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This material was developed for the Live From Mars project by Passport to Knowledge. Live From Mars was a precursor to Mars Team Online.


Teachers' Guide

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Closing Activities

We expect that Live From Mars will be something of a wild ride for you and your students, just as for the spacecraft traveling to the Red Planet. Just as in traditional field trips down here on Earth, there may be some bumps along the way! This section of the Guide, however, is designed to encourage your students to look back over the experiences they've shared and the new information they've explored. Contemporary educational research convincingly demonstrates that understanding is reinforced by the process of articulating new information for others. We hope these multi-dimensional, inter-disciplinary Activities suggest ways to do that in an engaging and exciting manner rather than as a dry "course review". These Activities should encourage students to go back to their Mars Mission Logbooks and see their own work as a valuable resource, as they synthesize the new facts they've mastered, digest the comments they've heard or read from the expert scientists and engineers, and use the research skills they've developed. Direct your students to review the pre-assessment activity they completed as they began this journey (see p. 10)--they will be amazed at what they've accomplished!

These three Activities also appeal to different grades, and utilize different types and levels of resources.

  • Activity B.1, "A Flag for Mars", is appropriate for younger students, tapping artistry and language skills as well as new knowledge of the Red Planet.

  • Activity B.2, "Where Next?", invites more extensive technical and scientific research: PTK proposes two variants, one with, and one without, on-line access.

  • Lastly, Activity B.3, "To Terraform, or Not to Terraform?" relies less on the science and logistics of exploring Mars and more on discussing and debating moral and philosophical issues.

    LFM does not expect any class to do all of these, but we are sure you and your students will benefit from an opportunity to look back over what you've learned. We also know that student work on any of these Activities will be some of the most compelling and specific evidence of what they've absorbed/retained from this unusual learning experience.

  • "Red Rover, Red Rover"

    Featured in LFM Program 2 will be "student drivers"...
    operating mini-planetary
    rovers. From around the
    world, middle school students
    are learning how to explore
    Mars remotely with robotic
    rovers when they participate
    in the "Red Rover, Red Rover"
    Project, a hands-on, educa-
    tional project launched by
    The Planetary Society.

    Students design and build
    robotic vehicles from LEGO
    Dacta kits (the educational
    division of LEGO) and operate
    the rovers via sophisticated
    computer software that mimics
    the control programs used by
    planetary scientists to explore
    other worlds. Each "Red Rover,
    Red Rover" team also creates a
    Mars-scape at their site so that
    the rovers may operate in an
    "alien" terrain of miniature
    volcanoes, impact craters, canyons
    and starry skies. for more informa-
    tion see:

    http://www.planetary.org/tps/
    explorers-red-rover.html

    or call the Planetary Society
    (see Multimedia Resources)


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