Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover
NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover will be landing on the Red Planet on February 18, 2021 and will begin its mission to search for signs of ancient life, collect samples for future return to Earth and help pave the way for human exploration. The rover will carry with it several technology demonstrations including a helicopter, which will attempt humanity’s first powered flight on another planet. Perseverance has a new set of science instruments and the ability to “self-drive” on the Martian surface.
The Perseverance Rover Has The Following Parts:
|body:||a structure that protects the rover’s “vital organs”|
|brains:||computers to process information|
|temperature controls:||internal heaters, a layer of insulation, and more|
|“neck and head”:||a mast for the cameras to give the rover a human-scale view|
|eyes and ears :||cameras and instruments that give the rover information about its environment|
|arm and “hand”:||a way to extend its reach and collect rock samples for study|
|wheels and legs:||parts for mobility|
|electrical power:||batteries and power|
|communications:||antennas for “speaking” and “listening”|
Design An Edible Mars Rover
In this activity, children can celebrate the Perseverance Rover landing by designing and building their own Mars Perseverance Rovers using tasty materials! They can substitute any of the materials listed below with other items you have in your house!
- Paper Plate
- Toothpicks (to help support the structure)
- Paper towels
- Graham Crackers
- Hershey Kisses
- Tiny Marshmallows
- Miscellaneous Candy
- Optional: Real currency for the activity.
For the adults: Set out all of the Edible Mars Rover making supplies on a table. Using the worksheet as a reference, label each of the supplies, and include their prices. This will help your kiddo immerse themselves in the “shopping” experience. If you’re using real currency, make sure you have enough cash on hand to “break” the $20.00. Depending on your child’s understanding of currency, you can also print off our Learning Money Worksheet for them to use when it’s time to “purchase” the supplies.
- Print off the Edible Mars Rover worksheet and follow along.
- Before building, have your child review the available “building supplies” and design their Edible Mars Rover. They should try to include as many of the real rover parts in their design as possible.
- Each child will start out with a paper plate and toothpicks to help keep their design together when it’s time to build their rover.
- They have $20.00 to spend on building materials. If you’re using real currency, give them the money to shop with.
- Encourage your kiddo to leave extra money in their budget in case they need to purchase additional supplies later in the building process.
- When they have finished their budget, it is time for them to shop.
- For the adult: you can be the “shopkeeper” and supervise the spending. Encourage them to bring their budget list to the table with the supplies so that they can keep track of their spending.
Remember, you can use our Learning Money worksheet above to help your kiddo familiarize themself with US currency.
- Now it’s time for them to use the supplies that they “purchased” to construct their edible rover. They can use the toothpicks to help keep the rover together.
- Allow them to “purchase” more items if needed. However, they cannot go over their $20.00 budget (unless you have chores that need to be done in the house, at which point, that would turn into a lesson of “earning” money).
Remind your kiddo that it’s OKAY if their design doesn’t work-out and it falls apart. Allow them to rebuild from scratch! You can also incorporate Lego figures to represent the humans that will eventually land on Mars!
What worked? What didn’t?
Building an edible rover is a fun way to explore basic engineering concepts as well as celebrating our #CoundowntoMars! When the construction process is finished, review their projects. What worked? What didn’t? If they could go back and change anything, what would it be? Would they use different candy? More? Less? How much money do they have leftover? If they had more money to budget with, would their designs change at all?
We want to see your designs! Email Brittany@discoverystation.org with your rover! Be sure to include your child’s name and the materials that they used and any comments from your kiddo! We might feature them on our social media pages!