Mission to Mars: "How do planetary geologists study rocks on a planet that no human has ever visited and that is as much as 50 million miles away? NASA uses robotic rovers to do this type of study on the surface of Mars. To observe a pristine (or fresh) sample of rock, geologists on Earth would break the rock open with a rock hammer. Instead of breaking the rock open with a hammer, the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) will have a special tool called the Rock Abrasion Tool, or RAT, to remove outer layers of rock and expose underlying material for examination by the Microscopic Imager (which is like a geologist's hand lens) or Pancam (the rover camera).
An Edible Rat will help students understand the process of how the use of a robotic tool can make the study of the geology of Mars possible.
Grade Levels: 4th - 8th
Students will learn to make scientific observations using an edible Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT)."