Downloads: Mars Placemat | A Family Guide to Mars (Full Version) | Guide to Mars in Sections

The Space Science Institute presents 'The Mars Placemat' and 'A Family Guide to Mars'. The Placemat is a one-page teaser for the full 50-page Guide. The Guide includes an innovative collection of puzzles, pictures, poetry, and projects, all designed to stimulate enjoyable co-learning experiences between kids aged 6-12 and the caring adults in their lives. The Guide is useful for parents and educators in science centers, planetariums, and after-school programs. It is also of interest to classroom teachers in helping to engage student interest at the start of standards-based lesson plans.

The Guide’s content develops and reinforces four overall themes:
• Comparing Earth and Mars as planets
• The importance of water to life as we know it
• The technology of Mars exploration
• Seeing Mars in Earth’s sky

..The Mars Placemat


The Mars Placemat is a teaser of selected activities from the full 50-page Family Guide to Mars. The Placemat is ideal for distribution to large groups at science centers and planetariums, and may also be of interest to classroom teachers to help engage student interest at the start of standards-based lesson plans.

Many more fun and informative activities are in the full Family Guide to Mars.

The Mars Placemat also tells how to link to an innovative, interactive website called for further Mars-related exploration and fun.

For best results, print the Mars placemat double-sided on 8.5x14 paper. It can be printed with clarity in B&W or color, but the images do not copy particularly well. Use a printer rather than a copy machine if you can. Recipients can make the fold down the middle to create the intended 4-page leaflet out of the single, double-sided 8.5 x 14 page.

Size - (841KB)

..A Family Guide to Mars (full version)


You can download the 50 page Guide in its entirety by clicking on the download button.

Size - (5.24MB)

Or you can download individual sections as presented below. The activities in the Guide need not be done sequentially.

Front Section (pages 1-3)
• Includes a full color cover page
• Read a letter from the development team
• View a complete table of contents

Size - (212KB)

Introduction (pp. 4-6)
• Get important tips to guide your child’s enjoyment of learning
• Read a sample adult-child dialogue
• Be introduced to Rocky the Rover - the cartoon character who accompanies you throughout the Guide

Size - (330KB)

Earth – Mars Comparison (pp. 8-9, 11, 13-16, 21, 38)
• View a full color cover image plus a table comparing vital statistics about the Red Planet (Mars) and the Blue Planet (Earth)
• Explore the gigantic volcano and canyon on Mars and compare with features on Earth
• Do an activity to compare the sizes of Earth’s and Mars’ moons
• See if you can find all the things wrong with a whacky picture of a future Mars base
• Play a game to see what’s true for Earth or Mars or Both

Size - (534KB)

More on Mars (pp. 7,10,20)
• See how Mars appears to wander among the background stars and explore how ancient cultures regarded Mars as a god of war
• See color images of the two opposite sides of the planet Mars
• Play a matching game with Mars images to detect evidence of water on Mars (i.e. ice clouds, fog, gullies, polar ice caps)

Size - (924KB)

Mars Rovers (pp. 12, 17-19, 24-25, 49-50)
• Navigate a rover through a Mars Maze and uncover a secret message
• Learn about kids naming the Mars rovers (Sojourner, Spirit, and Opportunity)
• Discover the range of technologies for present and future Mars exploration with full color artist conceptions
• Build a Mars rover you can eat!
• Image credits for the artists’ conceptions

Size - (1.16MB)

Literacy and Word Games about Mars (pp. 22-23, 30-37)
• Learn Gee-Whiz facts about Mars by completing a fill-in-the-blanks game

• Match words to pictures to reveal a secret message about why Mars is red

• Read a one-page story about Jamie, a boy who imagines walking on Mars

• Read the poem “We’ll Walk on Mars” (also includes original art of young astronauts on Mars you can color in)

• Try your hand at a fact-packed Mars crossword puzzle that teaches you about the Red Planet

Size - (1.15MB)

Kinesthetic Activities (pp. 26-29)
• Find out how old you are in Martian years
• Discover whether Mars has seasons like Earth
• Learn why Mars is so bright in the night sky every two years AND why we launch Mars mission every two years

Size - (1.11MB)

Background and Resources (pp. 39-48)
• Read 16 “Gee Whiz” facts about Mars that inspire the irresistible urge to tell someone else about them!

• FAQ - Find answers to 16 Frequently Asked Questions about Mars
• Extend your learning experience by seeking out other fun Mars resources, including websites, books, and teaching tools
• Glossary of Mars related terms
• Acknowledgements and credits

Size - (424KB)