Remote Sensing: Activity – Science S2

Remote Sensing: Activity – Science S2 card front

Activity Timing

5 min. Introduction
10 min. Interpreting Data
15 min. Analyzing Site
10 min. Reflect

40 min. Total

Prep Reminder

The Educator Guide has a script, materials list, and prep directions. Be sure to have it open and ready to help guide you through every activity.

  • If you have not already completed the prep for Science Series Activity 1, please refer to the S 1 card for preparation.
  • Revisit the PLANETS Science Series guide if its been a week or more since you completed Science Series Activity 1.
  • For this activity you will need Science Notebooks for each youth, plus Data Packets and Landing Ellipses for each group.

Key Terms

Contour: A line on a map that represents a constant elevation.

Topography: The arrangement, elevation, or height of the landforms in an area

Remote Sensing Vocab List

Remote Sensing FAQs


Provides opportunities for youth to compare topographic features of four potential landing sites.

Quick Tips

Consider teaching about contour lines by tracing the layers of the moonscape from World's Apart Activity 4 and creating a topo map. Additionally, the pages of a thick paperback book can be manipulated to show a steep or shallow slope where every page edge is a contour line.

Videos Related to this Activity

Science Snippet: Build your content knowledge to help answer youth's questions.

End of Activity Science Reflection

Today we investigated topographic maps created with LiDAR. These reveal the shape and height of landforms.

Key Take Away

We can use topographic maps created with remote sensing technology (LiDAR) to determine the shape and the height of terrain on Mars.

Did you know?

Contour lines never cross, unless there is an overhanging cliff large enough to appear on a topogrpahic map.