DPS 2001 meeting, November 2001
Session 13. Education Posters
Displayed, 9:00am Tuesday - 3:00pm Saturday, Highlighted, Tuesday, November 27, 2001, 5:00-7:00pm, French Market Exhibit Hall

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[13.13] Water Erosion on Mars: Extension of the GEMS Guide ``River Cutters" to the Surface of Mars

J. L. Rivera (Pomona College), B. J. Buratti (Jet Propulsion Lab)

The possibility of water and life on Mars has captured the imagination of scientists and others the world around. For this reason, NASA and JPL have planned no fewer than 6 missions to Mars scheduled for the next decade. These missions include orbiters, landers, and even return missions, as the community would like samples of rocks from the Martian surface. Given the interest in Mars, it is important to find ways of informing the public of NASA's mission to that planet. The method described here is the development of a lesson plan for elementary and middle school students concerning water erosion and the implications for life on Mars. We used the basic procedure from the GEMS (Great Explorations in Math and Science) plan outlined in ``River Cutters", developed by UC Berkeley's Lawrence Hall of Science. Water erosion caused by running water is simulated in the classroom. The features created are compared to features on Viking and Mars Global Surveyor images. The goal is to have students discover the past history of Mars, with particular emphasis on the role water may have played in the Martian surface.

Funded by NSF

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