ShareSpace’s Giant Mars Map is an exciting standards based, interactive educational tool that promotes active learning. Suited perfectly for upper-elementary-aged students, the Map can be be used on any large surface – from a school classroom, gymnasium, to a museum’s lobby!
The Giant Mars Map displays surface features for the entire planet. The shows displays latitude and longitude and is color coded to show elevation of the surface. Landing sites for various landers and rovers are identified. A chart of Earth/Mars comparative data is also included.
The Giant Mars Map comes with curriculum materials developed at Purdue University by a team lead by Dr. Carla Johnson, as well as a lesson developed by Jim Christensen. The first five lessons are designed for students in grades 4-6. Each lesson contains an overview, lesson objective, references to the Next Generation Science Standards, Disciplinary Core Ideas, Crosscutting Concepts, a list of required materials, and instructions for the teacher to prepare the lesson. The five lessons extend over sixteen 45-minute class periods. Students work in collaborative, real-world based teams to complete the integrated series of research and challenges. Lesson 6 is designed to help you and your students create a Mars Mission Control in your classroom. Students take on various roles to determine what research they would like to conduct on Mars, where research stations should be established, and to construct the stations which are then put in place through the use of a VEX IQ robot. The lessons include use of a VEX IQ robot that can be both remotely controlled or programmed. The robot is included with the materials.
Ten copies of Buzz Aldrin’s, Welcome To Mars: Making a Home on the Red Planet, a National Geographic Kids book, are also included with the map. The book’s content supports the activities contained in the curriculum materials.
The Giant Mars Map, the Welcome to Mars book, the curriculum materials, and the robots provide a great start when they arrive at your school but they represent only a beginning. At ShareSpace we know that great teachers create great experiences for their students. We encourage you to create your own activities and then connect other teachers and students with you and your students by sharing the activities you have created and even collaborating with another classroom at a different location. We would like to encourage you to partner with us to connect people in order to build a community that shares our excitement about living on Mars.
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