Full details of the activities can be found in the CIEC resource 'Is There Anyone Out There?' which can be downloaded from http://www.ciec.org.uk/resources/is-there-anyone-out-there.html
The activities in this free resource, written in conjunction with the UK Space Education Agency and ESERO UK, look at the ways that scientists carry out investigations, using data such as photographs and other images, to find out about Mars and other places that are too far away for humans to visit. Activities include looking for signs of life, comparing samples of Martian soil with soil from earth and finding out about volcanos and lava. The activity described here invites children to investigate the effect of meteor size, mass and the height from which the meteors have fallen on the resulting craters.
The Activity: Investigating Craters
This table shows the depth of crater produced when dropping meteorites of identical volume but increasing mass.
- They are also asked to think about whether their tests were fair, their results reliable and whether there are any improvements that they could make to their investigations.
- Because this activity provides lots of scope for taking measurements and making tables it could usefully take place in a relevant maths lesson. The ensuing discussion could then take place in a subsequent science lesson.
- To make meteorites which are the same size but different masses try wrapping objects of different mass in plasticine
Health and Safety
- To increase the height dropped put the tray on the floor rather than standing on a raised surface.
- Dropping the meteorite through a tube can help to ensure that it lands safely in the tray.
- Take measurements, using a range of scientific equipment with increasing accuracy and precision, taking repeat readings when appropriate.
- Report and present findings from enquiries, including conclusions, causal relationships and explanations of and degree of trust in results.