Join a Mars Project at HLN for Free!

In honor of the great accomplishment of humankind in landing the latest Mars Rover, Curiosity, the Homeschool Learning Network is running two Mars Projects for the 2012-2013 school year. One project will be geared to grades K-8, and one for grades 9-12.  Younger students will learn about Mars, and "imagine" their own community there, through a series of lesson plans.  Older students will form a team, and study data coming from the Red Planet.


Imagine Mars Project for Grades K-8

In this project, we will follow a series of lesson plans as students build their projects throughout the school year.  Here are the beginning concepts to be covered in this collaborative project:

  • Students draft a plan of an ideal community to serve as a springboard to consider what it would take to live on Mars.
  • Students construct scale models of Earth, Moon, & Mars to discover size and scale.  
  • Students will create a model of the solar system using beads and string, and compare planetary sizes using common types of fruit and seeds. 
  • By playing an interactive card game, students create a mission that balances science return with mission constraints.
  • By building rockets out of simple drinking straws, students investigate how variations in a rocket’s nose cone influences distance of flights.
  • Using play dough, students explore the way in which humans explore planets through a variety of missions from Earth-based telescopes to rovers.
  • By playing an interactive card game, students create a mission that balances science return with mission constraints.
  • Working in small teams, students pretend to be a rover and learn the constraints of operating a rover on Mars.

This is just the initial set of lessons!  The remaining lessons build upon each other until students have imagined and designed their own community to live on Mars.


Mars Exploration Student Data Team for Grades 9-12

Through the Mars Exploration Student Data Teams (MESDT), students (high school through college) join with Mars scientists to analyze real data from Mars. NASA and Arizona State University’s Mars Education Program is offering students nationwide the opportunity to be involved in authentic Mars research by participating in the Mars Exploration Student Data Teams (MESDT).

Teams of students in high school through college will have the opportunity to work with scientists, mission planners and educators on the collection and analysis of data as it is downloaded from instruments currently orbiting mars.

Overall, the goals of MESDT are to:

  • Expand the opportunity to perform authentic Mars research with high school students;
  • Provide education and outreach to as broad an audience as possible;
  • Include as many diverse groups as possible;
  • Take student-directed research to the next level.

 The Homeschool Learning Network will sponsor one or more teams to be part of this data exploration, and serve as the "teacher sponsor" for this project.  

How to Join the Projects

These projects are completely free!  In order to join either of these projects, simply join HLN as either a free or paid member, and navigate to the Projects Page.  Look for the project, and begin exploring your initial steps!  We look forward to your family's participation!






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