Showing posts with label Mars Exploration. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mars Exploration. Show all posts

Monday, September 3, 2012

Exploring Mars with Kodu - A Lesson Plan

Microsoft, in conjunction with NASA and the California Institute of Technology, recently released a detailed lesson plan (link opens a PDF) about Mars exploration. The lesson plan is designed for middle school students utilizing the new Mars Rover worlds in Kodu.

In Search and Explore Mars students explore Mars for rocks and minerals. The lesson plan asks students to evaluate and analyze their findings. For example, students need to identify sedimentary and igneous rocks on Mars. In all there are 23 terms that students should become familiar with through the lesson.

Applications for Education
I gave the Kodu Mars worlds a test drive this afternoon. I'm not a skilled video game player by any stretch of the imagination, but I can see how middle school students would get hooked on playing the game to find and analyze rocks and minerals on Mars. I played the game on my Lenovo ThinkCentre and had a little trouble with the controls (again, that might be partly due to my inexperience with video games). In the lesson plan they do mention that a wired Xbox 360 controller is helpful.

Monday, August 6, 2012

A Short History of Mars Exploration

This morning's / last night's big NASA news is of course the successful landing of  NASA's Mars Curiosity rover. It took eight months for the rover to get to Mars, but the history of Mars exploration is much longer. To help readers get a sense of the history and development of Mars exploration, the Guardian has published a small interactive timeline of Mars exploration.

Mars Exploration Since 1964 is a timeline shaped as an orbit of Mars. Clicking on the dots along the orbit reveals a picture and some brief information about Mars exploration.

CNN offers a slideshow that explores the modern history of Mars exploration.

NASA Explores the Red Planet is also a must-bookmark for all things Mars. On NASA Explores the Red Planet you will find animations, videos, and graphics all about NASA's explorations of Mars.