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Challenge Questions

Classroom Responses

>>>>>>>>>>Week #3 Challenge Question RESULTS <<<<<<<<<<
  RESULTS:  This week's Challenge Question proved to be quite
        a challenge.... partially because we (PTK) may have confused
        some participants by posting a revised version of the question.
        We think all participants did an admirable job with answers
        that show thoughtful response.  We apologize for confusing
        folks with two versions of CQ #3, but many of you gave VERY
        CLOSE answers.  We do have two winners and several honorable
        mentions!  Keep those CQ answers coming.  Keep those "SAME/
        DIFFERENT" ideas in mind for an upcoming Challenge Question!

        WINNER:  We selected co-winners this week...

                Deborah Johnson and Stephanie Wong

        HONORABLE MENTION: William G., Dixon Middle School (UT),
          Bojan Cahtarevic, Matt Appleton (TN), Mead Valley Elementary
          School (CA)

        BONUS QUESTION WINNER: Several entries were correct --
          Matt Appleton (TN) won the random drawing of correct

        HONORABLE MENTION: Dixon Middle School (UT), Cindy Kwok (TN),
        Young Astronaut's Club (NJ State Museum), and Dolan Middle
        School, Stephanie Wong. Mead Valley Elementary.



1)  Thabet P. Al Fishawi

CQ #3 --Well I think the other great Diff brt. Earth and Mars is the
Density as Earth Density is 5.52 while Mars density is 3.94 , and the
similarty is the mass as Earth mass is 6.0 kg while Mars mass is 6.4 kg
also there is Great Similarty bet. the land surface on Mars and Earth as
they are equal.

Bonus Question---Well about the Bonous Question here is my answer:
" Earth is the only planet whose English name does not derive
from Greek/Roman mythology. The name derives from Old English and

2) From: Stephanie Wong

What do you have to take away from Earth?
In order for Earth to be closely alike with Mars, you would have to take
away all the water on Earth.  This feature, may not be unique to other
moons, because there might be an underwater ocean on Europa, and an ice
patch on Mars.

How are Earth and Mars alike?
Earth and Mars are alike in many ways.  They are alike because:
        - Earth and Mars both have an atmosphere.  Though Mars' atmosphere
          in mostly carbon dioxide, it does have some oxygen, like Earth.

      - Earth has life.  Mars has a possibility that there was life on it
      millions of years ago. (meteorite)  Life could have been started on
        Earth perhaps of the meteorite from Mars that landed on Earth.

      - the revolutions (days) of them are quite the same.  Earth rotates
        once in 23h, 56min.   Mars rotates in 24h, 37min.

        - they are close in size when compared with other planets.

        - they both have moons, even though Mars has 2 (Deimos, Phobos).

        - they both have ice caps.

      - they are terrestial planets.  Earth and Mars are made of about the
        same material.

        - Mars may have been a planet such as Earth, having a thick
        atmosphere, life, almost the same as ancient Earth.

      - Mars goes aroung the sun once in 2 years; Earth in 1 year. (close
        when compared to the outer planets.

        - they are around the same distance from the Sun.

        - they have about the same temperature.

Bonus Question:
What do we mean that "this feature" may make the Earth unique when
to other planets (but maybe not the moons) in our solar system?

Earth is unique to other planets because it is the only planet known to
have water.  It may be not unique to the moons because water may be under
the surface of Jupiter's moon, Europa.  Also, the satellite, Clementine,
may have found a patch of ice in a crater on the Moon.


3) From: Sweathogs 8

We are 8th grade students at Kuss Middle School in Fall River, MA. We have
been participating in the Mars Team Online project. We think the answer to
question 3 :...

major difference: atmosphere(Mars" atmosphere is made of 95% carbon

major similiarity: polar caps

Our names are: Danny, Mitchell, Erik, Bobby, Kendall, Steven, Jason, and
David. We are in Mrs. Medeiros" class. You can call us the Sweathogs

4)    From: williamg

I think that scientifically, the feature that makes Mars and Earth much
alike is the axis tilt of each planet; 25 degrees for Mars and 23.5
degrees for Earth. This makes the seasons of the red planet analagous to
those on the Earth. Also, another feature is the Martian day compared to
the Earth's day. The Earth rotates every 23 hours 56 minutes. Mars
rotates every 24 hours 37 minutes. In other words, the two planets are
similar because their length of day, (this would probably make it easier
to colonize mars with humans).

Earth is the only planet, at least to my knowledge, that has active
volcanoes and geysers. Also seismic activity to a large extent is not
visible on the other planets. A few moons, like Jupiter's Io for
instance, have active volcanoes turning up the inside of the planet

5)  (Deborah Johnson)
Subject: Challenge Question

The major difference between Earth and Mars is Earth has large bodies
of liquid water and Mars does not.  The major similarity is that Earth and
Mars have the same amount of land surface.

Bonus:  Earth's oceans are unique in the Solar System.

6) Mrs. Kolb's Class
A:  Differences: Gravity difference .38 of earth's, atmosphere contents
mostly carbon dioxide and 30% argon, and earth is .03% carbon dioxide and
1% argon, temperature varies more from 25 degrees Celsius to -123 C.
Similarities: Almost same rotation time, inclination is close, both
planets have ice caps at each pole just not the same kind of ice.

Puneeth Kumar
Laura Janzen
Mrs. Kolb's class, Rochester MN

7)   Darlene Taylor's Class
        From: MESA class at Dixon Middle School
        Provo, Utah

We think that the main physical difference between Mars and Earth is
that water covers 70% of the earth's surface and is part of the
atmosphere as well.  Essential to life, water is so widespread that
plants and animals are found almost wverywhere.

There are many similarities, such as mountains, volcanoes, rocky
core, etc.  But we think the main similaritiy is the period of
rotation and the similarity in Mars' axis.  Because Mars' rotation is
just 37 minutes longer than ours and axis being similar (Earth-23.45
degrees and Mars-25.2 degrees) Mars has seasons similar to the ones
on earth.  The period of Mars' revolution is almost double which
makes the seasons roughly 6 months long while ours are only 3 months
long.  But there would still be four seasons on Mars, and the day and
night would be very similar.

Bonus Question
While we think that moons, and now even our moon, may have water on
it, we have not found liquid water on any of the other planets.

8)  "Bojan Cahtarevic"
    Q:With the exception of size, what is the major difference between
Earth and Mars? And, in what way are Earth and Mars most alike?
    A:The mayor difference between Earth and Mars is that Earth has life
and running water .The both planets are interplanets whit solid
surface and atmosphere.

Bonus Question:
Q:What do we mean when we say that "this feature" may make Earth unique
when compared to other planets (but maybe not the moons) in our solar
A:The Earth only has life other planets may not have it.

Cahatrevic Bojan
14 years

9)  "Linda Lund"
     CQ#3 and Bonus Question
     Miss Lund -- 8th graders

CQ#3 - Mars and Earth are alike they have Carbon Dioxide and Nitrogen
in their atmosphere.  Mars and Earth are different in size, Mars is
smaller and color, Earth is Blue due to water, Mars is red due to
surface limonite, rust.

Bonus:  The unique feature of Earth is its liquid water.

10)  Dan McNeil

CQ#3 Both have polar ice caps.  All water on Mars is frozen while most on
Earth is liquid

Dan McNeil

11)  Matt Appleton (TN)

CQ#3: Similarities & Differences
       There are many differences between the Earth and Mars.  They have
differences in the temperature and amount of oxygen there is along with
many other differences.  However I think the biggest difference between
then is that Mars does not have any liquid water at present.  This would
help to support life if we ever would want to put a people on this planet.
        Along with the differnces in the two planets, there are many
similarities.  Mars has clouds, and land forms that are also located on
Earth.  One of the biggest similarities to our planet that Mars has is the
day and season patterns.  Even though the days are slightly longer and the
seasons are almost twice as long, I think this is the most important

Bonus Question:
        I think this means (from my answer to the first question) that we
may be the only planet with liquid water and the means to support life out
there.  Although this may be true so far, it doesn't mean it always will
be the way.

Matt Appleton, Glencliff HS, Nashville, TN (Mrs. T)

12)   Answer from Cindy Kwok, Glencliff HS

        MARS: red, has a slight trace of oxygen on the surface, travels
around the sun in an elliptical orbit, takes about 687 earth day to go
around the sun, orbits the sun, spins on its axis, rotates once every 24
hrs. and 37 min, surface contains limonite, mass is only about 1/10 th of
earth, it's force of gravity is about 3/8 as strong as the earth's.

        EARTH: abundant oxygen & water, it's diameter is over twice as
small as Mars, the earth takes 365+ days to travel around the sun, it
spins like a top, rotating once every 23 hours and 56 minutes.  Earth has
limonit in various deserts on earth.

        BONUS: The feature of having water on both Mars and Earth hints
possibility of life on Mars.

13)  Henry Bohnhoff

My answer is Earth and Mars are allmost Twin planets  except for Mars has
all its liquid at the two poles, and the fact that Mars has two moons

BONUS: This mystery feacher is liquid water and oxygen.

These responses to CHALLENGE QUESTION 3 are all from students in
the Young Astronauts Club at the New Jersey State Museum.  The
original spelling has been carefully preserved.

Katie McPeak Age 11
What makes earth special among the plants but not special if you
include the moons?

Earth is the only planet with water if you are only looking on
the planets.  But if you look at the moons of the Planets you
will see that the moon of Eruopa has liquid water on it under
great ice burgs.  Scientist believe that there may be living
forms of bacteria and one-celled organisms in the water.

Robin Phillips Age 10

Earth is the olen plant that has water but if you include Europa
(a moon) it has glacers with water under neth.

Lisa Brown Age 9
The only places that have liquid water are earth and Europa.

Christopher Hopkins Age 11
Earth and Mars are alike by that both have ice.  Earth is the
only planet with liquid water but Europa (a moon) has liquid
water also.

David Aarensen Age 11

Earth and Mars are alike because they both have frozen water.

Earth is special among the planits because it has liquid water.
It is not special among the moons because Europa, a moon of
Jupiter, probably has liquid water.

Jonathan Siersema Age 11
They both have water or ice, any form of water.  Earth is the
only planet with liquid water. but only 1 moon has liquid water.

John Mennuti Age 11
Earth is special because it is the only planet with liquid water.
Europa (the moon) might have liquid water.

Diana Taft Age 12
Earth is unique amongst the planets because it has liquid water,
however Earth may not be special in this way if you include the
moons because Europa may have liquid water.

Andrew E. Age 9

It's the only one with life.

Kimi Shearer Age 9
Earth is unique from all other planets but not moons is our
liquid water because we trying to research a moon called Europa
that might have water on it.

Bechy Ascher Age 10
Earth has water but Europa Jupiter's moon also has water.

Zak Mc Mullan Age 10
They are alike because it is the only planet with water or liquid
gas.  Europa is so far the only moon with liquids and Ice.  It is
the only planet with life and water.

J. Plangian Age 10
Earth has liquid water but Europa might have it to.

15)  Cathy Peterson
CQ #3 answer:

        Our class has decided that the one thing that makes Earth so
different from Mars (but maybe not the moons) is that Earth has life
and water.

Bonus Question answer:

        We think this is the answer because we have been hearing in
the news how the scientists are finding out that Europa, Jupiter's
moon,  has several important components for life.  These are: lots of
water, a heat source, and lots of time for "interesting things" to
happen, such as the beginnings of life.

        Mrs. Peterson's 5th-grade class
        Mead Valley Elem. School
        Perris, California

16)  From:  (Dolan Middle School)
Subject: CQ#3 +Bonus

Mars is a reddish colorm  Mars has a cold surface.  There is no oxygen on
Mars.  Mars is the 4th planet from the sun.  Mars was named for the god of
war. (Maybe the red color made people think of anger or blood.)

Earth is man's home.  It is the only planet to have the right atmosphere
and the right temperature to support the millions of kinds of plants and
animals that have developed here.  Earth has different climates and an

Mars and earth are round and similar in size.  They are both planets.
They have satellites. (earth has one moon and many man-made satellites and
Mars has 2 moons).  The length of day is very similar.  Earth has 24 hours
and Mars has 24 1/2/ hours.

Bonus - Earth is the only planet that has liquid water, water vapor and
solid water.  Earth has living things in many varieties.
From Lilrena Gwynn @ Dolan Middle School - 6th grade