Monday, August 6, 2012

I know my Curiosity is piqued!

Clip art from Microsoft

Sometimes I’m ashamed of how poorly I pay attention to big events – especially the cool scientific ones. This morning was such a day.  “How in the world did I miss the fact that a new land rover, landed on Mars?” I asked myself.  I had to learn about it from my 15 year old cousin’s Facebook status!  I guess in my defense, I could claim ignorance as a result of the Olympics – which, by the way, have taken over my life these past few weeks.
When I got the chance, I looked up this new land rover - Curiosity.  And I have to say, I felt immediate geek crush, so much so, that I’m not following it on Facebook, and I kind of want a miniature replica for my desk (I looked it up, Hot Wheels is going to be making one).  But, I think what I really dig about it, is it reminds me of Number 5 –who growing up in the 80’s didn’t get a kick out of Short Circuit?

What is awesome about Curiosity is the Mars Science Laboratory that NASA has designed to help share the experience.  I have already put a link on my library website.  From the main webpage, you can check out topography photos, find out where Curiosity is, see images, there are fact sheets and videos, and more to explore.  On the Participate: Follow your Curiosity page you can see a counter that shows how long Curiosity has been on Mars (21 hours at this time), and you’ll find links for all sorts of interactives, including a videos, a link to games for kids, and learn about me section which could be great for a quick lesson on comparing and contrasting people to robots – just to name a few.
 I really want to work this into my curriculum.  Maybe we’ll go on a cyber-fieldtrip during cybersafety lessons (Mars for KidsBe a Martian would be a great addition to a lesson on private information and asking an adult for permission to give this info out), or maybe I’ll challenge students who finish early to find a new fact or interesting photo with description to share with the rest of the class- making sure to give credit to the website.   I think given the opportunity to explore, we can all find our curiosity piqued!
What are your favorite science related web sites?
By the way, the Olympic Google Doodle, for today, August 6 2012 was modified to include Curiosity...in this informative YouTube video about the doodle, however, it's a blimp:)

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