To prepare the students for the imaging part of the project, aerial views from Mapquest.Com can be very useful. Find the location of your school on Mapquest.
If you are lucky, you might find an aerial photograph of your school (if not, try to find something they might recognize). Zoom all the way in. You can make out streets, playgrounds, buildings and ball courts clearly. Print the photograph at several different levels of zoom. When you zoom all the way out, you can see a view of the full continent. In addition to giving your students experience with aerial views, you can incorporate mapping and geography in your lesson.
To give them experience with piecing images together, print adjoining photographs and allow them to cut and paste together your entire neighborhood or city. They can use scissors and tape, or a program like PhotoShop to crop and fit together several images into a mosaic... just like the real scientists do!
When your students take photographs of the 'remote' landscape with their rover's camera, do not expect them to recreate a perfect map or model of the landscape they see. They will have many errors, but this is how they learn. The more they do this type of activity, the better their visual spatial senses will become and the more accurate they will be in the future.
If you have any questions or need help to get started at your school, write to: Imagiverse - Team
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