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Mars Exploration
MSIP: Steps To Mars
Mars Student Imaging Project Read the Overview Compare Formats Express Interest Download Materials Read FAQs Want Training? Contact Staff
MSIP Students
Students conducting their own research about Mars. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU

Want the chance to make a new discovery through real Mars research of your own?

From around the nation, teams of students grade 5 - college work with NASA scientists, mission planners, and educators to take their own picture of Mars and make discoveries. In this student-centered project, learners understand how science really works by being scientists and interacting with practicing scientist role models.

It's fun, free, and real-world science. It gives students an authentic experience of the scientific process and their own STEM-based capabilities. Along with learning the scientific process, students gain knowledge of Earth Science concepts using Mars as an analog. The chance to explore the Red Planet motivates students to engage in successful research experiences.

Designed to fit within existing science curricula, MSIP targets already required objectives and standards (Next Generation Science Standards, Common Core State Standards, 21st Century Skills) for easy integration into classrooms. Materials also use evidence-based methods, such as the 5E learning cycle (Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, & Evaluate).

Full participation occurs roughly over 3 weeks of classroom engagement, though MSIP is flexible to meet your needs. View curriculum formats.


Martian Pit Feature Found by Seventh Graders
Sixteen seventh-graders at Evergreen Middle School in Cottonwood, Calif., found the Martian pit feature at the center of the superimposed red square in this image while participating in a program that enables students to use the camera on NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter.
Student Final Reports
View Samples

Helpful as examples of prior student work.