Remote Sensing: Activity – Science S3

Remote Sensing: Activity – Science S3 card front

Activity Timing

10 min. Introduction
15 min. Observing Spectra
10 min. Explore Data
5 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 S1 card for preparation.
  • Revisit the PLANETS Science Series guide if its been a week or more since you completed a Science Series activity.
  • For this activity you will need Science Notebooks for each youth plus Data Packets and Mineral Data Sheets for each group.

Key Terms

Spectroscopy: A remote sensing technology that measures the intensity of reflected light from a substance for the purpose of identifying the substance.

Remote Sensing Vocab List

Remote Sensing FAQs


Provides opportunities for youth to identify minerals that indicate past water or volcanism at each of four landing sites.

Quick Tips

  • Consider showing one or more of the below videos to youth to review the concepts.
  • "Spectrum" is singular and "spectra" is the plural form of the same word.

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 spectral graphs for minerals that indicate past water. Spectral graphs reveal different minerals because of how they absorb and reflect light.

Key Take Away

We can identify minerals on Mars by looking at graphs of the light they reflect created by remote sensing technology (spectrometers).

Did you know?

Some animals can see more colors than us. Butterflies can see ultraviolet light and certain reptiles can detect infrared light.