Mission to Mars Student Challenge for Summer Camps

This summer, immerse your youth in the latest exploration of Mars with the Mission to Mars Student Challenge for Summer Camps!  A 7-week series of hands-on activities take youth from learning about Mars, planning a mission, launch and landing, and exploring the surface – all while following the Perseverance Rover’s current exploration of Mars!

To help you implement one or more of these activities in your program, we’re offering a series of one-hour trainings to show camp and afterschool leaders how to guide activities from each phase of the challenge.  We’ll present a variety of activity styles from hands-on to online, focusing on the science, engineering, and art of exploring Mars.  The focus will be on upper elementary and middle school, but we’ll touch on options for younger and older kids.  NEW ADDITION! Live webinars let your kids hear directly from JPL scientists and engineers!

We’ll answer your questions during each training, plus the final training will be devoted to hearing from you about your experiences in implementing the activities.

Participate in as many trainings as you wish; prior experience is never needed. Remember to bring your supplies to work the activity along with us, and if you can’t join live, you can watch the recordings later.

All sessions are at 8:30 am Pacific. Register here.

January 21/ STEM Enrichment Training – Mission to Mars Student Challenge
A walk through of activities featured in the Mission to Mars Student Challenge and how to incorporate them in an out-of-school setting. Watching this is recommended "homework" for any other training!

April 29 / Learn About Mars

Both artists and scientists need careful observation skills to interpret and understand the scene being viewed.  This STEAM-oriented session grows kids’ skills and their understanding of the surface of Mars using basic concepts of art.

May 13/ Plan Your Mission

What instruments would help you learn more about Mars and answer the questions you are curious about? In this session kids consider what tools to include on a rover, and play a game to design a full mission from launch to landing.

May 27/ Design Your Spacecraft

Guide kids in gaining the skills to think like an engineer as they construct their own rover and helicopter!

June 10/ Surface Operations

Kids play a board game to move a rover to a spot on Mars where it can study interesting rocks, then learn to think like a scientist to describe rocks made from clay.

June 17/ Sample Handling

Get your tech on and code in Scratch to address rover and helicopter challenges. No coding experience needed!

July 15 / Mid-summer check-in
Opportunity for OST educators to share best practices and get questions answered about challenge implementation.

  • Zoom link: pending
Live webinars let your kids learn directly from JPL scientists and engineers discussing their STEM careers!

Wednesday, June 23rd at 10:30am Pacific / Learn About Mars
    Joey Jefferson, Mars 2020 Lead Deep Space Network Scheduler
    Register here

Tuesday, June 29th at 10 am Pacific /Plan Your Mission
    Elio Morillo, Mars 2020 System Testbed Engineer
    Register here

Thursday, July 8th at 10:30am Pacific/ Build Your Spacecraft
    Keri Bean, Mars 2020 Helicopter Integration Engineer
    Register here

Wednesday, July 14th at 10am Pacific/ Launch to Mars
    John Callas, Mars Exploration Rover Project Manager
    Register here

Monday, July, 19th  at 10am Pacific/ Land on Mars
    Luis Velasco, Mars 2020 Cruise, Entry, Descent and Landing Engineer
    Register here

Tuesday, July 27th at 10am Pacific/ Surface Operations
    Claire Newman, Mars 2020 Research Scientist
    Register here


Also, check out these summer camp-targeted Mission to the Moon trainings and more summer resources from NASA STEM Engagement

This special resource has been made available to all viewers.  Please note that (free) membership is required for full access to the Museum & Informal Education Alliance site; please visit Join Our Community to learn more. 

Resource Type: 
Education Activities
NASA Resources
Aeronautics Research
Mars 2020