THE MIGHTY MARS ROVERS EDUCATION EXTRAS
Check out NASA’s educator’s website for amazingly comprehensive unit and lesson plans on Mars, Mars exploration, and robotics.
Get SIXTEEN amazing lesson plans on robotics on Mars, including how to guide students to design, build and test a lander for a delicate Mars rover (an egg!).
Consider entering your class or school in the Imagine Mars Project, which walks students through the process of imaging and designing a community on Mars.
Go to Explore! Mars Inside and Out for activities to explore geologic features on the red planet such as volcanoes, craters, and stream channels and compare them to features on Earth.
Send your students to this good JPL website for background information about Mars.
Here are some really good longer videos and talks you can share with your students:
An interview with scientist Steve Squyres
Exploration of the Red Planet: A lecture by Steve Squyres
A TED talk from the director of the Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) about the history of the lab and its Mars Rover mission
More Stellar Teaching Lessons
Students will work in teams to create a course for remote control cars, calibrate the time, distance, and turns needed to make it through, and “blindly” drive the rover through the course using the calculations.
Robots Engineering Unit
A series of engineering design projects and activities for students from NASA.
Finding Spirit Activity
Students use photos of the surface of Mars and protractors to locate the position of Spirit. Students will learn about range, bearing, image scale, reference point, and grommets.
Math Story Problems
Use the book as a starting point for word problems. For lower grades, write story problems such as: A rover travels 5 miles, then 3 miles. How far did it travel all together? For higher grades, try story problems with higher competencies such as: a rover needs to drive from point A to point B. A to C = 5 miles, C to B = 7 miles, how far from A to B? (ABC is a right triangle)