NASA is sending two rovers to Mars this spring and you and your
students can be part of the exciting mission from launch through landed
operations! The Athena Student Interns Program (ASIP) is designed to give
a creative, dedicated group of high school students from across the nation
the chance to join the scientists of the
Mars Exploration Rover Mission
in exploring the Red Planet.
Teachers who become part of the Athena Student Interns Program will
be asked to choose two students to be mentored by a member of the
Athena Science Team. (Athena
is the name given to the suite of instruments on the Mars Rovers.) Each
teacher and their students will work with a mentor to experience
first-hand the preparations for landed operations on Mars.
The year-long Athena Student Interns Program culminates with a
week-long stay at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California
where scientists will use the rovers to explore the surface of Mars.
Teachers and interns will be immersed in activities surrounding the
actual mission and will actively participate in analyzing data
gathered by the rovers.
Examples of opportunities available to Athena Student Interns include
assisting the Principal Investigator of the Science Team with issues
pertaining to rover operations; working with digital models of the martian
terrain and atmosphere; using Earth science to understand Mars data;
helping to deduce the properties of martian sediments; and working with
spectral data to search for clues of past water activity on Mars.
Athena Student Interns and their teachers will also have opportunities
to convey their experiences to other students, teachers and members of
the public by participating in many outreach activities and events.
The Mars Exploration Rover Mission offers the promise of exciting
discoveries on Mars. The Athena Student Interns Program offers the
promise of life changing events for you and your students. Playing an
active role in the process of planetary exploration and discovery can
ignite a passion for science, math, engineering and technology that is
required of our next generation of scientists and engineers and will
stay with your students for a lifetime.
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