10 Wonders of Mars

First time on Mars? Join us as we tour some of the biggest, strangest
and most fascinating wonders the Red Planet has to behold!

Age Range: 14 years +
Prep. Time: 0 mins
Lesson Time: N/A
Cost per activity: N/A
Includes the use of: PDF Reader or colour printing

Author: Ben Biggs and Giles Sparrow

This 13-page feature from All About Space magazine explores 10 Wonders of Mars including the ‘Grand Canyon of Mars’ Valles Marineris, super volcano Olympus Mons, and crater Hellas Planitia – which is so big it is visible from Earth!

Resources

Classifying the Universe

This is a great activity to do prior to a visit to an observatory.

In this activity, students will learn different ways of roughly separating the features of observable structures in the universe and will gain the tools needed for identifying what kinds of objects they can observe through telescopes when visiting the observatory.

Age Range: 10 – 13 years
Prep. Time: 30 minutes
Lesson Time: 35 minutes
Cost per activity: Cost of printing and optionally laminating the cards
Includes the use of: Printed cards

Slide Pack

Teacher Guide

Student Guide

Activity Resources

The Geology of Mercury

In this activity, students will study the principal features of Mercurian geology are craters, faults and areas covered by volcanic lava. They will apply this to the Rembrandt Crater on Mercury, answering a series of questions concerning the geological features visible in the image.

Age Range: 12-16
Prep. Time: 5 minutes
Lesson Time: 30 minutes
Cost per activity: Low (printing costs)
Includes the use of: Printouts and a pen/pencil

Teacher Guide and Model Answers

Student Guide

Planetary Features

In this activity, students will first learn the correct terms for geological features. Then they identify these same features found on Earth on other planets, grouping the images from other planets into categories, labelling them and noting the similarities.

Students will then complete an activity to understand how water carves channels into their surfaces.

Age Range: 8-13
Prep. Time: 15 minutes
Lesson Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Cost per activity: High
Includes the use of: Sand, Craft Sand, Water, Trays and rocks/pebbles

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Teacher Guide

Student Guide

Activity Resources

Discovering Exoplanets with the Transit Method

Exoplanets are too small and far away to see directly, even with the most powerful telescopes. So how can astronomers detect them? When an exoplanet passes in front of its star it blocks some of the star’s light. For a short time, the star’s brightness decreases. So, if astronomers detect that a star’s brightness decreases and then increases again, they can deduce that there is a planet orbiting the star.

In this activity students will investigate how scientists use a transit to detect exoplanets.

Age Range: 11-13 years old
Prep. Time: 15 minutes
Lesson Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Cost per activity: Low
Includes the use of: Laptop with webcam and light grapher software

Slide Pack

Teacher Guide

Student Guide

Alternative Hertzsprung-Russell Diagrams

In this activity, Students will practise plotting Hertzsprung-Russell diagrams using a range of different, yet familiar, items. Once they have plotted their graph they will compare this with other groups.
Next they will see how a real Hertzsprung-Russell diagram is created by using the stars table to plot a true H-R diagram.

Finally, they will compare the range of items by creating a ‘master diagram’, using all the items and stars plotted. Creating an expanded H-R diagram to see how objects really compare.

Age Range: 16-18
Prep. Time: 10 minutes
Lesson Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Cost per activity: Low (printing costs)
Includes the use of: Graph paper, Excel, internet

Teacher Guide and Model Answers

Student Guide

Hertzsprung-Russell Diagrams

For this activity, students will make a classroom-sized, Hertzsprung-Russell diagram showing the lifecycle of stars. Students will be given a number of different stars of different luminosities and temperatures and they will need to create a graph with appropriate axis to plot the stars on.

Age Range: 11-16
Prep. Time: 10 minutes
Lesson Time: 1 hour
Cost per activity: Low
Includes the use of: String, large space (4 x 4 m)

Teacher Guide

Student Guide

Activity Resources

How long will the Sun live?

The Sun converts hydrogen to helium in its core, under enormous pressure and temperature. When this core hydrogen runs out, the Sun will swell up into a giant and new fusion sequences will start. In this process, inner planets, like the Earth, will be damaged, even destroyed.

But, how long is it before this happens?

In this activity, students will follow their worksheets to explore stellar lifespan. They will make calculations based around our Sun and its life by looking at mass defect and the use of equations.

Age Range: 16-18
Prep. Time: 0
Lesson Time: 1 hour
Cost per activity: Low (printing costs)
Includes the use of: Calculator

Teacher Guide

Student Guide

Life cycle of Stars

This session uses a mixture of group and individual work to explore Stellar Evolution. Students will learn about stars, comparing their life cycles of birth, life and death to that of humans. They will get to see how mass effects the type of star and the knock-on effect this has on the timeline of its life.

Age Range: 9-12
Prep. Time: 10 minutes
Lesson Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Cost per activity: Low (print cost only)
Includes the use of: Paper

Teacher Guide

Student Guide

Activity Resources

Stellar Heartbeats

This activity covers pulsating variable star cycles, considering how their brightness varies as if it were a heartbeat. Students will be asked to estimate data from an image and then convert it into a graph. They will then need to read data from the graph and consider what this implies.

Age Range: 12-16
Prep. Time: 10 minutes
Lesson Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Cost per activity: Low (printer cost)
Includes the use of: Graph paper, ruler, pencil, print outs

Slide Pack

Teacher Guide

Student Guide

Activity Resources