Geologic Scene Investigators: Part 2 - Inside Mars

Inside Mars

Geologic Scene Investigator: Part 2 – Inside Mars is a seven part activity in which children, ages 8 to 13, explore further the volcanos on Mars, in comparison with Earth, and learn what they tell us about what is happening inside Mars, and its history. Children record their observations and findings in their GSI Journal.

Summit Up - Comparing Volcanos on Mars and Earth
Summit Up is a 20 minute activity in which children make paper models to scale of the tallest volcanic mountains on Earth and Mars and discover a big difference between volcanos on these two planets.

Puzzling Patterns - Where Does Volcanism Occur?
Children compare volcano maps of Earth and Mars and identify patterns, similarities, and differences in this 30 minute activity.

The Icing on the Plate - Why are the Volcanos on Mars so Tall?
The Icing on the Plate is a 20 to 30 minute activity in which children create models with cake icing to compare the volcanos formed on planets with stationary surfaces and planets with moving plates. Children will gain an understanding of why volcanos on Mars are so large compared to those on Earth, and what the patterns of Earth's volcanos tell us.

Recipe for a Planet
Recipe for a Planet is a 45 minute activity in which children build edible models of Earth and Mars to compare their sizes and illustrate their internal layers.

Differentiation Demonstration
In this 10 minute demonstration or 30 minute activity, children observe a demonstration of planetary differentiation, the organization of planetary interiors into layers of different densities, to illustrate why Mars and other planets have cores, mantles, and outer crusts.

Cooling Planets
Cooling Planets is an optional 10 to 15 minute discussion in which older children, ages 10 to 13, discover, through inquiry-based dialogue, which planet is hotter on the interior - Mars or Earth! The children consider the effect of size (volume) on the cooling rate of objects and, based on extrapolations, interpret the cooling histories of the inner, rocky planets of our solar system.

Mind Over Mars
In this 30 to 45 minute game, teams of children use their knowledge of Mars to create question cards for a board game that will assess and reinforce their understanding of what they have learned. This activity can be used as a wrap-up for Geologic Scene Investigator: Part 1 or Part 2, or as a wrap-up for the entire investigation.

Last updated
October 2, 2009

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