Perseverance on Mars

How is Perseverance teaching us about ancient life on Mars?

Below, you'll find resources to help guide classroom learning about Mars and the Perseverance mission. Some activities are grouped into junior and senior sections, which are generally divided by primary and secondary school levels. For teachers of the Victorian curriculum, relevant learning outcomes are provided at the bottom of this page.

Video: Searching for Life in Mars' Ancient Lakes

You can kickstart the discussion with this five-minute primer on the Perseverance mission. We'll learn about the rover, Mars Sample Return, the Ingenuity Helicopter, and the MOXIE oxygen-producing experiment. For teachers who work with their classes offline, the video can be downloaded below. This version features captions, and a link to the quiz at the end.

Video Download (579MB)YouTube link

Quiz: Perseverance on Mars

Test your knowledge with this interactive quiz! This is best taken after watching the video, or with the accompanying article to reference. Students are asked to input the teachers' email for marking. Click the link below to get started, or direct your students to spacejim.com/marsquiz

Perseverance on Mars QuizPaper version available hereAnswer key

Reading Comprehension: Perseverance on Mars

The below document contains fact sheets for five areas of the Perseverance mission: MOXIE, Ingenuity, Mars Sample Return, Landing on Mars, and Driving on Mars. Each fact sheet also has four reading comprehension questions, which can be attempted as a group or individually.

Reading Comprehension ExerciseAnswer key


Creative writing task: Luggage to Mars

The year is 2042 and you are an astronaut heading to Mars. What five things will you bring with you on your mission?

Some things you might find useful include: a robot companion, a rover that you can drive, or something to remind you of home. You will be away from Earth for 560 days, so choose wisely!

Word Search: Perseverance on Mars

Learn some of the key terms of space exploration, and the Perseverance mission, with this word search.

Perseverance Word SearchAnswer key

Colour-in activity: Provided by NASA Space Place

Mars, Perseverance, and Ingenuity (Mars Helicopter) colour-in sheets have been developed by NASA. They are linked below, amended to use kilograms instead of pounds.

Colour-In Print-Outs


Group Activity: What makes Perseverance?

For this activity, the class can be split into five groups. Each will create a poster or presentation focused on one of five areas of the Perseverance mission: Mars Sample Return, Ingenuity, MOXIE, Landing on Mars, and Driving on Mars.

Key areas to focus on include: What is it? How does it work? Why is it useful to human society?

Fact sheets can be found by clicking the button below.

Perseverance Fact Sheets.docx version available here

You can find high-res images of the five subject areas below, which may be helpful in creating your posters.

Perseverance RoverIngenuity HelicopterMars Sample ReturnLanding on MarsDriving on Mars

Learning Intentions and Outcomes

This section is focused on the Victorian curriculum in Australia, but teachers in other jurisdictions might find it useful too.

Learning Intention

Understand how and why scientists design and build a rover to explore other planets and search for life.

Success Criteria

Correctly identify different components of the Perseverance rover.

Write sentences about the mission, or how they would approach their own mission to Mars.

Explain why interplanetary missions like Perseverance are important to advancing our understanding of the Solar System.

Victorian Curriculum Content Alignment

Levels 5 and 6

Scientific understandings, discoveries and inventions are used to inform personal and community decisions and to solve problems that directly affect people’s lives (VCSSU073)

  • The science being conducted by Perseverance will make human space travel easier, helping astronauts create breathable air and rocket fuel.

Earth is part of a system of planets orbiting around a star (the Sun) (VCSSU078)

  • Mars is the fourth planet in the Solar System and has a dry, red surface. The Perseverance rover is investigating one part of this surface, Jezero Crater.

Levels 7 and 8

Science and technology contribute to finding solutions to a range of contemporary issues; these solutions may impact on other areas of society and involve ethical considerations (VCSSU090)

  • Space travel is one of the most technologically difficult things humans have ever attempted; MOXIE and Ingenuity are testing innovations that will make it possible for humans to go to Mars.

Mixtures, including solutions, contain a combination of pure substances that can be separated using a range of techniques (VCSSU095)

  • MOXIE is able to make breathable oxygen (O2) by separating one oxygen atom from carbon dioxide (CO2) molecules in the Martian atmosphere

Levels 9 and 10

Advances in scientific understanding often rely on developments in technology and technological advances are often linked to scientific discoveries (VCSSU115)

  • Perseverance is the culmination of hundreds of scientists working together, refining and testing new technologies to help us learn more about Mars and the Solar System, and making interplanetary travel possible.

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