After completing lessons one and two, students should be familiar with reasons for terrafoming (loss of Earth's resources), and the terminology utilized in terraforming. At this point students have enough background knowledge to compare Mars and Earth Ecology and Environment. Students will be provided internet sites of current parameters for Earth and Mars ecology and environment. As students compare and contrast the differences and similarities between the planets they will begin applying the key terms, and prior science knowledge to identify necessary changes in Mars environment to sustain life. Small group discussions will then take place determining the need for terraforming.
Living organisms have played many roles in the earth system, including affecting
the composition of the atmosphere, producing some types of rocks, and
contributing to the weathering of rocks.
The earth processes we see today, including erosion, movement of lithospheric
plates, and changes in atmospheric composition, are similar to those that occurred
in the past. earth history is also influenced by occasional catastrophes, such as the
impact of an asteroid or comet.
All organisms must be able to obtain and use resources, grow, reproduce, and
maintain stable internal conditions while living in a constantly changing external
Utilizing information sources; reference materials, non-fiction books, and internet sites
The following handout is a good way to organize the information the students need to know to begin the terraform process. The handout is located under student activity.
In addition to the URL provided below the following sites will be helpful to the teacher and the students:
Essay on Terraforming by Professor Robert H. Hayes, York University, Toronto, Canada
Atmospere of Mars/ Earth an additional URL that can be used by the students
Observation completion of the necessary planetary data.
Students may want to begin building three dimensional models depicting the terraforming stages. Howeer, further lessons must be completed before this part of the assment can be finalized. It may be necessary to generate a checklist of required items and breaj the assessment down into smaller projects.
Asteroid Coming 2061...... Terraform Mars and Save the World
The year is 2055 and an asteroid is predicted to hit Earth in the year 2061. If this asteroid hits Earth the population will dramitacally decrease. You are an an environmental scientist who has been recruited to save the entire Earth population. You have six years to accomplish this task. Because you are a genius you realize that the planet Mars might be a viable planet to move the Earth population. To accomplish this task you must Terraform the planet. ONLY YOU KNOW HOW TO DO THIS.....Do you accept the challenge of saving the Earth Population.
Utilizing the computer lab and the library you are to:
1. Research the current ecological and environmental conditions of Mars.
2. Propose a plan to Terraform Mars making it comparable to Earth.
Average Daily Temperature ___________C Average Daily Temperature ___________C
Maximum High Temperature ___________C Maximum High Temperature ___________C
Maximum Low Temperature____________C Maximum Low Temperature____________C
Surface gravity_____________________ Surface gravity_____________________
Magnetic field _________________ Magnetic field _________________
Tilt of Axis_______________________ Tilt of Axis_______________________
Mean Distance from Sun (AU)_____________ Mean Distance from Sun (AU)_____________
Water (location)______________ Water (location)______________
Axial Rotation (days)___________________ Axial Rotation (days)___________________
Sidereal revolution (years)_______________ Sidereal revolution (years)_______________
Average Pressure___________________ Average Pressure___________________
Existence of Life______________________ Existence of Life______________________
Vegetation (plants) ____________________ Vegetation (plants) ____________________
Moons __________________ Moons __________________
After completing the data section students will break into small groups to brainstorm areas requiring terraforming on Mars.