Mars Mission 5

5 teams | 5 clues | 1 mission

Students talk about Mars Mission 5

Students talk about Mars Mission 5

MARS MISSION 5 will fill your classroom with a genuine sense of wonder, discovery and hi-tech science. Revolving around the search for evidence of life on Mars, this exciting program gives your class an engaging framework to talk about space, consider the possibility of life on other planets and to carry out an authentic collaborative scientific investigation. Just like real space scientists, your class will plan their own mission and remotely control a sophisticated robot rover across a recreation of the surface of Mars as they search for evidence of life — all from your classroom!

HOW IT WORKS     [Years 5-8]

WE DO:
1. INTRODUCTORY VIDEO CONFERENCE

A 45 minute video conference to introduce your class to the search for life on Mars and to outline the activities they will need to do to prepare for the upcoming rover driving mission.

Conference includes:

  • discussion about the extreme Martian environment, why robots are being used to search for life on Mars and what kinds of life signs scientists are looking for in the rocks and soil
  • a look at the real robot rover your class will be driving in their mission and the app they will use to remotely control (teleoperate) it from your classroom
  • a look at the collaborative mapping app your class will be using to choose their target sites and the computer simulation they will use to learn to drive the rover
  • presentation of mission clues and mission team roles.

Time: 45 mins

YOU DO [in the week before Mission Day]:
2. PRE-MISSION DAY CLASS WORK

Choose target sites to match the mission clues using MARS YARD MAPS

Mars Yard Maps

  1. Have your class form 5 mission teams. Give each team a different mission clue sheet.
  2. Create a mission map for your class on the Mars Yard Maps app using the Mars Lab login details you were given when you booked.
  3. Have each team research what their clue means and then use the Map you created for them to search for features on the Martian surface that they believe match their clue. Each team should mark their best choice with a map pin — this will be their target site. The finished map should have 5 target sites.

Learn to drive the rover using VIRTUAL MARS YARD

Virtual Mars Yard

  1. Have everyone learn to drive the rover by completing the Learn to drive tutorial on the Virtual Mars Yard and practising driving around the virtual Martian environment.
  2. Familiarise yourselves with the teleoperation interface [you can login to the interface at any time but you will not be able to actually control the rover until the day of your mission].
YOU DO [just before your Mission Day]:
3. SET UP YOUR CLASSROOM AS A MISSION CONTROL ROOM
  1. Look at our recommended Mission Control Room setup and choose the most suitable room at your school for the mission and make sure computers can connect to our site and that large screens and video conferencing units are working.
  2. Arrange tables and computers as best as you can to match the mission control room setup diagram.
  3. Print off a set of mission role table cards. Follow the instructions on each card to set up the stations for each mission role.
  4. Assign individuals and teams to fulfill and rotate through each of the roles.
WE DO:
4. MISSION DAY > ROBOT ROVER DRIVING SESSION

Guided by the Mars Lab team (via video conference), your class will rotate through the mission roles to complete a 60 minute rover driving mission. Working together, they will carefully teleoperate the rover to their chosen target sites and use the rover’s camera to capture images for post-mission analysis.

Time: 90 mins

YOU DO [after your Mission Day]:
5. POST-MISSION CLASSWORK > COULD THERE HAVE BEEN LIFE ON MARS?
  1. Download the images captured during your mission from the link provided to you by the Mars Lab team.
  2. Guide each mission team to use these images and any other research or information they may have gathered during the Mars Lab project as evidence to try to answer the question: Could there have been life on Mars?
  3. Each mission team may wish to create a short presentation about their findings including items such as:
    • Their mission clue
    • What kinds of features they were looking for
    • Observations they made during the mission and in their captured images
    • Any evidence-based conclusions to the question: Could there have been life on Mars?

 

Australian Science Curriculum Links

Science Understanding

Science as a Human Endeavour

Science Inquiry Skills

Year 5

Living things have structural features and adaptations that help them to survive in their environment ACSSU043curriculum-table-spacerThe Earth is part of a system of planets orbiting around a star (the sun) ACSSU078 Science involves testing predictions by gathering data and using evidence to develop explanations of events and phenomena ACSHE081curriculum-table-spacerScientific understandings, discoveries and inventions are used to solve problems that directly affect peoples’ lives ACSHE083 With guidance, pose questions to clarify practical problems or inform a scientific investigation, and predict what the findings of an investigation might be ACSIS231curriculum-table-spacerWith guidance, plan appropriate investigation methods to answer questions or solve problems ACSIS086curriculum-table-spacerConstruct and use a range of representations, including tables and graphs, to represent and describe observations, patterns or relationships in data using digital technologies as appropriate ACSIS090curriculum-table-spacerCompare data with predictions and use as evidence in developing explanations ACSIS218curriculum-table-spacerCommunicate ideas, explanations and processes in a variety of ways, including multi-modal texts ACSIS093

Year 6

The growth and survival of living things are affected by the physical conditions of their environment ACSSU094curriculum-table-spacerSudden geological changes or extreme weather conditions can affect Earth’s surface ACSSU096 Science involves testing predictions by gathering data and using evidence to develop explanations of events and phenomena ACSHE098curriculum-table-spacerScientific understandings, discoveries and inventions are used to solve problems that directly affect peoples’ lives ACSHE100 With guidance, pose questions to clarify practical problems or inform a scientific investigation, and predict what the findings of an investigation might be ACSIS232curriculum-table-spacerWith guidance, plan appropriate investigation methods to answer questions or solve problems ACSIS103curriculum-table-spacerConstruct and use a range of representations, including tables and graphs, to represent and describe observations, patterns or relationships in data using digital technologies as appropriate ACSIS107curriculum-table-spacerCompare data with predictions and use as evidence in developing explanations ACSIS221curriculum-table-spacerCommunicate ideas, explanations and processes in a variety of ways, including multi-modal texts ACSIS110

Year 7

Water is an important resource that cycles through the environment ACSSU222 Science knowledge can develop through collaboration and connecting ideas across the disciplines of science ACSHE223 Identify questions and problems that can be investigated scientifically and make predictions based on scientific knowledge ACSIS124curriculum-table-spacerCollaboratively and individually plan and conduct a range of investigation types, including fieldwork and experiments, ensuring safety and ethical guidelines are followed ACSIS125curriculum-table-spacerSummarise data, from students’ own investigations and secondary sources, and use scientific understanding to identify relationships and draw conclusions ACSIS130curriculum-table-spacerUse scientific knowledge and findings from investigations to evaluate claims ACSIS132

Year 8

Sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic rocks contain minerals and are formed by processes that occur within Earth over a variety of timescales ACSSU153 Scientific knowledge changes as new evidence becomes available, and some scientific discoveries have significantly changed people’s understanding of the world ACSHE134curriculum-table-spacerScience and technology contribute to finding solutions to a range of contemporary issues; these solutions may impact on other areas of society and involve ethical considerations ACSHE135curriculum-table-spacerPeople use understanding and skills from across the disciplines of science in their occupations ACSHE227 Identify questions and problems that can be investigated scientifically and make predictions based on scientific knowledge ACSIS139curriculum-table-spacerCollaboratively and individually plan and conduct a range of investigation types, including fieldwork and experiments, ensuring safety and ethical guidelines are followed ACSIS140curriculum-table-spacerSummarise data, from students’ own investigations and secondary sources, and use scientific understanding to identify relationships and draw conclusions ACSIS145curriculum-table-spacerUse scientific knowledge and findings from investigations to evaluate claims ACSIS234