Nov 01, 2022

So Expensive Series - Dirt...from Mars!

The cost of bringing back soil samples from Mars is out of this world, but the benefits could be meteoric.

It can be easy to forget that there are an endless number of planets outside of our Earth. The scientific knowledge we can gain from these places can be unimaginable. But so can the cost of obtaining it. Discuss this with your students in NGPF's activity series based on Business Insider's web series: So Expensive

Students will watch a video about a specific product or service, identify the specific factors of production that impact its price, and dig deeper by answering a few thought-provoking questions.

So Expensive #13: Dirt from Mars


Frequently Asked Questions


How often will this activity be released?

We will release one So Expensive activity per week during this school year. If for any reason the web series stops making new episodes or the content becomes unfit for use in the classroom, we will communicate any plans to transition away from So Expensive as soon as possible.


How do I deliver this activity?

We have included both a Nearpod and no-tech version of the activity. Note: you will need to be logged into your Nearpod account to download the activity. There is no answer key, but the no-tech version will have a slide with example answers for the factors of production and the Nearpod version will have answers preloaded in a drag-and-drop activity.


How is the activity structured?
Each week’s activity will include:

  • Introduction
  • Factors of production learning/refresher resources
  • A Business Insider “So Expensive” video
  • Factors of production identification activity
  • Multiple discussion questions about that week’s product or service


What if my students haven’t learned about the factors of production?

The activity includes a video and infographic that will give students the foundational knowledge needed to understand the factors of production and put that knowledge to use.


When should I use this activity?

This activity is built to be flexible. It can be used to supplement your existing personal finance lessons or it can be used as a standalone activity if you’re looking for a meaningful and relevant way to engage your students as we head into the final weeks of the school year.


How long does the activity take?

The video about the factors of production is 4 minutes and the So Expensive videos generally range between 5-10 minutes. So, depending on whether students watch both videos and how in-depth your students go in the discussion questions, it’s reasonable to expect the activity to take somewhere between 15-30 minutes.


Where can I find the So Expensive activities on the website?

On's top navigation, hover over the curriculum menu and click "So Expensive Series" under Economics.


We hope this activity will help you provide your students with engaging topics to help sharpen personal finance and economics skills!

Have questions or comments? Reach out to!

Looking for more ways to introduce economics into your personal finance classroom? Check out NGPF’s Econ Collection!

About the Author

Ryan Wood

Ryan grew up with and maintains a love for learning. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay with a degree in Business Administration and worked in sports marketing for a number of years. After living in Texas, Colorado, Tennessee, and Minnesota, the call of education eventually brought Ryan back to his home state of Wisconsin where he was a Business and Marketing teacher for three years. In his free time he likes to spend time with his wife and daughter, play basketball, read, and go fishing. Now with NGPF, Ryan is excited to help teachers lead the most important course their students will ever take.

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