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Investigating the Dynamic Martian Polar Caps DLESE Reviewed Collection
In this activity, students download NASA Hubble Space Telescope (HST) images of the Martian polar ice caps in summer and winter. Using image processing techniques, students measure and compare various images of the changing Martian and Earth polar ice caps. By completing this activity, they will understand that the sizes of the polar ice caps on Earth and Mars depend on the lengths of the seasons. Additionally, students will compare the changing sizes of ice caps on Earth and Mars using the tilt of the axis of rotation, the time to complete an orbit (one year), and the time for one rotation about the axis (one day).
Intended for grade levels:
  • Middle (6-8)
  • High (9-12)
Type of resource:
  • For the classroom:
    • Lesson plan
  • Visual:
    • Imagery - remotely sensed
    • Video
Subject:
  • Atmospheric science
  • Cryology
  • Space science
  • Technology
Technical requirements:
Site requires image processing software for MAC or PC. It uses NIH Image and ImageJ with links to download these programs. Site also suggests that you download GIF Converter 2.4.5d5. This is an experimental release, and may pose some problems with existing software on computers There are also video clips which require Quicktime, mpg or anim GIF to run. Links are provided to these areas. Assessment Strategies subheading after lesson 4 is really a hot link to the strategies and some prepared student worksheets.
Cost / Copyright:
No cost
Copyright and Other Restrictions Information is Unknown
DLESE Catalog ID: DWEL-000-000-000-290
Educational standards:
  • National Science Education Standards (NSES):
    • 5-8:
      • Unifying concepts and processes:
        • Change, constancy, and measurement
        • Evidence, models, and explanation
      • A - Science as inquiry:
        • Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry
        • Understanding about scientific inquiry
      • B - Physical science:
        • Transfer of energy
      • D - Earth and space science:
        • Earth in the solar system
      • E - Science and technology:
        • Abilities of technological design
        • Understandings about sci. / tech.
    • 9-12:
      • Unifying concepts and processes:
        • Change, constancy, and measurement
        • Evidence, models, and explanation
      • A - Science as inquiry:
        • Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry
        • Understandings about scientific inquiry
      • D - Earth and space science:
        • Origin and evolution of the universe
      • E - Science and technology:
        • Abilities of technological design
        • Understandings about science and technology
Related resources:
This resource is referenced by 'Center for Educational Resources (CERES) Project'
Resource contact / Creator / Publisher:
Principal Investigator: George Tuthill
Montana State University