Literacy in science: India's Moon lander

Last updated: 15/11/2023
Literacy in science: India's Moon lander
Main Subject
Key stage
Chemistry: Matter
Includes answers
Resource type

Students work on their scientific literacy with this purpose-written article about the discoveries made by India's Chandrayaan-3 Vikram Moon rover and its lander, Pragyaan.

The article is 250 words in length and is accompanied by images of the rover and its key discovery: sulfur.

Students answer comprehension questions, explain in their own words the significance of the discoveries and provide definitions of scientific terms such as 'element', 'wavelength' and 'state of matter'. 

An extract from the text:

Pragyaan’s mission is to detect elements in the Moon’s soil. It does this by using a laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) instrument. A high-energy laser pulse is focused onto the surface of a rock or soil, which makes a very hot gas called plasma (plasma is sometimes called the fourth state of matter). When in the plasma state, each element gives out a different mixture of wavelengths of light, which can be used to determine what the element is.

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