently know about Mars?

7 Each kid (or group) picks out a book and draws/creates/writes more about Mars like the author describes. Share creations

8 Ask: What new things did you learn? Was there anything surprising? What did you find most interesting about Mars? Would they like to live on Mars? Why or why not?

9 Materials: paper, color printer, bowl, and flashlight Print off pictures (about 6 per page) from Earth and pictures of Mars showing the following geographic features: Volcano Crater Channels

10 1. Pass out the cards to groups of 2-4 children 2. Ask each child to examine their cards 1. What are the shapes of the objects on the cards? 2. Are they above ground or below ground? 3. Can you tell how big they are? 4. Do you recognize anything? What is it?

11 If kids have a hard time distinguishing between craters and volcanoes, ask them to look at where the shadows fall. Craters are circular depressions, so the shadow will fall inside the circle. Volcanoes are mountains above the landscape so the shadow would fall outside of the circle. Demonstrate by shining a flashlight on the inside of the bowl, then on the outside to show the differences in where the shadow lies.

12 Challenge the teams to apply what theyve learned by playing Mars Match card game (similar to Go Fish) Play in groups of 2. One player has all of the Earth cards, the other all of the Mars cards. Earth player plays first and asks for a geographic feature from Mars to make a pair. The game continues until no more pairs can be made. For an added challenge, play Concentration (also known as Memory) and keep the cards face down while trying to make a match

13 Mars has many surface features similar to those on Earth, including volcanoes, stream channels and impact craters There are differences in the features on Mars and Earth. Mars has fewer volcanoes than Earth, but they are much larger. Mars has many more craters than Earth. Mars does not have liquid water on its surface today, but features that look like stream channels on Earth suggest it had flowing water in the past.

14 s/activities_part1.shtml This walks you through the activity step by step.

15 Prepare an area large enough for teams of 3 to 4 players. The children may be more comfortable playing on the floor for this activity. Print Mind Over Mars game boards and copies of the Questions and Answers Templates for the appropriate number of groups. You may wish to laminate or place the game boards in sheet protectors. Note that some questions and answers are specific to Geologic Scene Investigator: Part 1 or Part 2. These are annotated on the sheets. Select the cards that are most appropriate for the activities the children have completed.Mind Over Mars Consider the age level of the children who will be playing. For younger children, it may be appropriate to have them create 3 questions and answers, and to supplement these with the prepared questions and answers. Groups of older children should create 9 to 12 questions and answers that are supplemented by the prepared questions and answers. The larger the group playing, the more questions and answers cards will be needed before a player reaches the end.

16 1. Team Up! Divide the children into groups of 3–4 and have them find a place with enough space to play a board game. Let them know that in a few minutes they will have an opportunity to apply what they have learned about Mars and how it compares and contrasts with Earth by playing a game called Mind Over Mars! 2. Distribute the Mind Over Mars game board, Questions and Answers templates, game pieces, and scissors to each team. Explain that each team will create their own set of questions based on what they have learned about Mars, one for each blank card on the Mind Over Mars Questions template. They also will write the (correct!) answer the question on the Mind Over Mars Questions template. Groups will then trade their Question cards and Answers template and use these to play the game. Invite the children to use their GSI Journals to create the questions. 3. Appoint, or ask each team to choose, a responsible child to be their Mars Grand Answer Keeper. This child will verify the answers given by the players as correct or incorrect. (As he or she will not be a player in the game, you may wish to offer a small reward in exchange for their assistance)

17 4. Prepare the game! Review the rules of the game with the children: a. Each team will work together to create questions about what they have learned about Mars, and how it compares and contrasts with Earth. They may use information from their GSI Journals to help create the questions! Set a time limit of 10 to 15 minutes for the creation of the questions. b. Have a child with good handwriting be the recorder and, as each question is created, have them legibly record it on a blank card on the Mind Over Mars Questions template. Some example questions already are on the template. c. As each question is created and recorded, the answer to that question should also be recorded on the Mind Over Mars Answers template. Make sure to match the number on the Answer to the number on the Question. For example, Question #Q9 should be matched with Answer #A9. d. After the teams have completed all questions and answers, have them cut out the individual Questions Cards. The answer sheets can be stapled together. Note to facilitator: If a group has difficulty generating questions, at your discretion, you can have them use the prepared questions and answers.

18 e. Invite the groups trade Question Cards and Answer Templates. The Answer Template goes to the team's Mars Grand Answer Keeper, who will keep the answers concealed. f. Get ready to play! Have each team place the Mind Over Mars Question Cards face down in the center of the game board and all game pieces in the "Start" square. Fairly choose a player to go first. The children may draw straws, play rock/paper/scissors, or ask their leader to help them choose. g. The first player should draw a Question Card from the top of the pile, then read the question and provide their answer out loud (no team consultation allowed!) The team's Mars Grand Answer Keeper will pronounce the answer right or wrong, and the player will follow the corresponding directions on their card depending on whether or not they answered correctly. The directions vary from card to card and will instruct the player on how many spaces to either advance or retreat on the game board. h. Invite the players to read the fun facts on the game board aloud the first time that a player lands on a particular square. i. Players should continue drawing Question Cards and answering questions. The first player to reach or go beyond the last square wins! If you are using candy as game pieces, invite all players who learned something about Mars to eat their game pieces!

19 Items needed: One plastic bottle per kid Duct tape Potting soil Seeds or plants X-Acto knife Scissors (one pair per child)

20 Discuss what kind of plants would grow on the surface of Mars (plants that would grow in the desert probably, provide own protection, etc.) Have kids peel the label off of the soda bottles. Make a cut in the bottom of the soda bottle (on the side about a third of the way up)

21 Have the kids cut the bottom completely off with a scissors. Fill the bottom half of the bottle with soil Plant the seeds/plant Squeeze the bottom half so the top half fits on. Tape around the seam (to avoid messes) Water through the top


23 Research plants Talk about hydroponic plants Design a plant (sketch it and present it to the group)

24 Put out craft supplies. This is a fantastic idea to clean out those cabinets/junk drawers. Have the kids create a creature that could be found on Mars. Present the creatures. It might be helpful to have the kids follow a presentation outline (informally).

25 Name of creature What creature eats Where it lives How it moves How long does it live What are its enemies


27 Items Needed: · Large playing area (classroom, gym, or outside area) · Three blindfolds per team · A clipboard and pencil for each driver and official · Obstacles - laminated construction paper works well (note: do not use any materials that the blindfolded students will trip or fall over). · A stopwatch for the timer of each team · Driver's sheet · Job cards with team numbers

28 Many students think that robotic vehicles (like the Mars Pathfinder Sojourner Truth rover) can be driven much like they drive their toy radio- controlled cars. They imagine a rover driver watching a computer screen showing the rover on Mars and moving a joystick to make it go. The reality is not so! The time it takes for a command to reach the surface of another planet (such as Mars) varies with the distance between the planets involved. This prevents any "joy-stick" driving in real time. The commands travel via radio waves at the speed of light (186,000 miles /second) and can take many minutes to reach their destination. Much can happen to an interplanetary robotic vehicle during this time interval. If, for instance, a command were given from the Earth-base for it to go forward on Mars and the Earth-base got a reply (say 12 minutes later) saying that the rover was indeed traveling forward. It would then take another 12 minutes to send a command from the earth-base to stop the rover.

29 1. Prepare a set of job cards for each rover team. Use 3 x 5 index cards, making a driver card, 3 rover cards, a timer card, and a judge card for each team. 2. This makes it easier to assign the next group of students by handing out the cards to reserve their role. 3. Use construction paper ties (red 12 x 12 work well) to create the obstacle course that the rovers will traverse. Laminated ties work the best and last for many uses. Do not use desks or chairs, as students may trip over them. Make any type of course by arranging the ties symmetrically. An easy example of this might be: = rover teams 0 0 STARTING LINE X X X X X XX XX XX XX XX X X X X X X X X X XX XX XX XX X X X X XX XX XX X X X X X

30 1. Choose or draw names of students to form teams of six. One student will be designated as "the rover driver", one will be the "team timer", and another will be the "team judge". The remaining three students will become the rover by hooking together in a line (both hands to the shoulders in front of them (O=O=O). 2. The rover will be guided by the driver through an obstacle course (simulated Martian surface). The drivers will proceed through the course first, writing down the instructions that will guide the rover through the course (i.e. 3 steps forward, stop, 1 step left, stop, etc.). Once the drivers have recorded their upload sequences on their driver sheets, the rover races can begin. 3. The rover teams line up at the starling line. The three rover members are blindfolded, as to not aid the driver in executing their commands. The rover members link up (to form the 3 sets of wheels like the real rover designs) with their hands on the shoulders of the person in front of them (it is fun to choose different-sized students to form a rover, as the different sizes of steps taken by each is more evident).

31 The judges will keep a tally of the number of foot faults that their rover team makes by counting each time the front rover person's foot steps on a red tile (Mars rock). The timer of each team will record the time it takes for their rover team to make it through the course. (NOTE: remind the teams that accuracy, not speed is more important when driving a robotic vehicle on another planetary surface.) The teams will all start at the same time, with the timers starting the team stopwatches when the teacher indicates. The driver may stand near their team to give the command sequences, but may not physically touch their rover to help guide it (this is, after all, teleoperations!). They must guide their rover by voice only. The rover driver may not deviate from the commands that have been written in their previous trip through the course, even if the rover is going off course. Many times in robotic missions, a sequence of commands are sent all at once. Changes have to be added later. Allow time for all teams to complete the course. Gather the class to debrief how the driving went - the challenges and what they might change to do a better job the next time. The students might observe that their steps and those of the rover people might need some type of calibration (i.e. take baby steps or take giant steps). Turns might be more accurate by saying, turn 45 or 90 degrees. Running a rover with 3 axles is also different than walking a course singularly. Repeat the activity as time permits, allowing the changes the students brainstormed to be tested

32 Watch a video of the Curiosity Rover landing (August 8 th ) and celebrate everything you have learned about Mars!

33 Cosmic bean bag toss Moon walk Present projects from previous weeks Read space stories Write space stories Constellation activites

34 Lunar and Planetary Institute NASAs facebook page (just search for NASA on facebook) Mars Activity Book or

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