Student Activity #3


Certain tools, called "robots," do tasks people cannot do. Sometimes the task is too dangerous for people, sometimes the robot can do the job better, sometimes for less money. NASA is planning a manned mission to Mars for which robots play an important part in preparing for the mission.

[To Do]On a separate sheet of paper, draw what you think a robot designed to explore the surface of Mars would look like. Describe your robot in words.

Explore the following sites after you complete your drawing and description.

How do the robots differ from what you thought they were?

Take the "Rover Design" challenge!

Pretend you are an engineer on NASA's design team. Your job is to design a vehicle that can move on the surface of Mars and study its rocks.

  1. You need to design a vehicle that can move and collect information on Mars. What kinds of information would you want to collect on Mars? Make a list. What does your vehicle need to be able to do in order to get your information?
  2. 2. As a class, generate a list of things you could use to build your vehicle (such as Legos, Construx, K'Nex, cardboard, etc.). Decide who will be responsible for bringing which materials from home.
  3. 3. When materials have been collected, draw your vehicle and label its parts. Then build your vehicle using any materials you want to use. Your vehicle may be no larger than a shoe box. It must not weigh more than 10.5 kg (24 lb.).

Special Considerations:

When your vehicle is finished, share it with the class. Be sure to show its important parts and tell what each part will do.

[Live from Earth & Mars]__________________________________________________