Mars related science fair project?

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PostPosted: January 3, 2006 6:28 PM 

I've become a bit of a Mars nut over the last couple of years. I'm trying to encourage my son to do the same Very Happy He needs ideas for a 6th grade science fair project. I was thinking something along the lines of making bricks for construction with simulated Mars regolith, using variations in composition and methods, and testing them for strength. Seems like a daunting task. If anyone can give me any advice, or suggest other Mars-related experiments that a 6th grader could handle, I'd appreciated it!


Bill in Oklahoma

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PostPosted: January 3, 2006 11:56 PM 

I like that idea because if/when we go to mars, it would be handy to know if we can make bricks out of Mars "dirt" to build shelters.
A few years ago my son (6th grade) did a "Life on Mars?" science project which was simply his research on the possibility of life on Mars, he presented it on poster boards for the science fair and got 2nd place!

I like your bricks idea. its original and useful. For the project maybe he could build a few little igloo type things out of sugar cube size Mars-bricks? (just a thought)

r lewis Author Profile Page

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PostPosted: January 26, 2007 11:56 AM 

How about observing behavior of liquid water under martian atmospheric conditions?

Experimental setup would require equipment found in a highschool science classroom

a large bell jar
a vacum pump, with vaccum guage
a small barometer, but it should be calibrated to measure VERY small pressures, a mercury barometer might work but oil would probably be better. You need to use a fluid with negligible vapor pressure at room temperature.
a small beaker (filled with water)
a thermometer.

here is the idea.

Place the barometer, beaker of water, and thermometer in the bell jar.

Use the vaccum pump to SLOWLY create a vaccum in the bell jar.

As you measure the vaccum in the bell jar, try to bring the pressure down around 10 millibars. At this point the water is NOT boiling yet.

Continue to lower the pressure until the water begins to boil. This should happen somewhere between 5 and 10 millibars. Note the pressure and temperature when the water starts to boil.

Depending on the temperature (probably around 18 C) the water mail boil at different temperatures.

Combine this with a nice visual aids (graphes and posters) showing graphs of temperature variations, seasonally and daily. I think there is good temperature data available both for the pathfinder and viking landing sites. IF not you can get some orbital measurements or find other sources that show this variation.

A graph showing daytime temperatures, and maybe even local atmospheric pressure if you can find that, should show clearly that, at certain times of the day, liquid water CAN exist on mars. At some locations temperature can rise as high as 20C while at the same time having pressures above 7 millibars, water should be liquid at that point.

Have fun
Very Happy

Ben Author Profile Page

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PostPosted: January 26, 2007 12:14 PM 

r lewis: What a fantastic idea. I would like to be there to see that myself.

Henry Author Profile Page

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PostPosted: January 26, 2007 12:59 PM 

The Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) on Mars Global Surveyor spotted hematite in Iani. Not long after, the OMEGA spectrometer on the European Space Agency's Mars Express orbiter detected sulfate minerals (likely gypsum) in many of the places where TES found hematite. Both hematite (an iron-oxide mineral) and sulfates require substantial water to form.


Since they have apparently found gypsum on Mars, and because gypsum is used on Earth as a construction material (drywall, wallboard), maybe a good science fair project would be to make bricks from the chemical calcium sulfate CaSO4.2H2O


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PostPosted: December 7, 2008 10:20 PM 

HELP!!!! I dont even know if i am on the right site, but i need help. My fifth grader has to build a nanobot, can any one tell me where i can get instruction on how to do this, she wants it to look like the Mars Rover. Please help me if you can. Im desperate.

Martin Gradwell

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PostPosted: December 8, 2008 8:39 PM 

"Nanobots" usually refers to robots which are so tiny they're invisible, or practically invisible. I doubt that your fifth grader will want to make anything that small, but there's a few ways to make a not-so-tiny model of a Mars rover.

If a cardboard model will do, there's "The Ultimate Mars Rover"by David Eckold. Amazon has if for $22.79 but they can only ship it in 2..4 weeks. A google search might find somewhere that can deliver more quickly, or your local book or toy store might oblige. Amazon also has other more expensive assemble-it-yourself models which are available for more immediate delivery. One of the options is a Lego Mars rover kit.

A cheaper option, and one which would require more flexibility and imagination and less detailed following of instructions, would be to use standard Lego sets that you may well have already, or some other constructor-set toy. Just use Google images to pull up images of the Mars rovers, and then make something that looks similar.


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PostPosted: January 18, 2009 5:16 AM 

Very Happy Smile Sad Surprised Shocked Confused Cool Laughing Mad Mad Razz Mad Embarassed Embarassed Crying or Very Sad Evil or Very Mad Twisted Evil Rolling Eyes Wink


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PostPosted: February 20, 2009 2:04 PM 

i like mars


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PostPosted: May 2, 2009 5:07 PM 

:angel: i dont care if any of you are mars nuts i just want to win my science fair

Britney Spears

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PostPosted: September 10, 2010 9:39 PM 

thats a great idea! Very Happy


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PostPosted: December 2, 2015 8:36 PM 

i want to make a science fair project invoving a mars rover but.. i don't how Shocked


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PostPosted: January 15, 2016 8:27 PM 

i dont know what i should do for my science fair project!!! Crying or Very Sad


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PostPosted: January 15, 2016 8:29 PM 

i need help with my project asap!!! Shocked

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