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The Mars Exploration Curriculum Module Overviews

- Archived Page

Compared with the individual activities available at this Web site, the curriculum modules provide an in-depth way introduce students to Mars, geology, space exploration, and Earth and planetary science. The modules contain five to nine hands-on activities, and it takes from two to three weeks to complete all the activities in a module.

Most modules are designed around a specific question central to current Mars research. To learn more about a module's topic and to answer the module's over-arching question, students use experimentation, modeling, Mars-Earth comparisons, and image and data interpretation.

The activities in the modules were written by educators, reviewed by scientists, and field tested by students, making them scientifically accurate, classroom ready, and easy to use. The modules can also help schools implement the National Science Education Standards in a creative, innovative, and multi-faceted program.

Look over the following module descriptions to see which ones fit in well with your curriculum.

Exploring Mars
Grades 4-10, Two Weeks


How can students study Mars and Mars Exploration in the classroom?
This introduction to studying Mars in the classroom develops students' understanding of Mars, the solar system, and planetary exploration. The module introduces many of the intriguing riddles posed by Mars and provides teachers a variety of ways to integrate the study of Mars into their classrooms.

The Great Martian Floods and The Pathfinder Landing Site
Grades 4-10, Two Weeks


Is the landing site in a flood plain
and why would that be good news?

Students learn how sediment, landforms, and drainage patterns provide clues about a planet's geologic history. They use evidence from their work and data and images from NASA's missions to Mars to understand the advantages of landing at the end of a flood channel.

The Grand Canyon of Mars And How It Formed
Grades 6-12, Three Weeks


What can a colossal fracture tell us about Mars?
Students investigate the formation of Mars' 3,000 mile-long rift valley. After investigating how a planet's surface can be altered and analyzing data and images from NASA's missions to Mars, students develop hypotheses to explain the rift valley's formation and amass evidence to support their ideas.

Is There Water On Mars?
Grades 9-12, Three Weeks


Can water exist on present-day Mars?
By experimenting with water as it changes state and investigating some effects of air pressure on water's boiling temperature, students not only learn core ideas in physical science but can deduce the water situation on Mars by applying those concepts. They use evidence from their work as well as data and images from NASA's missions to Mars to take a position on whether there was ever water on Mars.

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