During their Mission to Mars the Engineers construct a weather station to monitor the environmental conditions on Mars. After students return to school they analyse the weather data to produce a description of the weather at the Mars crater for the months following the establishment of the weather station. They look for evidence of solar storms, dust storms, day/night cycle, seasonal variation, willy-willies and the possibility of CO2 frost.
This exercise builds skills in analysing data: using spreadsheets such as Excel; creating graphical representations of data; interpreting graphs; recognising patterns in data; and recognising the significance of variations from pattern. It also provides an introduction to Martian meteorology
Cross curricula activities
As well as all the photos taken during the day, students will also take away their laboratory records. This material can be used as the basis for student post-mission activities many of which can be used to assess students’ achievements in the VELS Communication domain.
- Write a report, with photos, for the school newsletter.
- Write a more detailed report for the school Year Book.
- Create a podcast to install on the school website which describes the science objectives of the Mission.
- Create a presentation (PowerPoint) describing the Research Lab experiments.
- Present reports to the class to share the information discovered during the Lab session.