Students Use Mars Trek to Explore Geography and Planetary Science
An educational activity created by education specialist Brandon Rodriguez (NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory) gets students in grades 6-12 learning about geography and planetary science through NASA's Mars Trek online interactive. Available on the JPL Education website as a project that students can do independently or with guidance from a teacher, parent, or guardian, the activity describes how mission operators consider engineering constraints and science goals when planning driving routes for the Mars rovers. Students then learn how they can create their own driving route for the rovers using the tools and science data available through Mars Trek. Visit the link to view step-by-step instructions with pictures: https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/edu/learn/project/map-a-mars-rover-driving-route/.
Mars Trek activities, in particular, benefit over 1.2 million grade 6-12 students, annually. As a component of NASA’s Science Activation Infrastructure, Mars Trek (and other Solar System Treks) are available as resources for NASA Science Activation partners and to the greater outreach and education community.
"One of the things that we really focus on in the K-12 education group at JPL is synthesizing NASA data with classroom standards in ways that are engaging for students and seamlessly integrated for teachers. In this activity, students take real NASA mission data from free, online tools to generate maps, plot a course across Martian terrain, and identify scientific targets of interest." - Brandon Rodriguez, K-12 Education Specialist, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory