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Mysterious Mars - Extensions

nb1Discovery Experience 1 – Mysterious MarsThe students will develop an understanding of the conditions on Mars by gathering information about Mars on a data chart.

Language Arts and Math Extensions

nb16Language Arts Extensions

  1. Design a futuristic travel brochure for Mars. (Include transportation, costs, timeframe of trip, things to see and do, what to bring, etc.)
  2. Write a persuasive letter to Congress encouraging them to continue to fund space exploration.
  3. Write a letter to NASA explaining why you should be on the first manned flight to Mars.
  4. Write a fictitious story or 5 day journal segment about your trip to Mars.  What happened?  What did you see?  What did you do?  What problems did you have?  How did you solve those problems?

nb16Math Extension

Students use proportions to make Mars relevant to them.  Below are some questions that they can use to figure out what it would be like to live on Mars.

  • If a rock weighs 3.2 lbs on Earth and weighs 1.2 lbs on Mars, how much do you weigh on Mars in lbs? 
  •  If there are 30 days on average in one month, how many months would it take to travel to Mars if the trip took 260 days?
  • Part 1:  Calculate how many days old you are on earth, if one year has 365 days.  Part 2:  Using the answer from part 1, calculate how old you would be if you lived on Mars your whole life, knowing that a year in Mars is 687 days.
  • If you can jump 8 inches in the air on earth, and the gravity of the earth is 2.66 times the gravity on Mars, how high can you jump on Mars?
  •  Part I:  If the Earth is 93 million miles (93,000,000)  from the sun, and Mars is 142 million miles from the sun, how far is Mars from the Earth? Part 2:  Using your answer from part I, if there are 1.6 kilometers in one mile, how far is Mars from the Earth in kilometers?

Science, Robotics, and Technology Extensions

Science Extension

How long does it take to get a message back from Mars?

  • Light travels at 186,000 mi/hr.
  • Calculate: if Mars is 142,000,000 miles from the sun, and earth is 92,000,000 miles from the sun, how far is the earth from Mars?
  •  Look at circle with the orbits of both Earth and Mars.  What is the closest distance between the two?  (just subtract the numbers)  What is the farthest distance between the two? (add the numbers)
  • If light travels at 186,000 miles in one hour, how long does it take to get to the earth when Mars is closest to the earth?  How long when they are farthest from each other?  If there are 60 minutes in one hour, how many minutes does it take for both of these?
  • Lecture:  The problem is that it takes time to send information to and from the robot. 
  • Activity:  Put the robot in an obstacle course in another room that the students have not seen. 
    • Have a simple camera attached to the robot that can record video.  This may be an actual camera, a phone, or similar device.
    • Have one student be “light”, the information that travels to the other room.
    • The other students must program their robots in steps to navigate the maze, having “light” bring the camera and robot back each time. 
  • Lecture:  Mars is similar.  Astronauts have to wait for long periods of time to receive information from the robot and send commands back to the robot. 
  • Articles:
  • Reflection:
    • What was difficult about this?
    •  Why do you think patience is an important attribute for scientists who work on these projects?

Robotics Extension


After visiting the website about robots sent to Mars and learning about Mars Missions, students could divide into groups and put together a short (3-5 min., 8-10 slides) PPT about each robot or mission and present it to the class.

What's Next? > A Long Way From Home

(Page 3 of 3)

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Contact Info

  • Kathleen Letsky, Curriculum Specialist
  • Nathan Patia, STEM Specialist
  • Salvador Cabusi, Technology Specialist
  • Robot Invasion
  • Krause Family Foundation
  • Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Tel: 808.778.1265

The Krause Family Foundation: ‘Alana Ke Aloha

  • ‘Alana Ke Aloha places relationship at the heart of all learning.  We create and support projects that engage participants’ imagination, collaboration, and problem solving toward a healthy planet.
  • The Krause Family Foundation: ‘Alana Ke Aloha is a private, 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization (EIN: 27-1531421) registered (01/21/2010) in the State of Hawai‘i.