Mars Navigator CD and other issues.


From: George Zack <zack@indra.com>
Subject: Mars Navigator CD and other issues.
Date: Sun, 10 Nov 1996 14:53:06 -0700


Hey gang,

ISSUE ONE:  MISSING CD's
Well, it appears that the Viking CD might be difficult to obtain.  When I
get to work in the AM,  I am going to call 415-604-0421 to order it as
Steve Tindall from Fort Walton Beach High SC suggested (Thanks Steve!).
Still it appears that might not yield any results.

At least two folks have mentioned that they used the Mars Navigator CD instead.

>However, I have been using the Mars Navigator CD they gave us and that is
>excellent.
>Barb

How did you get that Mars Navigator CD?  In the kit that I have, I have a
letter from Geoff Haines-Stiles that said it was not yet available from
NASA JPL Mars Exploration Directorate.  Jan confirmed this for me on the
phone.  Did you folks who went ot DC get an early release?

ISSUE TWO:  CHALLENGE QUESTIONS
Chris Rowan makes some good points concerning the nature of challenge
questions.
Having different level questions would give educators a choice as to what
material is most applicable to their students.  I found some of my sixth
graders growing frustrated (READ APATHETIC) with the most recent question
concerning Phobos and Diemos (by the way PTK, nice question), so I
generated a different one for them (Something about how long would it take
to drive a car Mars, how many tanks of gas would this take, how many
vehicles would you have to use and if it would be better to do it in a
Dodge, Ford or Chevy Truck.  Sounds silly but we had fun with it).  The
only problem with this is that they don't share their answers through the
forum of the challenge question (unless we do it on the kids corner of the
LFM page)

Actually, I have no problem posing the questions as they are to my
students.  They can generate conversation and lessons that are (by some
standard) "beyond" what is typically expected of my middle schoolers.  That
excites me and them.

It seems to me that the reward for giving the "best" answer is getting your
answer shared on the web or via email.  Am I wrong here?  Is there a place
where all answers are published?  That would be really neat and
educationally rewarding.  Then you could compare your answers to other
students.  Teachers could discern how deep they wanted their students to go
(on an individual basis if needed).  Conversation could be generated about
what issues seemed common in answers, and "what did they see that we did
not see."  THAT would be science.  We all know that scientists share and
doing this with the challenge question across the levels would be very
helpful.

BTW, that answer from Philip Gressman was interesting ... but I am still
looking it over to see if it is really solid or if it is just a bunch of
junk.  Did he have to make some assumptions about the slope of the canyons
walls that are not explicitly stated?

Thanks,
George





-------------------------------------------------------------
George Zack		Gilpin County School District RE-1
MS/HS Science Educator	Home of the Eagles /Elevation: 9200' AMSL
zack@indra.com		10595 Black Hawk CO 80403
303-582-3444 ext 353