Introductory Lessons and Activities

MGS Logo Introductory lessons and activities have been prepared for participants in the MGS Radio Science Team education outreach program to acquaint them with the fundamentals of atmospheres, weather and climate. This will enable the participants to better understand the Martian data and will also enable them to make meaningful comparisons between the Martian data and their own measurements of Earth's atmosphere. The lessons and activities have been developed with a teaching consultant who has decades of experience teaching science at the middle and high school levels.

Each activity includes a time estimate for its completion, either as a demonstration or as an individual activity. It is recommended that students maintain a binder for this education outreach program, and that one section of the binder include copies of the activity pages along with student descriptions of the activities and answers to the activity questions. If possible, it would also be beneficial for students to include hard copies of the lessons themselves in a section of their outreach program binder.

Links to the lessons and activities are provided below. The lessons are numbered, and the activities are listed below the lessons with which they are associated. There are also links within each of the lessons to the appropriate activities for the subject material. In addition, there are links within the lessons to definitions of important vocabulary words. Feedback on these lessons and activities would be greatly appreciated. Send comments to

Lessons and Activities

  1. Atmospheric Composition

  2. Gravity and Atmospheres

  3. Atmospheric Pressure

  4. Solar Energy and Atmospheres

  5. Greenhouse Effect

  6. Redistribution of Heat Energy

  7. Seasons

  8. Atmospheric Moisture

  9. Stratification of the Atmosphere

Activities for older or mathematically advanced students are indicated with an asterisk (*).


Last updated: March 31, 2000
Joe Twicken /
Rob Wigand