Live From Mars was active July 1996-December 1997.

Teachers' Guide

Live From Mars Project Overview

Live from Mars is an integrated multimedia project, which uses

Each medium contributes what it does best. Participants in past projects report that students benefit most when all three components are utilized to the fullest.

On-line . . . . . . . . .
The Internet breaks down the walls of the classroom and brings the world and world-class researchers to any school, any place, any time.
  • On-line opportunities facilitate direct, individual interactions with leading scientists, experts and their support teams, through "Researcher Q&A"
  • "Field Journals" and "Biographies" provide behind-the-scenes anecdotes which personalize the scientific process
  • Images and weather data direct from Mars will be available via the Internet in close to real time
  • On-line collaborative activities encourage students to collect data locally, and share it nationally and internationally, validating their efforts by seeing their research and writing published on the Internet
  • Teachers share curriculum ideas and implementation challenges with other teachers via on-line mail-lists
  • All materials, including the discussions, remain accessible indefinitely via an on-line Archive
  • The project provides on-line components both for those limited to e-mail only, and those with full access to the World Wide Web
A Guided Tour of the project's on-line environment is accessible via:

Print . . . . . . . . . .
The print materials provide all a teacher needs to create classroom lessons and Activities: the Guide (also accessible on-line) provides a teacher-friendly, easy-to-use introduction to the entire project, and is co-packaged with camera-ready masters of Student Worksheets and key visuals to support the Activities, an original full-color poster, and background NASA publications.
  • Hands-on Activities simulate key aspects of the research seen during the project and illuminate key scientific concepts.
  • Many of the Activities suggest adaptations up and down in grade level beyond middle school.
  • Many of the Activities suggest ways to connect across the disciplines to math, social studies, language arts, art and computer classes. Icons signal these opportunities.
  • Each Activity retains the pedagogically sound Engage, Explore, Explain, Expand format of previous Guides.
  • Opening and Closing Activities help teachers create a productive anticipatory set and/or reinforce learning after the live video or on-line interactions
  • A Teacher's Kit provides more extensive materials, including the Guide and its co-packaged publications, a bonus color poster, a Mars slide set, a VHS teacher orientation tape including NASA animations and Activity demos, a Mars CD-ROM, and curriculum materials underwritten by the Mars Exploration Directorate of NASA's JPL-and more. (To order the Kit, fill in and return the form co-packaged with this Guide.)
Video . . . . . . . . . .

Television provides the sights and sounds, the people, places and processes, which put a living context around the text.
  • Personal portraits of the researchers and their lives humanize the hard work of doing science and demystify high-tech careers
  • Cutting-edge telecommunications connects students to remote and otherwise inaccessible locations
  • Graphics and dynamic visuals simplify complex concepts
  • Live, two-way exchanges between students and researchers symbolize the interactive possibilities universally available via the Internet
Teachers rate the live component of the Live From... videos highly, although most teachers use them on tape: there's no contradiction. The excitement of the original live interactions is maintained while teachers gain flexibility by using the videos on tape.

How the Components work together-an example
Activity 1.1, "Rocket Science 101" uses simple balloons to give students hands-on experience with issues of thrust, fuel and payloads, as an application of Newton's Laws. On November 19, 1996, Live From Mars, Program 1, "Countdown", will feature a real-world application of these principles with a report on the launch of Mars Global Surveyor. Students in Worcester, MA, childhood home of American rocket pioneer Robert H. Goddard, will interact live with today's rocket scientists at Cape Canaveral, where Mars Pathfinder is being readied for launch. And on-line students can find background information on the Delta II rockets that will be used for both missions.

If you have questions, you'll find discuss-lfm responsive to your individual interests and needs: this on-line Teachers' Lounge allows you to make suggestions, ask for advice and share ideas, creating a "Virtual Community" which turns the Guide, videos and other on-line materials into living documents which will evolve during the course of the project. There's no "royal road to Geometry" said Euclid, and there's no one way to implement Live From Mars. We hope you'll work with us to find many right ways to bring the exploration of the Red Planet to life for your students.