A few places to visit to get a head-start
The Mars Explorer Challenge is a great starting point for cross-curriculum learning.
To help you get started, check out the following websites and downloads.
Video and online scene setters
Ben Gilliland’s articles in The Metro are a perfect starting point for the topic. Lively writing, great images, well presented facts and figures and easy to access video content and easily searchable content.
Video Scene Setters Set to Music
A ten minute animated video by NASA, Cornell – uses nice range of modern music and excellent animations
An eight minute video by NASA Cornell set to Holst
Short animated video with music displaying features of the Mars Rover
Exo Mars: Europe’s First Tracks on Mars (1 minute)
ESA – What is Exo Mars Going to Do on Mars
A fifteen minute Video about careers in science at Astrium and Bridget
Curiosity - Mars Rover Animation
Find out about the Viking Mission and its scientific objectives from this video:
Check out the Phoenix Mission. How does it compare with earlier missions?
Check out Mars Express:
Find out more about the Aurora and ExoMars missions:
Food for thought
Consider how scientific knowledge is gathered...
How would you prove that life exists on Earth?
What signs would there be?
What signs would you look for on another world?
Get some Mars facts:
The maths behind Mars exploration
Discover some facts and figures about the journey to Mars. How much would you weigh on Mars? How long would it take to get there? How long would it take you to get there if you went on a bicycle, or if you walked, or by airplane? What is a sol? These are excellent websites with lots of links to other Mars related resources including video footage, images,
Design and Technology
Edible Mars rover:
How to build a model car from recycled material:
Lego Mindstorm models:
Science and Engineering Club Boxes – Mars Mission, available from Science Museum Learning:
Functional models from the Mars Society and the University Rover Challenge:
Examples from American Rover Challenges
Have a go at driving a Mars Rover:
Get lots of free downloadable screensavers from the ESA website:
Mars in words
Read the well written factual background to Missions to Mars in Space:UK published by the UK Space Agency.and use as a guided reading text or stimulus for factual writing.
Read the journals of Bridget as she undergoes trials:
Check out other rovers that have visited Mars:
Follow the timeline and mission of Curiosity, due for launch in 2011:
Fiction and drama
Read The War of the Worlds by H. G Wells (1898).
How would the story differ if it had been written by the Martians?
How did they prepare to explore another world?
There are lots of other great books about Mars – let us know your favourites.
Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury or Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein. Does their view of Mars fit with what we know?
The geography of Mars exploration
Where would you land your Rover and why?
What would the Martian landscape look like?
Where would you find maps of Mars?
What does Mars look like on Google Street view?
What is the terrain like?
What rocks would you find?
What features would you find – sand, valleys, canyons, craters?
Where can you find these features on Earth?
The history of Mars exploration
What are the key milestones in exploring other worlds? What is the timeline for the ExoMars and other Mars exploration missions? How does the exploration of Mars compare and contrast with other exploration journeys?
Which websites provide an insight into Mars and planetary exploration?
Which ones are the most interesting and informative?
Contribute to a wickipedia entry.
Create a podcast about your project?
Upload a film of your Mars Rover project.
Tweet about your project.
Upload your project onto the website.
Encourage students to blog comments to the CosmOnline blog.
Business Studies and economic awareness
Which UK companies are involved in the manufacture of the Mars Rovers?
Where are they based and what is their background?
Are there changes in funding that will affect future missions?
Careers and PSE
Which career route might you take to join the team working on the Mars Rovers?
Which university courses might you consider?
Are there other routes into Mars exploration?
Which other countries are involved in the ExoMars programme?
What are they contributing and how are they doing it?