Interstate Teachers Test Drive the VSSEC Mars Rover
On the 18th April, teachers from Victoria, the ACT and Western Australia spent the day getting an in-depth look at VSSEC's Robotic Mission to Mars program. They explored the pedagogy underpinning the program and the use of technology during the pre-visit program to support student centred learning and collaboration. They completed a sample activity from the Mathematics and Science pre-visit programs and used the Atomic Absorption Spectrometer (AAS) to complete an investigation from the Robotic Mission to Mars Laboratory program. Teachers used the AAS to analyse a rock sample in the hope that they might detect Calcium Carbonates, an indication that the rock contained a fossilised life-form.
The highlight of the day was definitely the chance to drive the Mars Rover! Teachers were impressed by the colaborative nature of the program and the reality of the simulation.
Teachers travelling from interstate were invited to spend an extra day at VSSEC exploring some of the other programs offered. One of the teachers from Canberra reflected on their experience in their blog. This blog also contains some great resources for teachers interested in Astronomy and Astrophysics.