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NASA Scientist Sanjoy Som Visits Students at Farnham Elementary School in San Jose, CA

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Published on Nov 28, 2012

Fourth graders at Farnham Elementary School in San Jose, CA put out a request for a REAL NASA scientist to visit with them and discuss landing sites on Mars. On February 3, 2012, NASA Ames team's Sanjoy Som was welcomed at Farnham by 70 students and three teachers. During his presentation, "Searching for Life," the students eagerly asked questions about Mars, landing sites for the Curiosity rover, and alien life.

The Farnham fourth graders are working on a science project called "Mars Landing Site Proposal," where they play the role of the geology mission specialist for the Mars Science Laboratory. There are four teams of four geologists. Each team is responsible for researching landing sites, supporting three proposed sites with evidence from their research and science knowledge of landforms, and presenting their proposals. In Som's presentation, he highlighted the geology of Mars and how landing sites are selected, all of which fed directly into the students' research.

Recently, the Ames team members reviewed the students' completed proposals and asked questions about the choices teams made, pointed out evidence that makes their cases stronger, and provided general comments.

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