People have always dreamed of exploring the universe and colonizing other planets. In the vastness of space, Mars, sometimes called 'The Red Planet', seemed like the closest planet to Earth, orbiting the sun, that could potentially sustain life and humans. But what is Mars actually like? Is it really that similar to Earth? Get ready to travel through space as we compare Earth to Mars and see how they stack up against each other.
This animation looks at a basic physical comparison of the Earth with our closest neighbor, Mars. (2:48 min.)
Learn the basics about Paper and Thin Layer Chromatography. What is Chromatography and why is it done?
Discover the hormones that dictate whether a plant grows downwards with gravity, towards water and nutrients, or upwards towards light.
Astronauts traveling to Mars will need to grow some of their own food in order to survive and stay healthy. But on Mars will there be enough light to meet the needs of growing plants?
Is is possible to produce food to eat and air to breathe while in space? The short answer: it's not easy, but it can be done.
Air is made up of nitrogen (78%) and oxygen (21%) with small amounts of other gases such as argon and carbon dioxide. It probably then comes as no surprise that nitrogen is important for all organisms as it helps them to live and grow.
Most people do not think twice about soil, but we could not live without it. The plants we eat, and the plants that feed the animals we eat, depend on soil. Plant roots need soil for physical support. Plants also get nutrients from soil, which they need for healthy growth and development. Future astronauts on a long-term mission to Mars will want to grow some food crops to add to their diet of packaged food.
This video describes how vertical farming works to provide the needs of growing plants. The pros and cons of vertical farming are also highlighted.
This video by It's Okay to be Smart, describes the effects of the space environment on the human body.
The Seeds of Knowledge learning strategy offers students a process to practice the skill of making connections by connecting their prior knowledge and learning experiences from previous grades to a new inquiry opportunity, such as the Tomatosphere™ Seed Investigation.
The Making Connections Organizer learning strategy uses a graphic organizer to help students connect science inquiries to their prior knowledge and experiences, prior inquires and the world at large.
Japanese astronaut Kimiya Yui on board the International Space Station shows Paxi what it's like to prepare and eat food in weightlessness on the ISS.
The skill of questioning allows students to pursue their ideas and explore the world around them. Being able to ask rich questions about who, what, where, when, why, and how, enables students to construct their knowledge and develop an understanding of concepts and experiences.
The Testable Questions Toss-up learning strategy offers students a process to generate and practice writing testable questions that may be applied to conducting fair tests within an inquiry investigation.