Overview Lessons & Materials Pre Mission Prep. Mission Day Assessment Student Pages

Scope & Sequence

Interdisciplinary Approach

Unit : How to Apply  

Lesson 2 : Applying for the Mission

Basic Readings

  • Application Process
  • Form a Team

Recommended Readings

  • Application Process
  • Form a Team
  • Earth System Science

Homework Due

  • Article Review Questions
  • Completed Science Interests Inventory


  • Discuss application process
  • Form Emergency Response Teams (ERTs)
  • Introduction to Earth system science


  • 15 min. Discuss application process
  • 25 min. Form teams, discuss Earth system science article and the four spheres




  • Steps in the application process
  • What is Earth system science?
  • Definitions of the four spheres
  • Careers in Earth sciences discussion


  • Students form teams
  • Students choose an earth science sphere to specialize in
  • Students understand what Earth system science is and the four spheres

Discussion Tips
Students review the application process and discuss the items they must complete. Focus of the discussion is how Earth system science is a science that looks at the big picture and the interrelationships among systems.

Special Comments
The Science Interests Inventory can be used as a chance to discuss careers in the Earth sciences. Even students who dislike science can "get into" some of the jobs and tasks described in the inventory. The Inventory can be done online, individually, or as a class viewed via computer-screen projector. In the latter situation print out a response form for each student. In putting students into ERTs, our advice is to strategically select who YOU think should be on each team. Spread out your higher ability students and class leaders evenly. Take temperaments and special needs into consideration. Once in their ERTs, let the students decide who will represent each sphere based on their Inventory scores. Reconcile selection issues to make sure each team has an Atmosphere, Lithosphere, Hydrosphere, and Biosphere expert


Students discuss the application process, start thinking about forming Emergency Response Teams (ERTs), and are introduced to Earth system science (ESS) and the four ESS spheres. Students meet in their Emergency Response Teams and each member decides upon his or her area of investigation. Teams review the application process and discuss required tasks and how to get the job done.

Basic Homework

  • Read: Team Building

Recommended Homework

  • Read: Team Rules, Letter of Commitment
  • Bring: Ideas to share about what to put in the letter

See the Careers section of the Launch Pad. There are some valuable resources here to encourage students to begin thinking about careers as technicians, engineers, programmers, specialists, and scientists. Note: To view "Extensions", select "Show All in upper right pull-down menu on student website.