The lesson modules below are designed for use in an undergraduate classroom and include teaching materials including details and handouts for in-class activities and homework. The menu to the left can be used to navigate between each module.
The compiled instructor and student versions of the 23 modules can be downloaded here:
Compiled Teaching Modules Instructor Version (Acrobat (PDF) 9MB Feb18 16)
Compiled Teaching Modules Student Version (Acrobat (PDF) 7.5MB Feb18 16)
This introduction will expose students to Mars imaging software platforms so that students may become familiar with their navigation and imagery products.
This learning module and related laboratory exercise exposes students to Solar Nebular Theory, planetary body classification, and planet differentiation. Students will be able to compare and contrast the formation history of Mars and Earth as well as confidently assess the present classification of the planet Pluto.
This learning module compares early and recent missions to Mars as well as familiarizes students with a common instrument used in NASA mission payloads.
This learning module and related laboratory exercise exposes students to remote sensing techniques utilized on Mars.
This learning module and related laboratory exercise exposes students to the make-up of minerals on both Earth and Mars, as well as encourages students to determine what minerals imply an aqueous environment of formation.
This learning module and related laboratory exercise exposes students to volcanic styles, eruptions, igneous rock textures and their evidence in the Martian landscape.
This learning module and related laboratory exercise exposes students to the types of lithologies on Earth that host life and the sedimentary processes that formed them.
Students will be exposed to the processes of metamorphism and diagenesis on Earth and determine which processes are dominant on Mars. Are diagenetic processes on Earth mirrored on Mars?
Students will become familiar with the theory of plate tectonics on Earth and evaluate the possibility of plate tectonics on Mars using the evidence (continental puzzle, faunal correlation, magnetic reversals etc.) utilized on Earth to support plate tectonic theory.
This learning module exposes students to the formation of impact craters and what differentiates a meteorite from other rocks on Earth.
This learning module discusses the geologic history of the Earth, the principles scientists use to define the Earth's geologic history, and relative dating techniques.
This learning module and related laboratory exercise exposes students to surface water erosion due to rivers and deltas and their evidence on the Martian landscape. Students will use modern analogs to assess the hypothesis that both rivers and deltas existed on Mars.
A learning module for incorporation in to Earth science courses that exposes students to the influence of groundwater and on the surface of Mars.
It is hypothesized that an ocean on Mars might have existed. Students will learn what sedimentary structures of Earth, marine environments in the ancient look like and the processes that formed them. From this earth-analog approach students will observe Mars imagery and determine whether or not a Mars ocean might have existed in the distant past.
This module discusses the causes of ice ages on Earth and explores whether or not Mars experiences similar climate dynamics as Earth.
This learning module exposes students to the patterns and drivers of weathering and the formation of soils on Earth and Mars.
Using a Sandbox experiment and Google Earth students will study the formation of dunes and relate their observations to Mars dune field imagery.
This module explores various hypotheses concerning the origins of life on planet Earth and their plausibility when applied to Mars.
This learning module and related laboratory exercise exposes students to extremophiles, their habitats, and the potential to find habitable environments on Mars.
This learning module and related in‐class activity is meant to expose students to the SETI program.
This learning module is meant for adaptation into any course wishing to introduce students to planets outside Earth's solar system. Students will learn about the 'habitable zone' and apply techniques used to find planets outside our solar system.
This learning module and related exercises will expose students the issues of space exploration and the other NASA-partnering agencies and institutions as well as private companies engaged in space-related technology.
The goal of this module is to expose students to the process of planning a space exploration mission. It discusses mission aspects such as mission science goals, mission design and funding, and public outreach.