The purpose of this lesson is to introduce students to the planet Mars. This lesson will begin by discussing the location and size of Mars relative to Earth, as well as introduce many interesting facts about this red planet. Next, the history of Martian exploration is reviewed and students discover why scientists are so interested in studying this mysterious planet. The lesson concludes with students learning about future plans to visit Mars.
The year is 2032 and your class has successfully achieved a manned mission to Mars! After several explorations of the Red Planet, one question is still being debated: "Is there life on Mars?" The class is challenged with the task of establishing criteria to help look for signs of life. Student explorers conduct a scientific experiment in which they evaluate three "Martian" soil samples and determine if any contain life.
Students examine how different balls react when colliding with different surfaces, giving plenty of opportunity for them to see the difference between elastic and inelastic collisions, learn how to calculate momentum, and understand the principle of conservation of momentum.
In this activity, students examine how different balls react when colliding with different surfaces. Also, they will have plenty of opportunity to learn how to calculate momentum and understand the principle of conservation of momentum.
Students learn about stress and strain by designing and building beams using polymer clay. They compete to find the best beam strength to beam weight ratio, and learn about the trade-offs engineers make when designing a structure.
As a continuation of the theme of potential and kinetic energy, this lesson introduces the concepts of momentum, elastic and inelastic collisions. Many sports and games, such as baseball and ping-pong, illustrate the ideas of momentum and collisions. Students explore these concepts by bouncing assorted balls on different surfaces and calculating the momentum for each ball.
Have you ever wondered why it takes such a long period of time for NASA to build space exploration equipment? What is involved in manufacturing and building a rover for the Red Planet? During this lesson, students will discover the journey that a Mars rover embarks upon after being designed by engineers and before being prepared for launch. Students will investigate the fabrication techniques, tolerance concepts, assembly and field-testing associated with a Mars exploratory rover.
Students learn about the physical force of linear momentum movement in a straight line by investigating collisions. They learn an equation that engineers use to describe momentum. Students also investigate the psychological phenomenon of momentum; they see how the "big mo" of the bandwagon effect contributes to the development of fads and manias, and how modern technology and mass media accelerate and intensify the effect.
Students act as Mars exploratory rover engineers. They evaluate rover equipment options and determine what parts fit in a provided NASA budget. With a given parts list, teams use these constraints to design for their rover. The students build and display their edible rover at a concluding design review.
Students act as Mars exploratory rover engineers, designing, building and displaying their edible rovers to a design review. To begin, they evaluate rover equipment and material options to determine which parts might fit in their given NASA budget. With provided parts and material lists, teams analyze their design options and use their findings to design their rovers.
The purpose of this activity is to recreate the classic egg-drop experiment with an analogy to the Mars rover landing. The concept of terminal velocity will be introduced, and students will perform several velocity calculations. Also, students will have to design and build their lander within a pre-determined budget to help reinforce a real-world design scenario.
The purpose of this lesson is to teach the students about how a spacecraft gets from the surface of the Earth to Mars. The lesson first investigates rockets and how they are able to get us into space. Finally, the nature of an orbit is discussed as well as how orbits enable us to get from planet to planet specifically from Earth to Mars.
Students use water balloons and a length of string to understand how the force of gravity between two objects and the velocity of a spacecraft can balance to form an orbit. They see that when the velocity becomes too great for gravity to hold the spacecraft in orbit, the object escapes the orbit and travels further away from the planet.
Students use scaling from real-world data to obtain an idea of the immense size of Mars in relation to the Earth and the Moon, as well as the distances between them. Students calculate dimensions of the scaled versions of the planets, and then use balloons to represent their relative sizes and locations.
In this lesson, students are introduced to both potential energy and kinetic energy as forms of mechanical energy. A hands-on activity demonstrates how potential energy can change into kinetic energy by swinging a pendulum, illustrating the concept of conservation of energy. Students calculate the potential energy of the pendulum and predict how fast it will travel knowing that the potential energy will convert into kinetic energy. They verify their predictions by measuring the speed of the pendulum.
Using spaghetti and marshmallows, students experiment with different structures to determine which ones are able to handle the greatest amount of load. Their experiments help them to further understand the effects that compression and tension forces have with respect to the strength of structures. Spaghetti cannot hold much tension or compression; therefore, it breaks very easily. Marshmallows handle compression well, but do not hold up to tension.
In this lesson, students learn about sound. Girls and boys are introduced to the concept of frequency and how it applies to musical sounds.
This lesson will discuss the details for a possible future manned mission to Mars. The human risks are discussed and evaluated to minimize danger to astronauts. A specialized launch schedule is provided and the different professions of the crew are discussed. Once on the surface, the crew's activities and living area will be covered, as well as how they will make enough fuel to make it off the Red Planet and return home.
Waterwheels are devices that generate power and do work. Student teams construct waterwheels using two-liter plastic bottles, dowel rods and index cards, and calculate the power created and work done by them.
On the topic of energy related to motion, this summary lesson is intended to tie together the concepts introduced in the previous four lessons and show how the concepts are interconnected in everyday applications. A hands-on activity demonstrates this idea and reinforces students' math skills in calculating energy, momentum and frictional forces.