Subject: Science – Life on Mars

Subject: Science – Life on Mars

Year Group: 9 (age 13-14)  Timing: 1 hour
Number of Pupils: 25, divided into 5 groups, assume mixture of abilities.


The class will already have studied the solar system in general – size, contents, how the planets are arranged. Now we are going to look more quantitatively at planetary data and in more detail at the features of a particular planet.

Curriculum (Key Stage 3):

• Comparing gravity on different planets

• Comparing surface temperature and distance from Sun (radiation and absorption)

• Using AR to become familiar with the features of a planet

• Extension: Practising calculation skills and understanding powers of ten

Skills developed:

Data extraction and analysis; graph drawing and interpolation; comparing forces

Equipment needed:

• Whiteboard or similar to write on

• Set of 15 iPads loaded with Space 4D+, sound muted

• 5 sets of Space 4D+ trigger cards (planets only, having removed Mars)

• 1 complete set of cards for teacher, with iPad connected to projector for viewing by whole class

• Gravity box (large cardboard box with hidden weights inside, each representing the weight of 1kg on different planets: 1kg (Earth), 2.6kg (Jupiter), 0.9kg (Venus), 0.4kg (Mars), 1.2kg (Neptune), 0.15kg (Moon). Each has a string labelled A à F emerging from lid of box.

Follow Up:

Homework will be set: Describe what you would see and feel if you visited Mars in a spacecraft for a day. The following lesson could explore Kepler’s 1st Law: T2 vs R3, or move on to study stellar evolution and nuclear fusion.

Please click the link below to download the full Life on Mars lesson plan.

Download Lesson Plan

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