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Learners will use trays of sand and cups of water to recreate surface features seen in images of Mars. This is activity 5 of 9 in Mars and Earth: Science Learning Activities for After School.

This activity introduces the importance of meteorites to the understanding of the origin of the Solar System. Learners will use a key to determine if samples are meteorites. Finding meteorites can be difficult because most meteorites look like Earth... (View More) rocks to the casual or untrained eye. Even to the trained eye, recognizing meteorites can be difficult. Since scientists believe that some meteorites are pieces of the asteroid Vesta, they may be very old remnants of the solar system in its earliest stages. This activity provides information and insight that allows participants to share scientists' expectations, based on meteoritic samples, of what we will find when the NASA's Dawn Mission visits Vesta and Ceres. (View Less)

In this activity, students experiment to test the hypothesis that Mars was once hotter. The activity requires some advance preparation by the teacher: the day before the activity, need to place a plastic bottle filled with water in the freezer.... (View More) Materials needed include plastic bottle of water and thermometer. It is a companion piece to a CD about the exploration of Mars that uses song and drama to tell the story of Spirit and Opportunity, NASA's Mars Exploration Rovers, and their mission to search for signs of ancient water. (View Less)

Materials Cost: $1 - $5 per group of students

In this activity students convert antilogs to logs, and logs to antilogs using scientific notation as an intermediate step. They will thereby develop a look-up table for solving math problems by using logarithms. This is activity D2 in the "Far Out... (View More) Math" educator's guide. Lessons in the guide include activities in which students measure,compare quantities as orders of magnitude, become familiar with scientific notation, and develop an understanding of exponents and logarithms using examples from NASA's GLAST mission. These are skills needed to understand the very large and very small quantities characteristic of astronomical observations. Note: In 2008, GLAST was renamed Fermi, for the physicist Enrico Fermi. (View Less)

In this activity students construct multiplying slide rules scaled in Base-10 exponents and use them to calculate products and quotients. They will come to appreciate that super numbers (exponents, orders of magnitude and logarithms) play by... (View More) different rules of arithmetic than ordinary numbers (numbers, powers of ten and antilogs). This is activity A2 in the "Far Out Math" educator's guide. Lessons in the guide include activities in which students measure,compare quantities as orders of magnitude, become familiar with scientific notation, and develop an understanding of exponents and logarithms using examples from NASA's GLAST mission. These are skills needed to understand the very large and very small quantities characteristic of astronomical observations. Note: In 2008, GLAST was renamed Fermi, for the physicist Enrico Fermi. (View Less)

In this activity students add and subtract log distances on their Log Tapes to discover that the corresponding numbers multiply and divide. This will lead them to an experiential understanding of the laws of logarithms. This is activity B2 in the... (View More) "Far Out Math" educator's guide. Lessons in the guide include activities in which students measure,compare quantities as orders of magnitude, become familiar with scientific notation, and develop an understanding of exponents and logarithms using examples from NASA's GLAST mission. These are skills needed to understand the very large and very small quantities characteristic of astronomical observations. Note: In 2008, GLAST was renamed Fermi, for the physicist Enrico Fermi. (View Less)

In this activity students use their Log Tapes as a reference for ordered pairs, and graph positive numbers as a function of their base-10 logarithms. They extend each plotted point to the vertical axis, thereby generating a logarithmic scale that... (View More) cuts and folds into an improvised slide rule. This is activity E1 in the "Far Out Math" educator's guide. Lessons in the guide include activities in which students measure,compare quantities as orders of magnitude, become familiar with scientific notation, and develop an understanding of exponents and logarithms using examples from NASA's GLAST mission. These are skills needed to understand the very large and very small quantities characteristic of astronomical observations. Note: In 2008, GLAST was renamed Fermi, for the physicist Enrico Fermi. (View Less)

In this activity students construct Log Rulers, finely calibrated in base-10 exponents and numbers (logs and antilogs). They practice reading these scales as accurately as possible, listing all certain figures plus one uncertain figure. This is... (View More) activity D1 in the "Far Out Math" educator's guide. Lessons in the guide include activities in which students measure,compare quantities as orders of magnitude, become familiar with scientific notation, and develop an understanding of exponents and logarithms using examples from NASA's GLAST mission. These are skills needed to understand the very large and very small quantities characteristic of astronomical observations. Note: In 2008, GLAST was renamed Fermi, for the physicist Enrico Fermi. (View Less)

In this activity students construct Log Tapes calibrated in base-ten exponents, then use them to derive relationships between base-ten logs (exponents) and antilogs (ordinary numbers). This is activity B1 in the "Far Out Math" educator's guide.... (View More) Lessons in the guide include activities in which students measure,compare quantities as orders of magnitude, become familiar with scientific notation, and develop an understanding of exponents and logarithms using examples from NASA's GLAST mission. These are skills needed to understand the very large and very small quantities characteristic of astronomical observations. Note: In 2008, GLAST was renamed Fermi, for the physicist Enrico Fermi. (View Less)

In this activity students develop a simplified log table using information from their Log Tapes. Then they use it to solve arithmetic problems by looking up and combining logs, and finding the antilog. Because these problems are extremely simple,... (View More) students appreciate the logic of logarithms without getting bogged down in the arithmetic detail and error. This is activity B3 in the "Far Out Math" educator's guide. Lessons in the guide include activities in which students measure,compare quantities as orders of magnitude, become familiar with scientific notation, and develop an understanding of exponents and logarithms using examples from NASA's GLAST mission. These are skills needed to understand the very large and very small quantities characteristic of astronomical observations. Note: In 2008, GLAST was renamed Fermi, for the physicist Enrico Fermi. (View Less)