This material was developed for the Live From Mars project
by Passport to Knowledge. Live
From Mars was a precursor to Mars Team Online.
Getting the Most from Online
| The on-line components of Live From Mars (LFM) not only provide
extensive information but also--perhaps more importantly--help the
project come alive by connecting people together...
linking students and teachers directly with NASA experts
allowing students to collaborate with other students
encouraging teachers to interact with one another and with
the LFM Team
The Passport to Knowledge philosophy is ease of use and equity
of access. We want teachers with a wide range of network skills
and technologies--from simple e-mail up to full T-1 connectivity--to
find success. LFM will work for those just getting started in
cyberspace, even if their access is not from the classroom but
at home or at the workplace of an involved parent. For schools
with a little more technology and training, inexpensive cameras
and free software can bring moving images and audio into classrooms,
via CU-SeeMe, RealAudio and other similar technologies
How to start
All participants in Live From Mars should sign up for the updates-lfm
mail-list. This service won't overwhelm your mailbox (we plan no
more than two e-mail messages per week). updates-lfm will
keep you informed about the latest opportunities and also bring
you lively behind-the-scenes accounts (Field Journals) from the
men and women on the front lines of exploring Mars. Field Journals
can be used as reading exercises, discussion starters, or for information
To join the updates-lfm mail-list, send an e-mail message
In the body of the message, write only these words:
You'll soon receive a reply showing you're subscribed, and full
information about Live From Mars.
Getting On-line for the First Time
If you want to get on-line, but aren't, follow these suggestions:
1) Watch out for Net Day in your state or city... and make sure
2) Ask your colleagues. It's easy to forget those closest at hand!
It's likely there are teachers, administrators, or resource personnel
who know what's available locally.
3) Don't forget your students. Today's youth is often leading
the charge in this exciting arena.
4) Don't forget your students' parents: there's probably a relative
with an Internet connection.
5) Check with a local University, most have some type of connectivity
available, and some provide it to fellow educators.
6) Call your School Administrators, School District, County Office,
and/or State Board of Education. Inquire about special deals on
hardware, phone rates or Internet subscriptions--some are there
for the asking.
Other mail-lists available via e-mail include:
| mail-list name
||LFM info & Field Journals
||1 or 2 per week
||teachers share ideas
||varies, perhaps 15-30/week
||teachers share ideas
||once daily only
||students plan Planet Explorer Toolkit
||stream of Question/Answer pairs
| To join any of these groups, send an e-mail message to:
In the message body, write only these words: subscribe
For example: subscribe discuss-lfm
To participate via the World Wide Web ("the Web", or WWW)
If you can get online only temporarily, visit "Getting U.S. Teachers
On-line", a Web document found at:
As noted above, teachers using all three components of PTK projects
report they and their students get more from the experience. We
really encourage you to go on-line, participate, and--as one of
our most eloquent PTK Advocates puts it--"Don't just surf the 'Net,
Live From Mars Web Site
| LFM's Web Site provides three complementary kinds of on-line materials
and experiences, some designed for teachers, and some for students:
Collaborative and Sharing
| Informational opportunities include:
An archive of Biographies and Field Journals Get to know the
men and women of the NASA missions through their personal stories--what
they were like as kids, their diverse career paths, day-to-day activities,
their dreams and frustrations, and why they thrive on all the hard
work of exploring Mars!
Backgrounders--packed with information about Mars and current
and future missions. Also, lots of pictures and pointers to other
great Mars Web sites.
Image Processing in the Classroom: designed to engage visual
learners, and providing software to simulate what the career astronomers
Researcher Q&A (Question and Answer) Mars experts will be available
to answer student questions via e-mail. The resource will be supported
from October 1996 through the end of the project's interactive phase
(exact date TBD.). All questions will be answered, and all Q&A pairs
will be archived and searchable using simple key-words.
Live interactions with Mars experts. Using technologies such
as WebChat and CU-SeeMe, Mars experts will connect with your students
in real-time. Live events will be scheduled about once per month
from October 1996 through the end of the project.
A discussion group connecting teachers to one another and to
the LFM Team is available via e-mail and on the Web. Weekly WebChats
are also arranged for the same purpose.
Challenge Questions Once per week, for the six weeks prior to
each live television broadcast, a new brainteaser will provide your
students with a challenge to solve. Submit your answers for a chance
at fun prizes.
| Collaborative and Sharing
The Planet Explorer Toolkit
As an Opening Activity, students brainstorm what instruments
might be needed to document a landscape in their neighborhood,
then go on-line to arrive at a consensus decision about how to
design an Instrument Package. Then they record their sites, share
the data on-line, analyze their results --and use them to figure
out where five Mystery Sites are located, based on patterns of
temperature, geology, flora and fauna, and other indicators determined
by the students themselves. Winners will be announced on-line
and on-camera. (updates-lfm and the Web Site will have
As Closing Activities, this Guide suggests "Where Next?" and
"To Terraform or Not to Terraform?": while an individual classroom
can undertake these, debate-lfm will provide an on-line forum in
which your students arguments can be heard.
Student Stumpers Students create riddles for other students to
answer via direct e-mail; dialogue between youngsters is the goal.
Student Gallery Examples of stellar student work are collected
on-line and displayed for the World (Wide Web) to see.