The Fast Fact Challenge tests your knowledge about the solar system in general and Mercury in particular. In the Challenge's animation, you can "search the stars" for questions, which appear as assemblies of letters in space. The challenge presents 16 multiple-choice questions, and keeps track of your performance, so that you can compete for the highest percentage.
After the opening animation, students should move the cursor around the field of stars in the top half of the window. When a rectangular outline appears, students should click to start the animation that shows a new question forming out of the letters floating in space.
Students should answer each question by clicking one of the four possible answers. The resulting animation will tell whether the answer is right or wrong, and explain why. Students can move on to the next question by clicking NEXT.
As students work through all 16 questions, the score is displayed to the left of the NEXT link. (The program only gives students credit for a right answer if they select it on the first try.) The numbers to the left of the score change color to show how many questions students have answered. After students have run through all 16 questions, the animation shows the final score.
This animation works best as an exercise for a single student. You can engage the students' competitive spirit by recording each student's score after he or she has finished. (Since the animation always runs through the same questions, it may be best to have all students take the challenge at the same time, if possible.)
You can use this challenge to help students review after working through the other Mercury-related material on this website. If you can display the animation on a projection screen or large monitor, you can make this into a competition between two students or two teams. You would, however, have to disregard the program's scoring and have each side keep track of its correct answers.