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The Colonization of Mars Project Outline
Science, Social Studies
8, 9, 10
The Colonization of Mars
Your group has been hired by NASA to design a plan for colonizing the planet Mars. Listed below are a series of topics that NASA has asked your group to research. Since there are so many questions that need to be answered, it was suggested by NASA that each member of your group be assigned 3 questions to research and become an expert upon. That means that if someone asks a member of your group about one of their questions that they will be able to answer correctly and tell others where they found their information.
- The group leader will divide up the research topics equally among all members. Each member will get 3 topics and the “Design a colony on Mars” topic. That means that each member will have 4 topics to research.
- Each member will write their research topics on the appropriate space provided on the separate research sheet.
- Members may ask others for help, but should try and answer the topics on their own since their teammates have their own work to do.
- When a member has completed the research sheet, she or he may assist the others in the group.
- When all members have finished with their research sheets, members should discuss their findings and do more research if you believe you need more information or if some of the information does not seem correct.
- When your group is satisfied that all the information that you have collected is accurate, you should take turns sharing your individual colony designs, and as a group design a new colony using at least one thing from each member’s own design.
- Remember that NASA will be reading your answers to the research topics so write neatly, use proper grammar, think creatively, collect and report information accurately, and report every place you used to find information.
The Research Topics:
- Describe where on Mars you think would be the best place to establish a colony and why?
- Explain what sources of energy you will use? Will you use solar power, wind generators, hydro-electrical power, or something else? What other method would you use if your first method stops working?
- What will the sun look like from your colony and why would it look like it does? Create a picture of what the sun would look like using any of the art materials provided.
- How will you obtain water? Explain your answer?
- How will you deal with waste management such as garbage and bodily functions?
- How will you obtain oxygen? Explain your answer?
- How will you get food? Explain your answer?
- What do plants need in order to survive and grow? Would the soil on Mars support plant life? If not, why? What would you need to do in order to get plants to grow on Mars?
- How would you move about the surface of Mars?
- Would you be able to breathe the air on Mars or would you need to use a spacesuit? If you need a spacesuit, draw a picture of the suit and label the parts of the suit.
- What occupations are needed to make the colony work? Will you have doctors, engineers, artists, scientists, dancers, or others? Explain why you would choose to bring these people to your colony.
- What materials would you use to build your shelters?
- How will you deal with the smaller amount of gravity?
- Would you explore the two moons that orbit Mars? Why?
- How would you communicate with Earth?
- Create a visual representation of what your colony would look like on Mars. You may use any of the art supplies that are out to draw a picture or create a diorama.