On July 30, 2020, NASA sent the Mars Rover Perseverance on an Atlas V-541 rocket from Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral. The launch took place at 7:50 a.m. EST. The rover is expected to land on Jezero Crater on Mars by February 21st, 2021, and will be looking for signs of ancient life on the planet. Learn about Mars in your homeschool with these easy, quick resources for a fun, hands-on mini-unit.
this post contains affiliate links
What is a Mars Rover?
A Mars Rover is a robotic vehicle designed to explore The Red Planet. You can learn more about all of the Mars Rovers on NASA’s Space Place website. The last time we were at the Kennedy Space Center, we had an opportunity to visit the Journey to Mars exhibit, which was truly inspiring. The presentation is about 30-minutes long and encourages kids to learn all they can about space and the world around them because they will be the ones carrying out future Mars missions.
Send Your Name to Mars
Last year I signed my youngest up for NASA’s Send Your Name to Mars campaign. Names were stenciled on chips and affixed to the rover. Each person who signs up also receives a downloadable boarding pass, so that’s really fun. You can also sign up to have your name on the rover for a future launch.
Learn about Mars in Your Homeschool
As we delve further into the NASA Mars Missions in our homeschool, I’m going to be updating this post and sharing what we read, learn, and do. In the meantime, to follow are a few resources we’re starting with to ‘launch’ this educational ‘endeavor.’
I just grabbed this NASA Mars Mission for Kids workbook and we’ll be using it to kick off our learning before the actual launch on July 30th. The book is geared for kids age 7-12.
It explains what a rover is and clarifies the goals NASA has for the Perseverance Rover. It includes drawing activities, word searches, crossword puzzles, informational passages to read. The book will help set the stage if you want an activity to go along with the upcoming launch. NASA Mars Mission For Kids workbook would also work well if you completely missed the launch and wanted to incorporate the landing in 2021 into your homeschool.
We recently used the 4M Green Science Eco-Engineering Build Your Own Wind Turbine with our The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind unit. Once the Perseverance Rover lands in 2021, I’ll likely purchase the 4M Green Science Solar Rover Kit as we watch Perseverance do its thing.
Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.
For a more in-depth study, check out NASA’s #CountdowntoMars page! I always love incorporating current events into our homeschool and try to do so on a regular basis. It’s a great way to mix up the learning and get away from the curriculum for a while. Hands-on activities can really help solidify learning.