Home / Lesson Plans / MARS – Curriculum Guide

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  • November 2, 2016 Create Date
  • November 20, 2018 Last Updated


Of all the planets in our solar system, none has captured our collective imagination like the red planet. Your students will follow the first human mission to Mars, set in 2033, as the crew struggles to land safely and establish a permanent presence on the planet. National Geographic blends a feature-film caliber, scripted drama set in the future with documentary footage of present-day space technology pioneers to trace the quest to make Mars home.

MARS is a global event series of six episodes that suggest what might occur when a carefully planned expedition lands on the Red Planet. The scripted part of the drama tells of six pioneers who are willing to risk their lives in this attempt. Ben Sawyer, the mission commander, is an experienced astronaut and systems engineer who sees this mission as the pinnacle of his career. Hana Seung is the mission pilot, second in command; her twin sister, Joon, stays earthbound, serving as capsule communicator for the Mars mission. Robert Foucault, born in Nigeria and educated at Stanford, is the mission’s mechanical engineer and robotics specialist. Amelie Durand, a French physician and biochemist, cares for both the physical and emotional well-being of the crew. Spanish hydrologist Javier Delgado is responsible for finding and accessing the most important element for human survival on Mars, a supply of water. Rounding out the crew is Marta Kamen, a Russian geologist and exobiologist who is looking for traces of life on Mars.


Lesson 1: Learning About Mars Through Space Exploration: Past, Present, and Future (History, Science, Social Studies)Lesson 2: An Iceberg for the Red Planet: The Culture of Olympus Town (Social Studies)
Lesson 3: The Hazards of Mars: Programming an Interactive Story (Creative Writing, Programming, Science)
Lesson 4: Terraforming: Making Mars More Like Earth (Language Arts, Social Studies, Science)
Lesson 5: A Trip to Mars: Packing for Space Travel (Math, Physics)
Lesson 6: Are We There Yet? Distance and Speed in Space (Math, History)
Lesson 7: ‘The Martians Have Landed!’— Mars in Science Fiction (Language Arts)
Lesson 8: Writing Science Fiction (Language Arts, Creative Writing)


Mars Complete Curriculum Guide