At the end of a three-day holiday weekend my mind always turns towards tomorrow – the first day back. I’m sitting at a midtown Sacramento coffee shop and next to me a fellow teacher is lesson planning and grading papers. Oh that’s right…this time tomorrow I will be with students. So, how am I going to start the day? Well, by talking about what happened in science this weekend!
This wasn’t just any old weekend. Yesterday the Phoenix Mars Lander arrived at its destination after a 422 million mile trek and started transmitting images. The purpose of the Phoenix mission is to study the forms in which water exists on the Martian surface and if the planet could support life. Fortunately, if you’d like to discuss this event with your students there are multiple online resources. First of all, I would suggest stopping by the Phoenix Mars Mission website. The site is full of information easily assessable by those of us who are not NASA engineers. Check out the gallery, blog, and education pages. The Mission Overview and Why Water? PDF handouts are quite handy as well. Secondly, make sure you visit the NASA Phoenix Multimedia page. It contains video and animations for all of those “How does the Phoenix Lander…” type questions you will inevitably get from your students. Finally, a quick look at the NBC Today Show Video page or the CNN multimedia gallery devoted to the Phoenix mission might also find you a nice summary video.