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Desert Research and Technology Studies Education Program

Arizona desert

The Desert Research and Technology Studies (RATS) education project allows students and classrooms to engage in exploration science and engineering field tests through participatory activities. This is a pilot project developed by the Astromaterials Research and Exploration Sciences (ARES) education team.

Students will create geologic maps from satellite images, select sites for scientific exploration to meet mission science objectives, plus plan traverses using images, topographic maps, and rover capabilities. These activities are designed to use before, during, and after the field event using real time data uploads that will come from the Desert RATS site in Arizona.

Workshops for educators will provide content knowledge and resources, prepare teachers to utilize the education resources, and provide strategies to engage students in a unique education experience.

What is Desert RATS?

desert lava

Desert RATS is a NASA-led team of engineers, researchers, and scientists working together to prepare for future human and robotic exploration. During Desert RATS 2011, astronauts will use two rover concept vehicles called the Space Exploration Vehicle (SEV) to explore in the vicinity of black point lava flow in northern Arizona and test science data collection, communications protocols, mission operations, and advanced technology.

Teacher Webinar Workshops are planned through August 2011 to prepare teachers to use these materials during the Desert RATS 2011 mission in September.