Martian Impact Cratering
Lots of things affect the shape and size of an impact crater,
some of which are illustrated by this experiment. Students can investigate the
effects of projectile velocity, impact angle, and the presence of water. It
can also show how subsurface layers are affected by the impact during excavation.
The Impact Cratering module can take one of many forms, depending on time available, equipment, and the nature of the students. The lesson could be entirely non-practical, with the teacher leading a discussion using slides and pictures from books or the Internet, and encouraging participation from the students. If the teacher wished, this could be interspersed with demonstrations from the activity sheet. These could be used to demonstrate to the students:
Alternatively, the teacher could opt to have the students carry out the full activity themselves. In this case, it is recommended to use two lessons (depending on the working speed of the students). The choice is yours!
This experiment is a slightly modified transcription of the web pages of the Hawai'i Space Grant College. You may find more information about the experiment from their pages.