Tubular Tally

  • Pi Day Notice and Wonder / Tubular Tally

    Tubular Tally

    pi day 2023 mars

    As science and technology evolve, scientists are constantly finding new and innovative ways to explore and understand the planets that surround us. In 2021, NASA sent its Perseverance rover to Mars to collect rock samples that will allow scientists to gain more insight about possible life on Mars. Have you ever wondered how the Perseverance Mars rover was built to collect the samples, or what kind of information is gathered from those samples?

    What do you notice?

    I notice —  
    • a rover that is on a different planet;
    • rocky and mountainous terrain;
    • tracks created by the rover's wheels on the surface (or terrain) of the planet;
    • a cylindrical tube being drilled into the surface of the planet to pull out a sample;
    • the dimensions of the tube;
    • a second tube laying on the ground;
    • cameras at the top of the rover; and
    • hands holding a tube.

    What else do you notice? Share your thoughts on social media using the hashtag #PiDayNASAxNCTM and join the conversation!

    What do you wonder?

    I wonder —
    • what planet the rover is on;
    • how far the rover has traveled;
    • how fast the rover can travel;
    • what the rover is taking pictures and videos of;
    • what the tube is used for; what types of samples the tube is collecting;
    • what the samples can tell us about Mars;
    • if there are different sizes of tubes;
    • how many samples the rover can collect;
    • how far into the surface the tube can go;
    • how the samples from the tube are delivered back to Earth; and
    • how many samples the rover has collected since it was invented.

    What else do you wonder? Share your thoughts on social media using the hashtag #PiDayNASAxNCTM and join the conversation!

    NASA Pi Day Challenge

    Pi Day Promo

    The graphic above was provided to NCTM by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and is part of their 10th Annual Pi Day Challenge. Each year, JPL challenges students to solve some of the same problems NASA scientists and engineers do using pi! Each of the four problems uses math, science, and engineering to educate students about some of the agency's Earth and space missions.

    Do the Math with NASA Pi Day Challenge (Grades 7-12)