Monday, May 26, 2008

Phoenix has landed!

Great news! The Phoenix Mars Lander has landed safely on the surface of Mars, and projected its first live images at about 7pm Sunday evening. I watched the entire event on NASA TV, and rather than flipping through channels with a remote control, I flipped through Firefox tabs to check out various interactive and informational displays on NASA's site, as well as offerings from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. New images and follow-up will be broadcast on NASA TV Monday morning at 11:00 am PDT.

Lesson Plan
Of course, we can involve our students in this highly relevant and exciting accomplishment, no matter what subject we're teaching. English teachers, have your students write a journalistic piece, highlighting the objectives and timeline of the mission. Start with the Phoenix Mars Lander section of the JPL site. NASA has more here.

Have your students compile their information onto a Google doc or slideshow presentation, linking to images, videos, and interactive exercises. Ask them to share the document or slideshow with you so that you can offer feedback. When their projects are complete, they will publish them and send you the link through a Google docs form.

There are few thrills greater than a first live, close-up viewing of a distant planet--it never gets old.

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