


Mathematics Skill or Topic Area: Integer Arithmetic 

Next Gen Science Standards PS1: Matter and Its Interactions; LS1: From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes Common Core ELA for Science: RST.68.2. Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; provide an accurate summary of the text distinct from prior knowledge or opinions. RST.68.8. Distinguish among facts, reasoned judgment based on research findings, and speculation in a text. RST.68.9. Compare and contrast the information gained from experiments, simulations, video, or multimedia sources with that gained from reading a text on the same topic. Common Core Math Standard: CC.7.EE.3 Solve multistep reallife problems posed with positive and negative rational numbers in any form (whole numbers, fractions or decimals) using tools strategically. 

Video Engagement: Methane: An indicator for life? See how scientists are using spectroscopy to identify methane plumes on Mars. Learn about the biological and geological processes that form methane on Earth and the implications for astrobiologists who are looking for life beyond Earth. (7 minutes).View Program 


Explore math connections with SpaceMath@NASA 

Problem I  Counting Atoms in Molecules  Students count the number of hydrogen, carbon and oxygen atoms in a single molecule of Propanol, and calculate the percentage of hydrogen atoms in the molecule. Topics include integer math and working with percentages. [Open PDF] Problem II  Molecules  How Sweet They Are!  A simple counting activity is based on atoms in a sugar molecule. Students calculate ratios and percentages of various atomic types in the molecule. Topics include integer counting and working with ratios and percentages. [Open PDF] Explain your thinking: Write your own problem  Using information found in the Math Connection problems, the press release or the video program, create your own math problem that involves atoms and molecules and solve it. Explain why you set the problem up this way, and how you might find its answer. Evaluate your understanding: Challenge Problem  A maltose sugar molecule has 12 carbon atoms, 22 hydrogen atoms and 11 oxygen atoms. A single molecule of tannic acid has 64 more carbon atoms, 30 more hydrogen atoms and 35 more oxygen atoms than a molecule of maltose. How many methane molecules could you form from one tannic acid molecule if a single molecule of methane has one carbon atom and four hydrogen atoms? Explain how you arrived at this answer. Answer: The molecule maltose has 22 hydrogen atoms, 11 oxygen atoms and 12 carbon atoms. Tannic acid has (11+35)=46 oxygen atoms, (22+30)=52 hydrogen atoms, and (12+64)=76 carbon atoms so the maltose molecule has 76 carbon atoms, 52 hydrogen atoms and 46 oxygen atoms. Methane requires four hydrogen atoms for every one carbon atom, so the most molecules of methane you could extract from a tannic acid molecule is 13 since 4 x 13 = 52 hydrogen atoms which is the maximum you have in one tannic acid molecule.


NASA / JPL 3D Solar System 

Extend your new knowledge  Use the orbit of the Mars Science Laboratory to determine how often the MSL orbiter will be directly over head of the MSL rover as it searches for methane on the surface of mars. [ Open PDF ] 
