I have been working with the University of Houston to create a curriculum unit based around the Mars Rover Curiosity. We’re working on polishing the last of the lessons and getting them posted on the UH Mars Rover Celebration web site.
The Mars Rover Celebration curriculum is an all-encompassing six week unit for students in grades 3-8 that can be used in the classroom or in informal education settings. Throughout the unit, students learn about the solar system, focusing on Mars. Using the information they have learned, students work collaboratively in teams of 4-5 to design their own mission to Mars and build their own rover (from found and low-cost objects). Each lesson is aligned to National Standards (as well as the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills) and contains an Essential Question, Vocabulary Cards, and a Science Notebook for student use. There are also key literacy elements woven through the unit to make it a STEAM unit rather than a STEM unit.
Since this amazing project is funded by a NASA grant, the cost for using this curriculum unit with students is…FREE. And, if you are in the great state of Texas, you can bring your students and their rovers to participate in the Mars Rover Celebration capstone event where students can show off their work and meet other students from around the state!
By the end of the summer, all 30 lessons (15 for grades 3-5 and 15 for grades 6-8) and all of their lesson components will be posted on the UH Mars Rover Celebration site. Check them out and use them in the fall to get your students re-engaged in learning!