Teaching resources

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Using your science to explore the climate history of Mars

In these resources, students can explore how the science they learn at school can be applied to real life research questions, in this case about the possible watery past of Mars. In these lessons students will test for carbontes (KS3/ages 11-14), make soluble salts (KS4/ages 14-16) and apply Le Châtelier’s Principle to atmospheric conditions on early Mars (KS5/ages 17-18).

Mars cartoon image

KS3 (UK) ages 11-14 - Carbonate Conundrum
KS4 (UK) ages 14-16 - Mars Rocks
KS5 (UK) ages 17-18 - Equilibrium on Mars
In this activity students are asked to design a chemical test that could be used to see if a rock from Mars contains carbonates. In doing so they learn about the acid-carbonate reaction and how to carry out gas tests.
This activity is a suggestion about how a GCSE required practical (making a soluble salt) can be incorporated into a real-life context. Students will explore how the reaction between metal oxides and acids create salts, before applying this to a reaction that may have happened in Martian lakes billions of years ago.
In this activity students carry out an investigation using Le Châtelier’s principle before applying this to explaining how changes in atmospheric conditions on early Mars would have affected the equilibrium of reactions happening in the lakes on its surface.

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