Remote Sensing and Mars
Youth explore the idea that NASA scientists are interested in finding evidence of past water on Mars that would indicate habitability. They are challenged to select one of four landing sites for a rover by examining high-resolution images of landforms on Mars.
Youth Will Know
- NASA is interested in learning whether Mars could have once supported life.
- Life on Earth depends on water.
- NASA spacecraft take pictures of Mars and send the images back to Earth as data.
Remote Sensing and Mars Educator Guide
Remote Sensing and Mars Science Notebook
Remote Sensing and Mars Data Packet
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.
- Read through the entire PLANETS Science Series guide.
- Print or copy Science Notebooks, one for each youth.
- Print or copy, and staple Data Packets, Landforms Glossary, and Mineral Data Sheets, from the Educator Guide (color if possible), one for each group.
- Print or copy Landing Ellipses and cut out for each group.
- What do scientists want to learn about Mars, and why is it necessary to land on the surface?
- What makes a good landing site?
- What NASA remote sensing data are available to help choose a landing site?
Youth Will Do
- Compare landforms on Earth and Mars.
- Interpret image data to find safe and scientifically interesting locations.
Did You Know
Mars still has water; it is just mostly in the form of ice at the poles or trapped in minerals and underground.
- The Viking, HiRISE, and CTX images are at different scales. The ellipses are to be traced on the CTX (10 km scale bar) images only.
- If your Data Packet prints out small, your landing ellipses will be too big. Have your students draw their own with a pencil.
Data: information that is collected through scientific investigation
Evidence: information or data that supports an idea, claim, or belief