Over the next decade, a new generation of NASA spacecraft will strive to answer one of the most fundamental questions in planetary science: How were the planets created? Three NASA spacecraft have already been deployed on missions to investigate the origins of places like Jupiter, our Moon and giant asteroids. InSight will fill the missing link by studying the formation and evolution of terrestrial planets, like Mars and Earth.
InSight's education and public outreach (E/PO) initiatives will focus on telling the story of the origins of the solar system, as only NASA can, with its missions of discovery. As the InSight spacecraft probes deep within the surface of the Red Planet, the story of Mars' origins will unfold -- sending real-time data back to Earth to reveal Mars' long historical record, hidden for eons under its rocky surface. This crucial information will be disseminated through various platforms, such as mobile applications, social media, videos and podcasts, and visualization programs -- reaching students in both informal and formal education settings.
InSight's E/PO will introduce planetary data into classrooms within days of downlink, so that students can perform data analysis just as scientists do, engaging in comparative planetology across multiple themes: Earth, Mars, and throughout the entire solar system:
Seismology will let students "see" inside Mars with seismic waves caused by marsquakes and meteor impacts to map Mars' internal structure.
Data from InSight's heat probe, a "planetary thermometer," will allow students to compare competing models of interior structure and formation of terrestrial planets -- in our solar system and elsewhere.
This will provide students with the ultimate history lesson -- understanding the planet's interior structure, activity, and the forces that shape rocky planets.
Stay tuned as InSight's E/PO team works with our partners to create programs for educators and the public throughout the mission's lifetime.
Until then, students can get started learning about seismology and earthquakes through NASA Wavelength's Earthquake Education resources or via some of our partners, whose websites also host a wealth of seismology and earthquake resources.
Earthquake Activities from NASA Wavelength: http://nasawavelength.org/resource-search?qq=earthquakes&educationalLevel=
Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS) -- leading provider of seismology and Earth interior structure educational opportunities and materials, and professional development: http://www.iris.edu/hq/
For Educators: http://www.iris.edu/hq/programs/education_and_outreach/educators
For Students: http://www.iris.edu/hq/programs/education_and_outreach/students
USC Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC) -- a leading consortium of earthquake scientists and education and outreach professionals.
Education Resources with SCEC:
United States Geological Survey (USGS)