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Mars: Education
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Mars Activities
The lessons below are teacher-favorite lessons focused on the Red Planet. For more search options or to search by other science target, missions and other criteria, visit our Fast Lesson Finder. You can also search by curriculum standards on our popular Curriculum Standards Quilts.


Mars Lessons:

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Cake Batter Lava
Grade Level: 6-8
Lesson Time: Less Than 30 Minutes
Solar System Body: Venus, Earth, Mars
Mission: 2001 Mars Odyssey (Mars), Mars Recon Orbiter (Mars), Venus Express (Venus)

Short Description: To understand some of the geological processes and the structures that form as lava flows across planetary landscapes by using cake batter as an analog for lava.


Desert RATS
Grade Level: 3-5, 6-8, 9-12
Lesson Time: 30-60 Minutes
Solar System Body: Earth, Mars, Earth's Moon

Short Description: Students research and present an exploration mission timeline proposal that utilizes the scientific process to meet science objectives and mission parameters for the field site. The goal is for students to create a 3-day mission timeline of activities for exploration.


Goldilocks and the Three Planets
Grade Level: 6-8, 9-12
Lesson Time: 30-60 Minutes
Solar System Body: Venus, Earth, Mars
Mission: Akatsuki (Venus), MAVEN (Mars), Venus Express (Venus)

Short Description: Students determine what some of Earth, Venus and Mars' atmosphere is composed of and then mathematically compare the amount of the greenhouse gas, CO2, on the planets Venus, Earth and Mars in order to determine which has the most.


Inside Mars -- Puzzling Patterns -- Where Does Volcanism Occur?
Grade Level: 3-5, 6-8
Lesson Time: 30-60 Minutes
Solar System Body: Earth, Mars
Mission: Mars Recon Orbiter (Mars)

Short Description: Students compare volcano maps of Earth and Mars and identify patterns, similarities and differences.


Is There Water on Mars?
Grade Level: 6-8, 9-12
Lesson Time: 30-60 Minutes
Solar System Body: Mars
Mission: 2001 Mars Odyssey (Mars), Spirit/Opportunity (Mars), Mars Express (Mars), Mars Global Surveyor (Mars), Mars Pathfinder (Mars), Mars Recon Orbiter (Mars), MSL / Curiosity (Mars), MAVEN (Mars)

Short Description: Is there liquid water on Mars? By experimenting with water as it changes state and investigating some effects of air pressure, students not only learn core ideas in physical science but can deduce the water situation on Mars by applying those concepts.


Let's Investigate Mars
Grade Level: 3-5
Lesson Time: 30-60 Minutes
Solar System Body: Mars
Mission: 2001 Mars Odyssey (Mars), Human Spaceflight (Earth), Spirit/Opportunity (Mars), Mars Pathfinder (Mars), Mars Recon Orbiter (Mars), Mars Sample Return (Mars), MSL / Curiosity (Mars), MAVEN (Mars)

Short Description: This lesson will help your students answer the question: What do I need to know about Mars in order to live there in the future?


Making and Mapping a Volcano
Grade Level: 3-5, 6-8, 9-12
Lesson Time: 30-60 Minutes
Solar System Body: Earth, Mars
Mission: 2001 Mars Odyssey (Mars), Mars Recon Orbiter (Mars)

Short Description: After each of a series of vinegar/baking soda eruptions, students use Play-Doh to mark where the lava flowed. In teams they examine the stratigraphy and map the flows.


Mars Robotics Activities
Grade Level: 6-8
Solar System Body: Mars
Mission: MSL / Curiosity (Mars)

Short Description: Mars robotics activities provide ideal ways to help students understand the role of engineering and technology in today's world. From looking at personal robots to those we send to other worlds, these activities will help students learn the different elements necessary to design, build and support robotic missions to the Red Planet.


Mars Student Imaging Project
Grade Level: 6-8, 9-12
Lesson Time: More Than an Hour
Solar System Body: Our Solar System, Earth, Mars
Mission: Mars Recon Orbiter (Mars)

Short Description: The Mars Student Imaging Project (MSIP) is a nationally recognized award winning authentic inquiry-based learning and student-centered education project. Students learn how science works by engaging in science research using data from a NASA spacecraft orbiting Mars. Students understand how science really works by actually being a scientist.


Mars Uncovered
Grade Level: 3-5, 6-8
Lesson Time: 30-60 Minutes
Solar System Body: Mars
Mission: Mars Recon Orbiter (Mars)

Short Description: The Mars Uncovered activity guides students through an inquiry-based and critical thinking approach to studying the surface of Mars as planetary scientists do. Students will learn to create a geologic map of Mars and use relative age dating techniques to analyze the information and interpret the geologic history of that region.

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Last Updated: 30 Aug 2014