PLASMA: Patterson Lakes Aerospace Special Mars Agency

  A Web Quest ...researched and designed by Mrs B



So far, the exploration of Mars has occurred in three stages: Flybys, Orbiters and now landers and robot rovers.


Your mission is to explore what information we have learned from each of these to successfully launch and land your own mission.


You are to research, prepare background information and develop knowledge and understanding about Mars from past and current space exploration and data sent back to launch and land a robot on Mars.You need to score all 20 Martain points to successfully launch and land your robot. You will carry out a number of investigations like real NASA scientists and engineers. You will use online data and virtual simulations and present to draw conclusions about your own learning strategies, ICT and about space exploration to Mars. You will log all activities and record these understandings. this log will form your assessment. you will alos complete a number of online quizzes to test your knowledge of Mars.This web quest meets National Curriculum Personal Learning. THINKING, Digital Technologies and Science/Humanities. Suitable for levels 3-4 and 5-6. ( supports Science Concepts unit Year 5)


Evaluation:  Download these worksheets and use them as you complete the different activities:

Learning log and a Y thinking chart.



The Process:

Complete task 1and 2, then rotate through each additional task from your assigned starting activity, collecting your martian points to successfully launch and land your mission to Mars. Complete and update your online or printed learning log regularly. Complete activities complete the log to show your learnings to achieve your points. Your teacher may need to authorise the full value of these points.

There are three types of activities to explore and complete out of 11 plus an evaluation task.


Simulations PLASMA researchResearch and PLASMA martian Expand your brain - thinking activities.

The Plasma Points indicates how many PLASMA points for doing that activity. How many can you get?


PLASMA research

ACTIVITY 1 Preliminary Research

Points value Plasma PointsPlasma PointsPlasma Points

You will perform preliminary background research on Mars and find out the following using the any of the listed web sites and Multimedia nd present this as a MS WORD document under the given sub-headings.:

  • Distance from earth - closest and furthest distance.
  • Position in our solar system
  • Descriptipn of surface and terrain. Add a few images formatted to fit your explanations
  • Living conditions and atmosphere
  • My Interesting facts about mars- at least 3


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PLASMA martianACTIVITY 2 Missions to Mars.

Points value Plasma PointsPlasma Points

How many people does it take to design, build and launch a mission to Mars? Watch these videos to discover and explore how many and ideas are required to plan and execute such a mission. Now you are ready to collect all your martian points to launch and land your own Mars robot. Think about the big picture and the number of people invloved and the many types of information and testing that needs to be done to get any information and a robot to Mars.Record this in your log. This video might give you an idea Videos courtesy of and Youtube


Record your thoughts in your learning log.


Check out how many missions to Mars there has been? Take this link to learn more about them. Count how many both successful and unsuccessful missions there has been. Make a list. How many different types of missions have there been? What are the current explorations? What is doing them and for how long?

Video 1a  Video 1b View  2  Video 3 this video downloads check your downloads folder

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PLASMA martianPLASMA researchACTIVITIES 3-17

Complete each activity to gain more martian points. Start on different activity to those around you but try to complete them all. Choose from the activities below. Each activity has different point value.

Check this out

Meet one of the robots on Mars here


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PLASMA researchACTIVITY 3 Discover and see the features of Mars Research starting from this NASA web page and complete the activity sheet collecting facts and categorizing features of the Mars terrain.

Download activity sheet.

Plasma PointsPlasma PointsPLASMA researchACTIVITY 4
History of Mars exploration.
Create a PowerPoint or mini movie capturing the images from the web site to chronicle the space missions in chronological order to date to Mars.Put things and ideas into your own words. Copy and past a picture and record the dates and write a sentence that explains what it discovered. Reinact an event and use that in your project. Record the date. There are nine missions groups. Make sure you include a bibliography of the web site URL to thank and acknowledge the source of the images. You may do this with a partner.



Plasma PointsPLASMA researchACTIVITY 5 Finding Rocks on Mars. Controlling a Mars Rover. These are a simulation.. Navigate a virtual Mars rover to find rocks. Record the name of the rocks studied and what we know about them.Play the game to collect the information.Record the name of the rocks in a word document. You can repeat the game as many times as required.



Plasma PointsPLASMA martianACTIVITY 6 Mars Satellite images jigsaw . This is a group activity. Open the jigsaw and match the images to show a region of Mars. Look closely at the map created and identify volcanoes, ice caps and craters. Mark and lablel them. Identify possible landing sites. Ask Mrs B for the interactive version when at PLPS in Student common/specialist classes/assort/Mars  Print, cut and paste version

Discuss with your fellow student scientists how easy or difficult this is to do from such information. Make a list of the actions and information that may need before you send a mission to Mars. This activity can be carried out on the Interactive White board or at your PC. Ask Mrs B for interactive version when at PLPS in Student common/specialist classes/assort/Mars  Print cut and paste version


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Plasma PointsACTIVITY 7 Drive on Mars. See through the eyes of mars explorer robot. Choose your robot and see how you go.


Plasma PointsACTIVITY 8 Find a suitable landing site.
A landing site needs to be safe and interesting. Interact with this simulation to find a suitable landing site.

Ask Mrs B for the Interactive Whiteboard version. You can do this as a group.

Plasma PointsACTIVITY 9 Fly over a virtual Martian volacano.
Pilot a space ship over a martian volcano to locate the markers. Zoom over an unknown martian lanscape. Interact with this simulation to experienece mars


Plasma PointsACTIVITY 10
Controling and programming a martain rover .
Control a martain rover and use its eyes (cameras) to search and locate three rocks on the mariain surface. This is a simulation. you drive the Mrs Rover try this This requires some installation file son your device.


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Plasma PointsPLASMA martianACTIVITY 11. Engineering and working for PLASMA robotics with ROBOLAB/ NXT or EVO Using programming based on the Mras rovers developed ny NAA and Lego get a Lego school owned and built robot to mars to move towards two different objects as close as possible.




Test your knowledge Quiz 1 Quiz 2 and Quiz 3 and fill out your evaluation  Y thinking chart. then blast off and test your launch.



Things to do to be finished your web quest...


PLASMA martianNow download and complete your Y thinking chart and THINK about what you now understand about exploring Mars having completed this web quest. 

PLASMA martianHand in your learning log and see if you have sufficient points to launch and land your own martian robot.

PLASMA martianLaunch your mission to mars. I hope you have all the information you need. GO and try to blast off and land on Mars 

Now try to land your craft on Mars safely

Wnat the full virtual experience being a Martian


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Web page built by Mrs Bearup

All activities and worksheets designed by Mrs B. First used in 2006 on school Intranet. Updated for web site 2016.