ROBOTS Spring 08 Manual

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ROBOTS Spring 08 Manual Powered By Docstoc
					    NSF Academies for Young Scientists




       Spring 2008
Professional Development
        Workshop
Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute
            www.pari.edu
                   PISGAH
                   ASTRONOMICAL
                   RESEARCH
                   INSTITUTE

                                                                        ONE PARI DRIVE
                                                                       ROSMAN, NC 28772
                                                                         TEL 828 862 5554
                                                                         FAX 828 862 5877
                                                                            www.pari.edu


Dear R.O.B.O.T.S. Professional Development Workshop Participant,

Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute and NC Math and Science Education Network are
very pleased to present the fourth R.O.B.O.T.S. Professional Development Workshop.
You have journeyed far – from the edge of the Milky Way Galaxy to the surface of our
Moon. Staying close to home, we next explore Mars. NASA has set a goal of sending
humans to Earth’s sister planet. As part of this effort, many satellites and space probes are
mapping the surface, monitoring Martian weather, and even digging into Martian dirt.
You and your students will learn about the orbit of Mars, access NASA Martian weather
and soil data, and build a robot rover that must maneuver over unknown terrain. Enjoy
your continuing journey!

Your Martian Guides,




Michael Castelaz, Ph. D.
Director of Astronomical Studies and Education




Christi Whitworth, M.A.
Science Educator




Beth Snoke Harris, M.Ed
Science Educator




                                            -1-
Table of Contents

Welcome Letter                                              1

Table of Contents                                           2

Workshop Agenda                                             3

Curriculum Alignment                                        4

Section I     Modeling the Solar System                      5
              Resources                                      6
              Worlds in Comparison Activity, Teacher Copy    7
              Worlds in Comparison Activity, Student Copy   14
              Pocket Solar System Activity, Teacher Copy    21
              Pocket Solar System Activity , Student Copy   24

Section II    Motion of Mars                                27
              Resources                                     28
              Mars Opposition Dance Activity                29
              Planet Month Template, Teacher Copy           31
              Planet Month Template, Student Copy           33
              Retrograde Motion Activity                    35
              Mars Observation Map and Log, Teacher Copy    37
              Mars Observation Map and Log, Student Copy    39

Section III   Mars Weather                                  41
              Resources                                     42
              Weather Activity, Teacher Copy                43
              Weather Activity, Student Copy                46

Section IV    Mars Soil                                     49
              Resources                                     50
              Soil Temperature Activity, Teacher Copy       51
              Soil Temperature Activity, Student Copy       55
              Feeling Dirt on Mars                          58




                                        -2-
                           R.O.B.O.T.S.
                Professional Development Workshop

                           Spring 2008 Agenda
8:00 – 8:30      Arrival
8:30 – 9:00      Welcome
9:00– 10:00      ROBOTS Updates
10:00 – 11:00 Section I. Modeling the Solar System
11:00 – 11:15 Break
11:15 - 12:00    Section II. Motion of Mars
12:00 – 12:30 Lunch
12:30 – 1:00     Section III. Mars Weather
1:00 - 2:15      Section IV. Mars Soil Science
2:15 – 2:30      Break
2:30 – 3:30      Mars Robot Challenge with Dr. D'Arruda
3:45 – 5:00      Preparation for Fall Sessions



                                Facilitators

         Michael Castelaz                       Christi Whitworth
         mcastelaz@pari.edu                   cwhitworth@pari.edu

         Beth Snoke Harris                          Jose D’Arruda
         bharris@pari.edu                          jose@uncp.edu

                  Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute
                             One PARI Drive
                           Rosman, NC 28772




                                    -3-
R.O.B.O.T.S. Curriculum Alignment
Lesson plans help meet the following N.C. Competency Goals (2004) for Grade 7:

Goal 1: The learner will design and conduct investigations to demonstrate an
understanding of scientific inquiry..
1.01 Identify and create questions and hypotheses that can be answered through scientific
investigations.
1.02 Develop appropriate experimental procedures for:
1.03 Apply safety procedures in the laboratory and in field studies:
1.05 Analyze evidence to:
1.08 Use oral and written language to:
1.09 Use technologies and information systems to:

Competency Goal 2: The learner will demonstrate an understanding of technological
design.
2.01 Explore evidence that "technology" has many definitions.
2.02 Use information systems.
2.03 Evaluate technological designs.

Goal 3: The learner will conduct investigations and utilize appropriate technologies and
information systems to build an understanding of the atmosphere.
3.01 Explain the composition, properties and structure of the atmosphere:
3.05 Examine evidence that atmospheric properties can be studied to predict atmospheric
conditions and weather hazards.




                                          -4-
Section I – Modeling the Solar System
Objectives:
Correctly order the planets in terms of volume and distance from the Sun. Categorize the
planets as inner or outer planets and give basic characteristics of each.

Time
Teacher Workshop – 1 hour
Students Session – 1.5 hour

Materials
ROBOTS manual
Playdough
Plastic knives
Cash register tape
Large round stickers
Small round stickers
Pencil


Teacher Workshop Outline:
 Explore the relative volumes of each planet with the Worlds in Comparison Activity
 Model the relative distances of the planets using the Solar System in Your Pocket
   Activity
 Discuss other solar system models.

Correlated Student Outline:
 Create models of the solar system to explore relative volume and distances from the
  Sun.

Background Information:

The Pluto Problem
While Pluto is currently not classified as a planet, it is still out there and can be
incorporated as a representative of the Kuiper Belt. Students may ask why Pluto is no
longer considered a planet. Here are the criteria that the International Astronomer's Union
(IAU) used to reclassify Pluto.

A planet:
 is round. It has enough mass that gravity gives it a roughly round shape.
 orbits the sun.
 clears its neighborhood. There are no other large objects orbiting the Sun in a planets
   path.

Pluto meets all of these except the last. It is in the Kuiper Belt. A region just past Neptune
with many large (and small) chunks of rock, some of which are larger than Pluto.



                                            -5-
There are also other regions in our solar system where objects smaller than planets orbit
the sun such as the Asteroid Belt (between Mars and Jupiter) and the Oort Cloud on the
outer edges of the Solar System. As you can see the Solar System is truly a system and not
just a collection of planets.

Resources
The Thousand-Yard Model aka Earth as a Peppercorn
http://www.noao.edu/education/peppercorn/pcmain.html

Solar System on Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_system

Views of the Solar System
http://www.solarviews.com/eng/homepage.htm

Solar System Tour
http://www.nineplanets.org/

Solar System Exploration from NASA
http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/index.cfm




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Section II – Motion of Mars
Objectives:
Describe the relative positions of the Earth, Sun and Mars when Mars is in opposition and
conjunction. Explain the motion of Mars in our sky and why it appears to stop and reverse
(retrograde motion).

Time
Teacher Workshop – 1 hour
Students Session – 1.5 hour

Materials
Masking tape
Marker
Meter stick
Long string
Laser pointer (optional)
White board (or large clear wall)

Teacher Workshop Outline:
 Participate in kinesthetic models of Mars motion in the sky to demonstrate opposition,
   conjunction and retrograde motion.

Correlated Student Outline:
 Participate in kinesthetic models of Mars motion in the sky to demonstrate opposition,
  conjunction and retrograde motion.
 Map Mars' position in the sky over several
  weeks.



Background Information:
Mars was in opposition on December 24, 2007.
But because our orbits are not exactly circular,
Mars was closest on December 18, 2007. Mars will
next be in opposition in 2010. Mars will next be in
conjunction on December 5, 2008.




                                         - 27 -
Resources

Mars Opposition
http://www.kidscosmos.org/kid-stuff/mars-oppositions.html

Mars
http://www.planetary.org/explore/topics/our_solar_system/mars/

Solar System Live
http://www.fourmilab.ch/solar/solar.html




                                           - 28 -
Mars Opposition Dance Activity
Set-up
Use the Earth Month and Mars Month templates and directions to mark out 2 circles on the
floor using tape (or chalk if outdoors) with marks for each month in the Earth's and Mars'
orbit.

Doing the Activity
Earth
Ask for a volunteer to be Earth and have her stand on her orbit. Have her demonstrate a
day on Earth by rotating counter clockwise. Ask when she sees sunrise and sunset.
When the sun is not in the sky, what would she see?

Ask Earth to go through a couple of full orbits by pacing out the marked distances to a
beat. The rest of the class can clap along. When the Earth completes one full orbit, shout
Happy Birthday! What is the period of time it takes the Earth to orbit (or revolve) around
the Sun once? (1 year) What period of time does each step represent? (1 month)

Mars
Recruit another volunteer to be Mars and have him stand on his orbit at the point closest to
Earth. This is opposition when the Earth is between the Sun and Mars - or Mars and the
Sun are on opposite sides of the Earth.

Have the Earth go through a full day again, noting when she sees Mars rise and set in
relation to sunset and sunrise. Mars will rise around sunset and set around sunrise. Since
it is closer to Earth and up all night, opposition is the best time to view Mars.

Have Mars practice pacing out his orbit. Like Earth he will take one step for each beat or
month but he has 26 steps in one year instead of 12. Each time he passes Earth (i.e.
reaches opposition) have him raise his fist and yell "Charge!" (since Mars is named after
the Roman god of war). After he tries it a couple of times, ask him how long it takes him
to orbit the Sun once. It takes almost twice as long as the Earth, or 22 Earth months. So if
you are 12 Earth years old, you are just over 6 Martian years old! How old are you in
Mars years?

Earth & Mars
Now ask Earth and Mars to pace out their orbits at the same time. Remind Earth that every
time she reaches her starting point, she should yell "Happy Birthday!" and remind Mars
that every time he reaches opposition, he should raise his fist and yell "Charge!" This way
we can keep track of how often opposition occurs. Clap out the beats and send the planets
off on their orbits.

Have the other participants pay close attention to how often Mars reaches opposition. How
many Earth years go by between oppositions (i.e. how many "Happy Birthdays!" for each
"Charge!") They should see that opposition occurs every two years.

You may wish to repeat the dance again and have everyone pay attention to when the Earth
and Mars are in conjunction, or line up on either side of the Sun.



                                          - 29 -
- 30 -
Earth Month
Place this page at the Sun in the center of the orbits. Have one student hold one end of the
string at the center and have another line up the string with one of the lines. Place a piece
of tape or a sticker on the ground about 4 feet from the center. Move the string to the next
line and repeat until you have 12 marks in a circle, one for each Earth month.




                                           - 31 -
Mars Month
Place this page at the Sun in the center of the orbits. Have one student hold one end of the
string at the center and have another line up the string with one of the lines. Place a piece
of tape or a sticker on the ground about 6 feet from the center. Move the string to the next
line and repeat until you have 22 marks in a circle, one for each Mars month.




                                           - 32 -
Earth Month
Place this page at the Sun in the center of the orbits. Have one student hold one end of the
string at the center and have another line up the string with one of the lines. Place a piece
of tape or a sticker on the ground about 4 feet from the center. Move the string to the next
line and repeat until you have 12 marks in a circle, one for each Earth month.




                                           - 33 -
Mars Month
Place this page at the Sun in the center of the orbits. Have one student hold one end of the
string at the center and have another line up the string with one of the lines. Place a piece
of tape or a sticker on the ground about 6 feet from the center. Move the string to the next
line and repeat until you have 22 marks in a circle, one for each Mars month.




                                           - 34 -
Retrograde Motion of Mars Activity
Set-up
Set-up the same Earth and Mars month marking from the previous activity but make sure
that the orbits pass next to a large wall that you can either mark on or put pieces of tape or
stickers.

Doing the Activity
Recruit new volunteers to be Earth and Mars. Have them stand in their orbits in
opposition. Give the Earth a laser pointer and have him point it directly over Mars' head.
Make a mark on the wall where the laser pointer lands. The shows us where in the night
sky (aka the wall) we see Mars.

Have the planets progress one month (one step) and again have earth point the laser over
Mars' head and mark the position on the wall. Repeat this for 2 whole Earth years. You
may wish to connect the dots as the planets progress around the Sun.

How does Mars appear to move across the sky as we view it? Does Mars really move this
way? What are the relative positions of the Earth and Mars when Mars appears to change
direction?

The motion of Mars across the sky was early evidence that the Earth is not the center of the
universe.

Observing Mars
Give the students a Mars observation sheet. Ask them to mark the position of Mars at least
once a week for several months. Are you able to observe the retrograde motion of Mars?




                                            - 35 -
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Mars Observation Log
Write the number of the observation where Mars appears on the star map. In this
table, record the date and time of your observation.

Observation #      Date       Time            Other Observations
     1
     2
     3
     4
     5
     6
     7
     8
     9
    10
    11
    12
    13
    14
    15
    16
    17
    18
    19
    20
    21
    22
    23
    24
    25
    26
    27
    28
    29
    30



                                     - 38 -
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Mars Observation Log
Write the number of the observation where Mars appears on the star map. In this
table, record the date and time of your observation.

Observation #      Date       Time            Other Observations
     1
     2
     3
     4
     5
     6
     7
     8
     9
    10
    11
    12
    13
    14
    15
    16
    17
    18
    19
    20
    21
    22
    23
    24
    25
    26
    27
    28
    29
    30



                                     - 40 -
Section III – Martian Weather
Objectives:
Describe differences in the weather on Earth and on Mars

Time
Teacher Workshop – 0.5 hour
Students Session – 1 hour

Materials
ROBOTS manual
Access to the Internet


Teacher Workshop Outline:
 Describe differences between Earth's and Mars' atmosphere
 Explore resources for weather data.

Correlated Student Outline:
 Research differences between Earth's and Mars' atmosphere and weather.
 Collect archived weather data (primarily temperature, precipitation, cloud cover and
  pressure) for Mars, their own neighborhood and PARI.
 Describe differences in the collected data.

Background Information:

Earth's Atmosphere
Earth's atmosphere contains roughly 78% nitrogen, 20.95% oxygen, 0.93% argon, 0.038%
carbon dioxide (CO2), trace amounts of other gases, and a variable amount (average around
1%) of water vapor. This mixture of gases is commonly known as air. The atmosphere
protects life on Earth by absorbing ultraviolet solar radiation and reducing temperature
extremes between day and night.
There is no definite boundary between the atmosphere and outer space. It slowly becomes
thinner and fades into space. Three quarters of the atmosphere's mass is within 11 km of
the planetary surface. The temperature of the Earth's atmosphere varies with altitude.

Atmospheric pressure is a direct result of the total weight of the air above the point at
which the pressure is measured. This means that air pressure varies with location and time,
because the amount (and weight) of air above the earth varies with location and time.
Atmospheric pressure decreases with height, dropping by 50% at an altitude of about 5.6
km (18,000 ft).The average atmospheric pressure, at sea level, is about 101.3 kilopascals
(about 14.7 psi)
(from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth's_atmosphere)

Mars' Atmosphere



                                          - 41 -
The atmosphere of Mars is relatively thin, and the atmospheric pressure on the surface
varies from around 30 Pa on Olympus Mons's peak to over 1155 Pa in the depths of Hellas
Planitia, with a mean surface level pressure of 0.6 kPa, compared to Earth's 101.3 kPa.
However, the scale height of the atmosphere is about 11 km, somewhat higher than Earth's
6 km. The atmosphere on Mars consists of 95% carbon dioxide, 3% nitrogen, 1.6% argon,
and contains traces of oxygen, water, and methane. The atmosphere is quite dusty, giving
the Martian sky a tawny color when seen from the surface; data from the Mars Exploration
Rovers indicates the suspended dust particles are roughly 1.5 micrometers across.

Other aspects of the Martian atmosphere vary significantly. In the winter months when the
poles are in continual darkness, the surface gets so cold that as much as 25% of the entire
atmosphere condenses out into thick slabs of CO2 ice (dry ice). When the poles are again
exposed to sunlight the CO2 ice sublimes, creating enormous winds that sweep off the
poles as fast as 400 km/h (250 mph).

The atmosphere of Mars is a resource of known composition which is available at any
landing site on Mars. For this reason, it has been proposed that human exploration of Mars
could use carbon dioxide from Martian atmosphere as feedstock to manufacture rocket fuel
to use for the return mission.

(from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atmosphere_of_Mars)

Resources
Daily Martian Weather Report (archived weather data and activities)
http://nova.stanford.edu/projects/mgs/dmwr.html

Another Mars Weather Activity
http://www.ucls.uchicago.edu/MartianSunTimes/docs/inv2.html

Mars Today - daily weather forecasts (model based)
http://humbabe.arc.nasa.gov/MarsToday.html

Highlights of the Mars Atmosphere
http://nova.stanford.edu/projects/mgs/highlights.html

Radio Occultation
http://www.cpar.qinetiq.com/ro.html

Weather on other planets
http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/features/planet_venus.shtml




                                          - 42 -
Weather Activity - Teacher Version
In this activity you will investigate how the weather on Mars compares to the weather
where you live. You will look at archived data from the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS)
from 1998 to 2006 and compare it to data from where you live.

Collecting Weather Data from Mars
Temperature and air pressure data were collected by a satellite
using a method called Radio Occultation (RO). An occultation
is when one object passes in front of the other and blocks it
temporarily.

The MGS satellite sends a continuous signal back to Earth with
data about its location and other information. Whenever the
MGS satellite begins to be occulted or blocked (and again when it is unblocked) by Mars,
that radio signal is bent by the planets atmosphere. The amount of bending and other
changes in the signal give information about the atmosphere, including temperature and air
pressure.

Collecting Weather Data from the Earth
Weather data is a lot easier to collect on the Earth! Most airports and some other locations
have weather stations that are continuously monitoring the weather, including temperature,
air pressure, wind speed and more. This data is available online through several different
sources.

Where are you?
You will need your longitude and latitude on Earth so that you can investigate the
matching position on Mars.
    Go to http://www.infosports.com/m/map.htm
    Zoom in and navigate to your hometown.
    Click on the town. A red marker should appear.
    Click on the marker and write down your longitude and latitude here:

Longitude=________________________                   Latitude = _________________________

Mars Weather
Go to http://nova.stanford.edu/projects/mgs/late.html
There is a list of many data sets taken by the Mars Global Surveyor from 1998 to 2006.
Choose at least 7 of these sets to look at. Try to choose data sets that have points at or near
your latitude. A good one to start with is July - September, 2006.

Click on the link labeled Jul-Sep 2006 from the column on the left.
You will see a color coded map of Mars. The black crosses represent data points. Click
on a cross that is at or near your longitude and latitude. This will give a zoomed in map
where you can choose your cross more precisely. [You will have to click exactly on the
cross so if it doesn't work the first time, keep trying.]



                                            - 43 -
Once you have successfully clicked on a point you will get a table with the date and time
of measurement, the temperature, pressure and season. Record all of these in your data
table.

Once you have all of your Mars weather data you are ready to look up what was happening
on Earth!

Earth Weather
Go to http://data.nssl.noaa.gov/dataselect/

On the right, under Select a region, choose Continental USA.
Next click on List/Download Data from the tabs at the top.

You will see a map of the US covered with blue dots. Each dot is a weather station.

You can either click on the dot closest to where you live (notice the longitude and latitude
on the right) or you can enter @ and the code of the airport nearest you under Area or
Stations (for example @CLT for Charlotte).

Next select the Date and Time of one of your Mars data points.

At the very bottom, choose List Data and a window will pop up with all of your data to
complete your data table!

SLON = Longitude
SLAT = Latitude
SELV = Elevation
TMPF = Temperature in Fahrenheit
DWPF = Dew Point in Fahrenheit
PMSL = Pressure in millibars
DRCT = Wind Direction
SPED = Wind Speed

Discussion Questions
How did the weather where you live compare to that on Mars?
Which location had the highest temperatures?
Where did the temperature change the most?
Which location had the highest pressures?
Where did the pressures change the most?
What are the different seasons like on Mars? How do they compare to Earth's seasons?
How would the weather affect a colony of humans living on Mars?
Student Weather Observation Log
Record the temperature, air pressure and season for each location, plus any other
observations.




                                              - 44 -
Date & Time   Mars            Your Home




                     - 45 -
Weather Activity - Student Version
In this activity you will investigate how the weather on Mars compares to the weather
where you live. You will look at archived data from the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS)
from 1998 to 2006 and compare it to data from where you live.

Collecting Weather Data from Mars
Temperature and air pressure data were collected by a satellite
using a method called Radio Occultation (RO). An occultation
is when one object passes in front of the other and blocks it
temporarily.

The MGS satellite sends a continuous signal back to Earth with
data about its location and other information. Whenever the
MGS satellite begins to be occulted or blocked (and again when it is unblocked) by Mars,
that radio signal is bent by the planets atmosphere. The amount of bending and other
changes in the signal give information about the atmosphere, including temperature and air
pressure.

Collecting Weather Data from the Earth
Weather data is a lot easier to collect on the Earth! Most airports and some other locations
have weather stations that are continuously monitoring the weather, including temperature,
air pressure, wind speed and more. This data is available online through several different
sources.

Where are you?
You will need your longitude and latitude on Earth so that you can investigate the
matching position on Mars.
    Go to http://www.infosports.com/m/map.htm
    Zoom in and navigate to your home town.
    Click on the town. A red marker should appear.
    Click on the marker and write down your longitude and latitude here:

Longitude=________________________                   Latitude = _________________________

Mars Weather
Go to http://nova.stanford.edu/projects/mgs/late.html
There is a list of many data sets taken by the Mars Global Surveyor from 1998 to 2006.
Choose at least 7 of these sets to look at. Try to choose data sets that have points at or near
your latitude. A good one to start with is July - September, 2006.

Click on the link labeled Jul-Sep 2006 from the column on the left.
You will see a color coded map of Mars. The black crosses represent data points. Click
on a cross that is at or near your longitude and latitude. This will give a zoomed in map
where you can choose your cross more precisely. [You will have to click exactly on the
cross so if it doesn't work the first time, keep trying.]



                                            - 46 -
Once you have successfully clicked on a point you will get a table with the date and time
of measurement, the temperature, pressure and season. Record all of these in your data
table.

Once you have all of your Mars weather data you are ready to look up what was happening
on Earth!

Earth Weather
Go to http://data.nssl.noaa.gov/dataselect/

On the right, under Select a region, choose Continental USA.
Next click on List/Download Data from the tabs at the top.

You will see a map of the US covered with blue dots. Each dot is a weather station.

You can either click on the dot closest to where you live (notice the longitude and latitude
on the right) or you can enter @ and the code of the airport nearest you under Area or
Stations (for example @CLT for Charlotte).

Next select the Date and Time of one of your Mars data points.

At the very bottom, choose List Data and a window will pop up with all of your data to
complete your data table!

SLON = Longitude
SLAT = Latitude
SELV = Elevation
TMPF = Temperature in Fahrenheit
DWPF = Dew Point in Fahrenheit
PMSL = Pressure in millibars
DRCT = Wind Direction
SPED = Wind Speed

Discussion Questions
How did the weather where you live compare to that on Mars?
Which location had the highest temperatures?
Where did the temperature change the most?
Which location had the highest pressures?
Where did the pressures change the most?
What are the different seasons like on Mars? How do they compare to Earth's seasons?
How would the weather affect a colony of humans living on Mars?




                                              - 47 -
Student Weather Observation Log
Record the temperature, air pressure and season for each location, plus any other
observations.

Date & Time     Mars                               Your Home




                                          - 48 -
Section IV – Martian Soil
Objectives:
Collect data on Earth soil and compare it to data collected on Mars.

Time
Teacher Workshop – 1 hour
Students Session – 2 hours

Materials
ROBOTS manual
soil samples
Styrofoam cups
plastic wrap
rubber bands
thermometer
light source
data sheet
pencil
stop watch

Teacher Workshop Outline:
 Measure the temperature of different types of soil as it is heated.
 Compare the soil temperatures to data from Mars.

Correlated Student Outline:
 Measure the temperature of different types of soil as it is heated.
 Compare the soil temperatures to data from Mars.
 Predict properties of Martian soil.

Background Information:
Data from the Viking Landers and orbiters and the Pathfinder rover show that the surface
of Mars is covered by a blanket of fine-textured soil compositionally similar to the
atmospheric dust. The soil contains silicon, iron, aluminum, magnesium, calcium, titanium,
sulfur, and chlorine at unique elemental proportions (that is, relatively rich in sulfur and
chlorine compared to most Earth soils). It lacks organic matter and shows strong oxidizing
activity -- a combination that suggests the possibility of rapid chemical decomposition of
organic matter leading to the decimation of living organisms.

More recent results obtained by the Mars exploration rovers Spirit and Opportunity
provide evidence for localized formations of water-modified weathered rocks that contain
the mineral jarosite. This mineral typically forms in aqueous environments of highly acidic
sulfate solutions. On Earth, it is found near mine spills and in acid sulfate soils. Large
deposits of silica have also been found that require water formation giving further evidence
that Mars one had large bodies of water.

(from http://scienceweek.com/2005/sw051209-5.htm)



                                          - 49 -
Resources
Sample data and more teachers support for the soil temperature activity
http://www-k12.atmos.washington.edu/k12/modules/teachers/soils_teacher_ref.html

Outdoors version of the soil temperature activity
http://www-
k12.atmos.washington.edu/k12/modules/soils/noframes/student_lab_outside.html

More on Martian Soil from Spirit
http://www.marsdaily.com/reports/Spirit_Examines_Churned_Up_Martian_Soil_999.html
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17628308/
http://marsrover.nasa.gov/newsroom/pressreleases/20070521a.html

Close up photos
http://marsrover.nasa.gov/gallery/press/opportunity/20040204a.html
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap040118.html
and in 3D
http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA05095

Mars Profile
http://www-k12.atmos.washington.edu/k12/modules/mars_info.html

Surface of Mars
http://www-k12.atmos.washington.edu/k12/resources/mars_data-
information/soils_index.html

More Mars Resources
http://www-k12.atmos.washington.edu/k12/resources/index.html




                                        - 50 -
Soil Temperature Activity - Teacher Version

Purpose:
To investigate the heat absorption and transfer properties of various soils. You will
experiment with Earth soils inside and outside. Your results from the outside soil
experiment should be compared with data from the Mars Viking Lander 1. You may notice
there is not enough information to reach a firm conclusion about the Mars soil
measurements. After your Earth soils experiments you will design your own experiment
that could be carried on a future Mars mission.

Set up:
 Collect soil samples.
 Fill each cup to the top with a
    separate sample.
 Cover tightly with plastic wrap
    and rubber band.
 Adjust light source so that each
    soil sample being heated is the
    same distance from the light (20
    cm is recommended).

Experiment:
 Insert thermometer into the side of the cup sample so that the tip of the thermometer is
   four centimeters from the top surface. Shield the exposed end of the thermometer from
   the light.
 Wait until you are certain the thermometer reading stabilizes. Measure and record the
   starting temperature of the sample.
 Move the sample under the light source and check the distance from the light to the
   soil.
 Turn the light on and start stopwatch.
 Record on Data Sheet the soil temperature every two minutes for at least thirty minutes
   (15 measurements). You should record until the temperature no longer increases. This
   may take up to an hour.
 Repeat for each of the samples.

Results:
 Graph your data such that time is on the horizontal axis and temperature is on the
   vertical axis. Compare your graphs with the graphs of Martian soil.
 Martian Soil data can be found at
   http://www-k12.atmos.washington.edu/k12/modules/soils/noframes/mars_data.html

Conclusions
 What other information about Martian soil would you like to know?
 Design an experiment for future Mars missions that would provide additional
   information about Martian soil that you think would be helpful:




                                         - 51 -
       What are some experiments we should do on Earth and Mars to determine Martian soil
        type?
       How useful were these experiments in determining Martian soil type?


Extensions

     Collect data for the cooling of soils (the reverse of the experiment in this module).
     Does moisture in soil affect the heating rate?
     Does the composition of the soil affect the heating rate?
     Does the density of the soil affect the heating rate?
     Does using different cups affect the heating rate of soils?
     Explore the literature and media related to Mars. These include mythology, science
      fiction, movies, and astronomical resources. Discuss how these have shaped our
      conceptions and misconception of Mars, space, and colonization.
     How is the heating rate of soils affected by depth?
     How is the heating rate of soils affected by geographic location? Which makes more
      difference: longitude, latitude, or altitude?
     Look for other connections between Mars and Earth. Data exists for air pressure, air
      temperature, and humidity.
     Plot data over an extended length of time and look for cycles. Similar data is
      available from Mars.
     Try alternate forms of data gathering and analysis. Use a graphing calculator or
      computer to record the temperature information. Recommended devices are the
      "Calculator Based Laboratory" (CBL) from Texas Instruments and computer
      interface devices from Vernier Incorporated.
     Would we get the same results if the soil samples are farther from the heat source?
      Why or why not?
     Write a story or essay describing a Martian colony focusing on the resources Mars
      offers. Include a discussion of the types of jobs people will have, the rules under
      which the colony would operate, the responsibilities people would have as citizens of
      a colony, and the "impact" each individual would make on the planet.




                                            - 52 -
Soils Data Table




                   - 53 -
- 54 -
Soil Temperature Activity

Purpose:
To investigate the heat absorption and transfer properties of various soils. You will
experiment with Earth soils inside and outside. Your results from the outside soil
experiment should be compared with data from the Mars Viking Lander 1. You may notice
there is not enough information to reach a firm conclusion about the Mars soil
measurements. After your Earth soils experiments you will design your own experiment
that could be carried on a future Mars mission.

Set up:
 Collect soil samples.
 Fill each cup to the top with a
    separate sample.
 Cover tightly with plastic wrap and
    rubber band.
 Adjust light source so that each soil
    sample being heated is the same
    distance from the light (20 cm is
    recommended).

Experiment:
 Insert thermometer into the side of the cup sample so that the tip of the thermometer is
   four centimeters from the top surface. Shield the exposed end of the thermometer from
   the light.
 Wait until you are certain the thermometer reading stabilizes. Measure and record the
   starting temperature of the sample.
 Move the sample under the light source and check the distance from the light to the
   soil.
 Turn the light on and start stopwatch.
 Record on Data Sheet the soil temperature every two minutes for at least thirty minutes
   (15 measurements). You should record until the temperature no longer increases. This
   may take up to an hour.
 Repeat for each of the samples.

Results:
 Graph your data such that time is on the horizontal axis and temperature is on the
   vertical axis. Compare your graphs with the graphs of Martian soil.
 Martian Soil data can be found at
   http://www-k12.atmos.washington.edu/k12/modules/soils/noframes/mars_data.html

Conclusions
 What other information about Martian soil would you like to know?
 Design an experiment for future Mars missions that would provide additional
   information about Martian soil that you think would be helpful:




                                          - 55 -
       What are some experiments we should do on Earth and Mars to determine Martian soil
        type?
       How useful were these experiments in determining Martian soil type?


Extensions

     Collect data for the cooling of soils (the reverse of the experiment in this module).
     Does moisture in soil affect the heating rate?
     Does the composition of the soil affect the heating rate?
     Does the density of the soil affect the heating rate?
     Does using different cups affect the heating rate of soils?
     Explore the literature and media related to Mars. These include mythology, science
      fiction, movies, and astronomical resources. Discuss how these have shaped our
      conceptions and misconception of Mars, space, and colonization.
     How is the heating rate of soils affected by depth?
     How is the heating rate of soils affected by geographic location? Which makes more
      difference: longitude, latitude, or altitude?
     Look for other connections between Mars and Earth. Data exists for air pressure, air
      temperature, and humidity.
     Plot data over an extended length of time and look for cycles. Similar data is
      available from Mars.
     Try alternate forms of data gathering and analysis. Use a graphing calculator or
      computer to record the temperature information. Recommended devices are the
      "Calculator Based Laboratory" (CBL) from Texas Instruments and computer
      interface devices from Vernier Incorporated.
     Would we get the same results if the soil samples are farther from the heat source?
      Why or why not?
     Write a story or essay describing a Martian colony focusing on the resources Mars
      offers. Include a discussion of the types of jobs people will have, the rules under
      which the colony would operate, the responsibilities people would have as citizens of
      a colony, and the "impact" each individual would make on the planet.




                                            - 56 -
Soils Data Table




                   - 57 -
Bonus Activity - Feeling Dirt on Mars
On March 23, 1978 the Viking Lander 2 performed a "surface bearing test" and collected
samples of the soil-like material on Mars by pushing a sample collector into the surface.
We can use before and after photos to investigate what the surface of Mars is like.

Look at the photos on this web page:
http://www-k12.atmos.washington.edu/k12/resources/mars_data-information/EX3.html

What do you think this soil-like material at the Lander 2 site is like?
  Could you walk on it?
  Could you drive a car on it?

To find out:
   Construct a rod with a 5 cm by 5 cm plate on the tip and try to push it into different
      materials.
   Try dry sand, damp sand, wet sand, and other kinds of dirt.
   Take notes about your experiment results, include pictures or sketches with a scale in
      the scenes, make measurements, and measure forces (if you can).

Some useful information
  The arm of the sampler and the collector head were inclined about 40 degrees from the
  horizontal during the test.

  The axial force on the collector head rose to about 222N (50 lbs) and then the sampler
  motor stalled.

  The face of the collector head is about 5 cm by 5 cm and its lower edge penetrated to
  about 8 cm below the surface. Assume that the face of the collector head was
  perpendicular to the axis of the arm during the test.




                                            - 58 -