ANNOUNCING... *Where in the World Are These P.E.T. Mystery

From: Jan Wee <>
Subject: ANNOUNCING... *Where in the World Are These P.E.T. Mystery
Date: Wed, 23 Apr 1997 22:18:15 -0500

Dear discuss-lfm members,

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	This fun and challenging activity is an "enrichment" activity 
	developed in association with the Live From Mars Planet
	Explorer Toolkit online collaborative activity.  Students
	and their sponsoring educators submitted over 80 proposals for
	their "best *Planet Explorer Toolkit*" which contains instruments
	and tools that would uniquely describe their planet --  Earth.
	Their work parallels that of the Mars Mission scientists and 
	engineers who planned the instrument payload for Mars Pathfinder. 

	For more information about the P.E.T. Activity, see:

	The 84 proposals presented over 350 distinct "tools" which,
	through online discussion/debate, were reduced to fourteen 
	tools including a Celsius thermometer, windsock and compass, 
	disposable camera, sample collection tools and other items.  
	Each class used the same TOOLKIT for data collection at their 
	unique site.

	Classes around the nation scheduled their "Launch Phase" data 
	collection field trips to a local Planetary Data Input Site 
	and collected data that uniquely describes the area.  The data 
	and images collected were submitted online and are accessible via 
	the Live From Mars web site.  You will find the PDI forms submitted
	by classes at:

	Collectively, these PDI forms provide base data for this 
	activity enabling students to identify weather patterns,
	biomes, and other characteristics of participating sites.


	Just as participating P.E.T. classes collected data and images from 
	their unique Planetary Data Input Site, Mystery Site Hosts have 
	collected DATA and IMAGES from sites around the US and international 
	locales.  Students of grade levels 3 through 12 may participate in 
	solving "Where In the World Are These P.E.T. Mystery Sites?   

	Different levels of participation are offered for Elementary students 
	(Gr. 3-5), Middle School students (Gr. 6-8) and High School students 
	(Gr. 9-12). 

	Students will access the Mystery Site PDI data via the LFM web site
	through links provided at:

	Each Mystery Site has a PDI (Planetary Data Input) Form and 
	accompanying images taken "on location" which uniquely describes 
	the site. The data does NOT include the Latitude and Longitude 
	of the location or the Time Zone. The GOAL will be to determine 
	the LOCATION of the Mystery Site.   

	Elementary and Middle School students have a >range< of choices 
	(given in latitude and longitude) from which to select their answers. 
	Elementary students have THREE choices, whereas Middle School students 
	have FIVE choices. High School students will be given a range of 
	Latitude and Longitude within which the Mystery Sites are located.
	High School students will not have specific choices, but instead, will 
	submit their best answer citing the Latitude and Longitude for each 
	of the five Mystery Sites. 
	In the case of the High School level: The class(es)/student(s) 
	submitting the closest answers for the Mystery Sites will be 
	the winner(s).
	In the case of the Elementary and Middle School participants: The 
	winners will be selected from those entries with the highest number 
	of correct answers (five maximum).


	1) Students will analyze Planetary Data Input data and images 
		in order to identify clues to the location of the mystery 

	2) Students will demonstrate how to use Latitude and Longitude to
	    	locate a specific point on Earth, properly noting the
		coordinates in degrees and minutes along with the compass
		direction (N or S for latitude and E or W for longitude).

	3) Students will effectively utilize multiple reference sources 
		including online resources, compare Mystery Site weather 
		and biome data, and geography/geology with possible locations.

	4) Students will demonstrate teamwork, task delegation, and 
		cooperative discussion techniques.
	5) Using deductive reasoning, students will narrow the 
		possibilities of Mystery Site locations selecting
		the *best possible choice* on the basis of their data

	6) Students will justify/defend their Mystery Site locations based 
		on evidence collected during their research.


	1) Introduce the "Where In the World Are These P.E.T. Mystery
	   Sites?" activity.  Explain the activity (based on the
	   above Background and Brief Overview) and inform the 
	   students of *your* timeline.  Suggestion:  Group students
	   into collaborative teams. Each team will attempt to identify
	   all five Mystery Sites *or* have each team select one site to

	   You may want to access the Mystery Site Data *in advance*
	   and download and print copies for each group!   There are
	   SEVEN Mystery Site in all, each grade level will use *five*
	   of the seven sites. 

		Elementary Students use SITES # 2,3,5, 6, & 7

	        Middle School Students use SITES # 1-5

	        High School Students use SITES #1-5 

	2) Review the P.E.T, Data Collection Form with students found 
	   online at:

	   making sure that students understand the different types
	   of data included in the PDI Form.  Having an overhead copy
	   of the form on hand will help with this process.

	3) REVIEW latitude/longitude and mapping skills.  

	   Since all students must utilize latitude and longitude 
	   coordinates,  it is important to review how to use lat/long 
	   coordinates to locate a specific point on earth. It is
	   also important that students understand that noting
	   N or S latitude and E or W longitude is essential.

	   A possible review could incorporate plotting the latitude/
	   longitude location for each participating class who submitted 
	   PDI (Planetary Data Input) forms accessible via the LFM web 
	   site at:
	4) Have the students get into their small groups to brainstorm  
	   what they feel is the *BEST PLAN of ACTION* -- the process they 
	   feel will work most effectively --- which will enable them to 
	   solve the Mystery Sites. Have students share their plans with the 
	   large group. Discuss the use of critical thinking skills.  Point 
	   out how >subtle< clues contained within the PDI data forms and images
	   can help eliminate certain Mystery Site possibilities.  

	5) Provide the students with a variety of reference materials including 
	   online access to archives of Weather Maps, back issues of newspaper 
	   weather reports for late March and April, atlases, geographical 
	   reference books, materials on biomes and environment, guide books 
	   on plants, trees, animals, world and US maps.  

	6) Schedule time for each group to present their findings
	   and conclusions to the rest of the class.  Survey
	   the group for final "nod of approval"/feedback.

	   Suggestion:  Classroom teachers are encouraged to require
	   that students "justify" their Mystery Site locations with
	   evidence supporting their decisions. Having to defend their
	   choices will prevent "guesswork" and develop higher level
	   thinking skills! Have the students share their justifications
	   during the group discussions.


		All classes are required to register their participation 
		by sending email to   In the subject 
		write:  Mystery Site Activity Registration   Please
		register EARLY so we may plan accordingly.  Registration
		opens April 28th! Your ANSWER FORMS will be sent to your
		attention as soon as you register!
		Include the following information in your email registration 

		1) Name of sponsoring educator

	        2) Name and location of school/homeschool, etc.(Give
	           full mailing address)

	        3) Number of students participating, age and *grade level*

	        4) Email address of sponsoring educator

		NOTE: *If you are the coordinator registering for >>several<< 
		 classes, you may send >>ONE email<< with a list of the classes,
		 grade level/age, number of students, and sponsoring educator. 


	    * Registered classes will EACH receive an ANSWER FORM to use.
		In the case of multiple classes registered under one
		coordinator's email address, please make COPIES of 
		the ANSWER FORM for each class.

	    * Elementary and Middle School Classes/Students will receive
	      their UNIQUE set of MULTIPLE CHOICE ANSWERS from which
	      to select the Mystery Sites.  High School Classes will
	      receive an ANSWER FORM with blanks to input the latitude
	      and longitude for each Mystery Site.

		* One entry per participating class is allowed. If you
		  have more than one class involved, please indicate
		  a "unique name", period, hour, etc. for each group
                  on your ANSWER FORM.

		* Once an entry is submitted it is >>final<<< and may not be
		  "revised".  NO EXCEPTIONS!

	        * All entries are due by >>>>> Tuesday May 20, 1997 <<<<< at
		   midnight PST.  If you are having electronic mail problems, 
		   be sure to call Jan Wee at 608-786-2767 to inform her of 
	           your situation.  

		* All entries must be submitted to Jan Wee, Education Outreach
		   Coordinator, at via email *or* answers
		   can be faxed (using a print copy of the answer form) to:  
		   608-786-1819.  Please call Jan (above number) to let her 
		   know you are faxing answers in advance.


		Winning entries from each grade level range will
		be selected based on random drawing from CORRECT entries.       
		Special prizes and a certificates will be awarded to the 
		winning classes.  All participating classes will be recognized
		online and with a recognition certificate. Determination
	        and announcement of winners will take place by May 27, 1997.


                This document is available online at the LFM web site at:

                                                Jan Wee, moderator