Mission to Mars: A Classroom Simulation by: Katie Rommel-Esham and Christopher Souhrada

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Upper elementary children build a scale-model Martian habitat by laying a grid over scattered items. They develop science-process skills by conducting research on Mars and evaluating data; mathematics skills by figuring basic population data; and language arts skills by orally communicating procedures and results.

  • Elementary
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Reviews (2)
  • on Fri May 10, 2013 9:13 AM

It starts with a message to students from NASA asking for help to sample the population at a target location on Mars. Students created a model of the terrain which eventually led to the use of a sampling grid. The rest of the simulation activity is described in full for this elementary class activity. Students learn important scientific skills while creating their own understandings.

Adah  (San Antonio, TX)
Adah (San Antonio, TX)

  • on Mon Oct 03, 2011 7:39 PM

The "Mission to Mars" to sample for organisms hits many science and math connections in an authentic and interesting way. It is also a nice problem-based unit that involves reasoning skills. As such, it could be used in upper elementary as suggested or modified for middle school classes as well. The author provides suggestions for assessment that are reasonable and which can be built on for older students. They suggest tying the sampling techniques to other units as well, and I would like to add forensics to their list, as we did something similar in a forensic unit I used to introduce students to science process skills at the beginning of the school year.

Tina Harris  (Fairmount, IN)
Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN)

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