Live From Mars was active July 1996-December 1997.

Teachers' Guide

A Note on Assessment

Live From Mars -like every Passport to Knowledge module-is very different from traditional instruction. But the PTK project team, like you, the dedicated educator, needs to know what students "get" from participating in LFM.

When we say "get" we're not just thinking about factual information on Mars or general knowledge about the exploration of space. In line with the National Science Education Standards (NAS/NRC), and initiatives such as AAAS's Project 2061 (Science for All Americans, Benchmarks for Scientific Literacy) and new state and district assessment criteria, PTK strives to develop

  • positive student attitudes towards science and high technology
  • a better understanding of the scientific method and research process
  • more powerful and sophisticated research skills
  • practice in applying the new tools of the Information Age to education whether in school, at home or in informal learning settings such as planetariums and science centers
But how do we know we-and you-are achieving these goals? In the past PTK has provided Teacher and Student Evaluations in our Guides. We've learned much from these questionnaires but we've found the student surveys too open-ended. We also learned that more targeted teacher surveys would provide better feedback. This time we're customizing our evaluations. If you're a teacher, please register by returning the pre-paid, pre-addressed postcard included in this Guide (additional copies can be enlarged from the master below). Those of you accessing the guide on-line will find instructions on how to respond via e-mail. All those registering will be sent a survey targeted to their grade and subject area. We believe this will help us, and you, better understand the contributions and challenges of PTK and Live From Mars.

PTK found that specific evidence of student work (Mission Logbooks from LFS, Antarctic flags and poetry from LFA, videotapes of overnight star parties or presentation of class projects, on-line student contributions to the "Great Planet Debate during LHST) were extremely useful and revealing assessment tools. Throughout the Guide we've provided suggestions for Activities which will generate this type of student work. We hope they will also help you, the teacher, identify specific, measurable, student learning outcomes and aid you in your individual student assessments.

Space missions use acronyms, and throughout this Guide you'll find the following shorthand.

MPF: Mars Pathfinder

MGS: Mars Global Surveyor

JPL: Jet Propulsion Laboratory

APXS: Alpha Proton X-ray Spectrometer

PTK: Passport to Knowledge

LFM: Live From Mars

LFA: Live From Antarctica

LFS: Live From the Stratosphere

LHST: Live From the Hubble Space Telescope

We encourage you to share your student's achievements with us on-line. Some of it may be published, thereby validating your students' efforts and perhaps motivating others.

To submit materials on-line, see: Student Gallery on the LFM web site

To submit hard copies, send original materials (make a copy for your records) to: Passport to Knowledge, P.O.Box 1502, Summit, NJ 07902-1502

To contact EDC directly with questions or suggestions specifically about Assessment, call:
1-212-807-4200 (ask for "Passport to Knowledge")
Registration Form Reply to: EDC, 96 Morton Street
7th Floor, New York, NY 10014

  • Name ____________________________
  • School Address ______________________
  • work telephone number _________________
  • email address _____________________
  • Grade level (Please check only one.) ___ lower elementary ___ upper elementary ___ middle school ___ high school ___ other
  • Subject taught (Please check only one.) ___ generalist ___ science specialist ___ other specialist
  • Number of classes in which you will use Live From Mars? ___
  • Describe the size of the area in which your school is located? (Please check only one.)
    ___ rural ___ suburban ___ small city ___ medium/large city (over 1,000,000)
  • Which previous Passport to Knowledge modules have you participated in?
    ___ Live From Antarctica ___ Live From the Stratosphere ___ Live From the Hubble Space Telescope ___ None
  • How often have you used on-line curriculum projects other than Passport to Knowledge modules?
    ___ Many times ___ A few times ___ Once ___ Never
  • Are you planning to team-teach this curriculum?
    __ Yes __ No