On the Cutting Edge - Professional Development for Geoscience Faculty
Discoveries from Mars:
Using a Planetary Perspective to Enhance Undergraduate Geoscience Courses
Cutting Edge > Discoveries from Mars > Activities and Assignments > MER (Mars Exploration Rover ) Landing Site Selection

MER (Mars Exploration Rover) Landing Site Selection

Eric B. Grosfils
,
Geology Department, Pomona College
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Summary

Via a jigsaw role-playing exercise in which students become geologists, astrobiologists and engineers, real data and available constrains are used to identify landing sites for the MER rovers. A debate format is then used to select two landing sites. NOTE: a similar exercise can be developed for future missions.

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Context

Audience

Introductory Physical Geology course

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

I use this as the final lab for my course, and the more students know about Mars before beginning the lab the better, but no explicit knowledge other than what gets provided within the lab is required – except that students must be able to interpret image and topography data.

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