Introduction
In the
M.A.R.S. mission your classroom
will take part in a simulation
to find a suitable site to build
the first Martian base. In this
exploratory mission to survey
Mars, students will select sites
to visit, calculate the fuel
consumption of their planes to
reach those sites, and calculate
the areas and mineral
compositions of sites they
choose to visit. This activity
provides practice with the math
skills used in the M.A.R.S.
mission.
Duration
3045
minutes
Vocabulary
coordinates:
an ordered pair of numbers.
formula: a
rule showing relationships
between quantities.
horizontal
axis: the horizontal line of the
two lines on which a graph is
built.
percent: a
ratio comparing a part to a
whole using the number 100. The
percentage is the number of
hundredths that the part is
equal to.
quadrilateral: a polygon with
four sides.
slope: the
measure of the steepness of the
line.
vertical
axis: the vertical line of the
two lines on which a graph is
built.
NCTM
Standards for Mathematics
Grades 68;
Number and Operations Standard Understand
numbers, ways of representing
numbers, relationships among
numbers, and number systems:

Work flexibly with fractions,
decimals, and percentages to
solve problems.

Understand and use ratios and
proportions to represent
quantitative relationships.
Materials
Procedure

Decide how you want the students
to work on the activity. You may
choose to have the students work
individually or in groups.
Another option would be to
assign this activity for
homework and review the answers
together in class.

Discuss all vocabulary in the
lesson, including ratio, rate,
proportion, and
crossmultiplication.

Preview the activity with the
students. Allow time for
questions and discussion.

Use the M.A.R.S. Math Tasks
PowerPoint to guide students
through this math activity. We
recommend that you work through
the activity as a class using
the M.A.R.S. Math Tasks
presentation projected from a
computer.

Make sure your students
understand the relevance of this
activity to their mission work.
During the M.A.R.S. live
simulation students will use the
formulas in this lesson to
calculate the fuel consumption
of their surveyor planes, the
area of each site their planes
visit, and the amount of
minerals contained at each site.
They will also need to compare
the amount of fuel their plane
will burn to visit each site to
the amount of hematite at the
site, using a decision graph.
Special
Comments
On mission
day students will use online
tools to complete these types of
problems. Answers for
this activity are provided in
the M.A.R.S. Math Tasks answer
key:
