Monday, 6 August 2012

Curiosity lands on Mars

After watching this clip and hearing that NASA's Curiosity rover successfully landed on Mars this morning I decided to share this with my children and land our very own rover on Mars.
After showing them a few pictures of curiosity and telling them that it had cameras and gadgets to explore Mars for life they rummaged through the recycling box to get parts to build a rover themselves.

They used cardboard packaging, shiny paper, kitchen roll tubes, fuzzy sticks, and lolly pop sticks.

I then set up a space theme sensory table.

I made a small sensory box to make the surface of Mars. We mixed rice and pasta with red paint and added it to the box along with brown sugar, shells and stones that we had covered in red glitter. I explained that Mars was known as the red planet. 

I also filled a container with glittery paper and ice cubes and explained that the only water on Mars is frozen like ice in polar caps or underground. 

I lined the table with black tissue paper and sprinkled it with little stars. I then  cut out cardboard circles in various sizes and the kids stuck bits of tissue paper on them. I spread these across the table to show that there are lots of other planets in space. 

I closed the curtains to make it darker and placed our globe lamp at the end of the table. 

We then got the rovers we made earlier and we acted out Curiosity's mission to Mars. 

Me: Earth to curiosity, are you ready to land. You have a big mission ahead.
Macey: Yes I can see the big red planet
Me: Your very hot and moving very fast. Don't forget to get rid of your heat shield and let out your parachute.
Macey: Ok I'm landed safely. Its very beautiful come and see
Me: It takes far to long to get to Mars use the satellites to send pictures back to earth. 
Macey: Ok beaming photos to earth. 
Me. Brilliant! good luck finding life on Mars 

I let the children know that mars has big mountains and volcanoes and left them and their imaginations. Curiosity spent the next few hours trapped under ice, escaping erupting volcanoes and exploring mountains. 

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