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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
You can find high-res images of the five subject areas below, which may be helpful in creating your posters.
This section is focused on the Victorian curriculum in Australia, but teachers in other jurisdictions might find it useful too.
Understand how and why scientists design and build a rover to explore other planets and search for life.
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)
Earth is part of a system of planets orbiting around a star (the Sun) (VCSSU078)
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)
Mixtures, including solutions, contain a combination of pure substances that can be separated using a range of techniques (VCSSU095)
Levels 9 and 10
Advances in scientific understanding often rely on developments in technology and technological advances are often linked to scientific discoveries (VCSSU115)