There was once water on Mars-that much is certain. How do scientists know that? By investigating channels on
the Martian surface that are believed to have been created when water was in abundance sometime in Mars' past.
Here's a way to create your own Martian channels and discover how after the water is gone, the effects of
erosion-the slow wearing away of soil-has a long-lasting effect. This experiment would make a great piece
of a science fair project.
- Poke several holes in the bottom of the paper cup.
- Fill the aluminum cookie sheet with the plaster, using the Popsicle stick to smooth it out.
- Positioning the tray at an angle, pour water from the pitcher into the cup, allowing it to "rain" down on your Martian landscape. Experiment with different types of precipitation using another paper cup, or test out different angles.
- In the corner, make a small channel with your Popsicle stick.
- Sprinkle sand over the surface when you're done and allow to dry for a few days. Compare and observe the different channels.
- For a final touch, paint your martianscape!
The channels you created with water look smoother and rounder than the one you made with the stick. These same
types of observations clue scientists in on how the channels on Mars were formed. Close and thorough examination
of all evidence and samples from Mars can determine many more details of Mars' past, completing the picture of
the planet's geological history.