PROBING THE INTERIOR OF A PLANET: THE MARS INSIGHT MISSION
Teachers are currently participating in the ‘Vital Signs of the Planet’ Professional Development Program, led by the JPL InSight E/PO team and the Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC). The program is a standards-based middle and high school research experience and curriculum development program offering strong connections to STEM research. ’Vital Signs’ provides teachers with authentic experiences in scientific inquiry, encourages instructional improvement, and fosters deep and sustained engagement with local underserved communities.
In addition to the resulting curriculum designed around the mission, interactive content will be distributed through both IRIS’ network of Active Earth Monitor users and SCEC’s Earthquake Country Alliance Earthquake Education and Public Information Center (EPIcenter) Network. These public displays will allow students, participants in the ‘Vital Signs’ program, and the general public to use real data to conduct comparative planetology of Mars and Earth, including a comparison of seismological activity using full planet maps of Mars and the Earth. The interactive Active Earth Monitor will allow an in-depth exploration of the Mars InSight mission, the InSight spacecraft’s science instruments and the similarities and differences between the geology of Mars and the Earth.
By studying the size, thickness, density and overall structure of the Red Planet's core, mantle and crust, as well as the rate at which heat escapes from the planet's interior, the InSight mission will provide glimpses into the evolutionary processes of all of the rocky planets in the inner solar system.