Indications for Water Flowing on Mars
Students will read a recent science news article and discuss the content.
Depending the on the article, students may be asked to draw connections to current events or other classroom exercises.
Depending on the article, one of these standards may be most appropriate:
Subject Area - 1: Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening
Standard Area - 1.3: Reading, Analyzing, and Interpreting Literature - Fiction and Non-Fiction
Grade Level - 1.3.6: GRADE 6
Standard - 1.3.6.A: Read, understand, and respond to works from various genres of literature
Assessment Anchor - R6.A.2: Understand nonfiction appropriate to grade level.
Preparation Time Needed
<30 minutes, enough time to read the article and associated questions, answer the questions, and possibly come up with more that are relevant to recent class exercises.
(Part of the PAESTA In The News - Current Events in Earth and Space Science Series. This series compiles current resources and background materials for recent scientific events in the news. Questions are provided with each topic, written across Bloom's Taxonomic Scale, and can be used for classroom discussion and/or as a writing prompt at the beginning/middle/end of an instructional unit.)
Water existing on Mars is not anything new to report, but how about liquid (not frozen) water that is flowing today (not millions/billions of years ago)? Scientists have found that the relatively warmer summer Martian months cause liquid water to flow on the surface.
Articles to Share with Students
- Is Mars Weeping Salty Tears?
- Mars Bars: Seasonal Markings on Martian Slopes Could Indicate Flowing Water
- NASA Spacecraft Data Suggest Water Flowing on Mars
- NPR AUDIO: Dark Streaks on Mars May Be Sign of Liquid Water
- Mars – NASA Lunar and Planetary Science
- Mars – New York Times Science Topics
- Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter - NASA
- Astrogeology Science Center – Mars [USGS]
Questions for Classroom Discussion
- Where does water exist on Mars, and in what physical state?
- What is the physical evidence that has led scientists to believe there may be liquid water on Mars?
- How could scientists prove this new idea?
- What is the significance of liquid water on Mars?
Compiled August 8, 2011, by L.A. Guertin. Teachers are encouraged to search for more recent articles and related discoveries.