Blogger Kary Henry

Mars Mania

In a few weeks, the newest Mars rover, Perseverance, will touch down on the Red Planet, more than 200 days after it launched. Perseverance’s job is to look for signs of ancient life and collect samples for possible return to Earth. With a pretty high WOW factor, and lots of available resources, Perseverance and Mars lend themselves to great programming.

Books

Of course Mars is well-represented in our non-fiction collections, but there are also middle-grade fiction, comic books, and even picture books to meet all your readers’ needs.

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Online Resources

  • STAR Net (Science-Techonlogy Activites Resources for Libraries) is created just for libraries! This is definitely my go-to resource for all things STEAM. Their webinars, including one called Take Your Patrons to Mars, are fantastic, and their STEM Clearinghouse could keep you and your patrons busy for days.
  • Mars in a Minute videos offer animated answers to common questions.
  • Check out NASA’s Mars Exploration Program website.
  • Storytime from Space features astronauts reading picture books while in space; how cool is that?
  • NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Adminstration, has a plethora of resources. It’s easy to get lost in all the options, but their STEM Engagement page is a great place to start. NASA Live and NASA TV have fantastic multimedia offerings.
  • The Lunar and Planetary Institute’s Educational Resources page has everything from activities to posters and is searchable by grade level.
  • NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology also has a great page for educators, including Mars activities.

It’s hard not to get excited when you watch a video like this!

Video courtesy of NASA

How will YOU be celebrating Perseverance’s landing? What kinds of space programming have you found successful? Share your comments here, and then be sure to tune in on February 18th to watch Perseverance touch down on the Red Planet!


This post addresses the following ALSC Core Competencies: I. Commitment to Client Group and III. Programming Skills

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