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

Pre Mission Prep


Preparation Checklist

Practice Data Answer Key

Team Materials

Classroom Setup

Computer Setup

Pre-Mission: Storyline  

The students' adventure begins weeks before Mission Day. After choosing an area of expertise and forming an Emergency Response Team (ERT), teams submit applications to the e-Mission Headquarters. They wait anxiously until they hear back from e-Mission Headquarters.

Application Process

Your students are told that e-Mission Headquarters is often asked by foreign governments and other international organizations to provide scientific expertise. To do this Mission Control partners with groups of people serving as emergency response teams (ERTs). The people in each ERT must learn Earth system science skills and ideas. Under pressure, they must be able to work with each other and with people from other ERTs. Using special monitoring equipment, like the Low Earth Orbiting satellite, or LEO satellite, Mission Control works hand-in-hand with various agencies, such as NASA or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, to measure what is happening on Earth. ERT Earth system experts study these measurements (also called "data") and provide valuable advice to people in danger.

During each mission, Mission Control coordinates incoming data from sites around the globe. Members of emergency response teams will work like Earth system scientists to interpret the data and make emergency recommendations.

At t-minus 3 weeks

Mission Control accepts your students' applications and schedules the mission for a "September 4, 1996" date. The students will be told there is a problem. The LEO satellite is malfunctioning, and the Space Shuttle crew must be dispatched to repair it. At launch time the ERTs will stand by to receive and analyze the data which has been stored on the satellite (called "archived" data).

Students must be prepared to analyze the data quickly because the situation could be critical. An island in the Caribbean called Montserrat has been experiencing volcanic tremors and ash clouds. Scientists believe the volcano could erupt any day. For preparation, you and your students must study volcanoes and what they might do to the island's fragile spheres.

At t-minus 2 weeks

Your students need to study the dangers and behaviors of hurricanes and what effects they might have on Montserrat's Earth systems.

At t-minus 1 week

There is a situation. A significant volcanic disturbance has been detected on Montserrat. If that isn't alarming enough, a hurricane is forming. The island lies in its path. Thousands of people on this small island are in peril.

Get ready. Learn as much as you can about Montserrat, its geography and its history of hurricanes and volcanic disturbance.