Redesign the Rover: Mars Research Year-Round
By Anna Bennett, November 16, 2008
- High School
- engage students in a discussion about design and design problem-solving
- engage students in the idea of Mars research and its importance to understanding our planet
- students will demonstrate understanding of solar orbit and the problem it presents to the Mars Rover
- students will be able to compare the seasons and orbit of Mars to that of Earth
Common Core Standards
Anchors for Reading:
Key Ideas and Details:
Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.
Craft and Structure:
Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas:
Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.
Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, including the validity of the reasoning as well as the relevance and sufficiency of the evidence.
Analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the approaches the authors take.
Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity:
Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently.
Anchor Standards for Writing:
Text Types and Purposes:
Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
Production and Distribution of Writing:
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.
Research to Build and Present Knowledge:
Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.
Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, assess the credibility and accuracy of each source, and integrate the information while avoiding plagiarism.
Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
Range of Writing:
Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences.
Anchor standards for Speaking and Listening:
Comprehension and Collaboration:
Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
Evaluate a speaker's point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric.
Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas:
Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and communicative tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate.
Anchor standards for Language:
Conventions of Standard English:
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
Knowledge of Language:
Acquire and use accurately a range of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the college and career readiness level; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge when encountering an unknown term important to comprehension or expression.
- compare the seasons and solar orbit of Mars to that of Eart
- read an article and analyze design problems based on the information given
- brainstorm ideas on how NASA might solve its Rover design problem to continue research on Mars year-round
- discuss the importance of the study of Mars and its implications for life on Earth
- copies of the article above, one for each student
- chart paper or other form of note demonstration such as a white board
- PowerPoint slideshow on solar orbits
- revolution: the length of time it takes an object to revolve around the sun
- rotation: the length of time it takes an object to rotate around its axis
- perihelion: when a body is closest to the sun in its revolution
- aphelion: when a body is farthest away from the sun in its revolution
- solar power: electricity generated by the capturing of the sun's energy
- Identify the problem or opportunity
- Investigate the problem or opportunity: Gather and analyze information through interviewing, observing, documenting, modeling, weighing choices, identifying your client
- Frame/Reframe the problem: Make sure that you have identified the right problem to solve
- Generate possible solutions
- Edit/Develop ideas: talk with your group about what ideas have the most potential
- Evaluate your ideas Create your solution: Create diagrams, models, and presentations; organize your resources and notes
- Re-Evaluate your solution: Take feedback and analyze how you could make your solution even better
- Have students write a response to the article questions in their notebooks or journals (these entries should be checked for comprehension and understanding of the subject).
- Have students take notes on their design ideas in their notebooks as well