Mars Project: Hey Mars, wait for us!

Short Description:

This is a multidisciplinary project including STEAM activities about the planet Mars in which students brainstormed and exchanged ideas on how to establish a settled life on it. During the project students did research about this planet on the internet and got help from their chemistry and art teachers. Firstly, they got to know this planet and they learned all the important features of it. After that, they tried to find some solutions about how to reveal water, create weather events in Mars atmosphere like in the world, use the soil for agriculture and build houses and Martian cities. During the activities students conducted an experiment on how to produce oxygen and designed draft plans for building houses and cities with the help of their science and art teachers. https://twinspace.etwinning.net/221452/home

Partners of the project:

Stavroula Prantsoudi (Greece), Albina Abromavaviciene (Lithuania), Cristina Laura Ionaşi and Gabriela Stan (Romania), Derya Şeleci and Tuğba Sağlam (Turkey)

Age range of the students: 13 – 16

Aims of the project:

1. Improving language skills (listening, speaking, reading, writing, vocabulary and pronunciation) in English.
2. Arousing curiosity about Mars and the idea of creating life on it.
3. Enabling students to form new ideas about how to provide living conditions on this planet.
4. Establishing friendly relations among students.
5. Increasing creativity and self-confidence of students.

Work Process (1st February – 30th April)

Warm-up activities:

Before the main activities we aimed to inspire students to develop their imaginations and put forward new ideas about project topics. The main warm-up activity was watching the film “Martian”. In addition, there were two optional activities. These activities were playing the online games “TerraGenesis” and “Survival on Mars 3D”, and examining into the website “Access Mars with Google” (https://accessmars.withgoogle.com/).

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Main Activities of the project:

There were six main activities in this project. For this reason, we divided all the students in this project into 6 mixed teams. Each team had a topic and worked on their topics by searching the Net, collaborating with their science and art teachers, and doing experiment and designing survival areas on Mars.

Team 1 : Let’s get to know Mars

With this activity we aimed to make the students learn about this planet detailedly. All the students in the team searched this topic on the net in the light of some guiding questions. What kind of planet is Mars? Why Mars? Why do we want to create a new life on Mars? What have NASA and the other space companies done for Mars so far? After that, they shared their findings and opinions to each other on the project forum pages.

Team 2 – Water on Mars

Water is vital need for all living things. There is no life without water. Therefore, students searched this topic on the net in the light of some guiding questions. Is there really water on Mars? If yes, how can we reveal it? Can humans create water and reproduce it on Mars? If yes, how? What are NASA’s efforts to find water on Mars? After that, they shared their findings and opinions to each other on the project forum pages.

Team 3 – Climate and Atmosphere of Mars

Breathing is essential for our lives. With this activity we aimed to make students learn about climate of Mars and how much each gas is present in the atmosphere of it.

All the students in the team searched this topic on the net in the light of some guiding questions: What are the characteristics of the atmosphere on Mars? How much oxygen is there? Is it possible to increase the oxygen rate? How is the climate on Mars? Is it possible to increase the temperature of Mars? Are atmospheric events happening on Mars? How can it be ensured that it rains regularly on Mars? What are the researches of scientists about the climate and atmosphere of Mars?

After that they shared their findings and opinions to each other on the project forum pages. Also the students conducted an electrolysis experiment on how to produce oxygen with their Chemistry teacher.

Mixed Team 4 – Agriculture on Mars

Food is also one of the basic needs for human life. With this activity we aimed to discover whether we can grow vegetables or fruit on Mars. All the students in the team searched this topic on the net in the light of some guiding questions: What does the soil on Mars consist of? How can the soil on Mars be made fertile for agriculture. Firstly, what plants can we grow on Mars? Can plants grow on with no soil, only water? What are the researches of scientists about its soil?

Mixed Team 5 – Building houses on Mars

What kind of houses must we build? We asked the students to do research on how to build Martian houses and put forward their own ideas in the light of it. Also some students designed a Martian house with the help of their art teacher . The guiding questions: Where can be exactly the most suitable place for life on this planet? What type of houses can be built? Which materials can be used to build a house? What are the researches of scientists about building a house on this planet? After that they shared their findings and opinions to each other on the project forum pages.

Mixed Team 6 – Building a city on Mars

How should we plan Martian cities for a sustainable life? Students did research on this topic by tring to find out answers of some guiding questions. What did NASA or the other space companies do about establishing a city on this planet? What should there be in a Martian city for a sustainable life? Which rules or laws should a city or country to be established have in order to make the life sustainable? In addition, some students drew the plans of Martian cities with the help of their art teachers, gave names to the cities and mentioned about features of them on forum pages.

City plans of Some Students and Their Features

Expected Outcomes of the project

At the end of the project we put all the findings together and created an e-book.

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About Tuğba Sağlam

I'm an English language teacher at a high school and eTwinning ambassador in my city. I'm also "Future Classroom Lab" and "eSafety Label" ambassador. I live in Giresun, in the north east of Turkey, by the Black Sea. I've been teaching English for 17 years. My pupils are 15-18 years old. They are at 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th grades. I graduated from İstanbul University-English Language Teaching Department.

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