Celebrate the Next Landing on Mars

January 11, 2021
Leslie Lowes
NASA Perseverance

You, your campers, and camp families are invited to join the celebration of the landing on February 18, 2021 of the next NASA rover on Mars, named Perseverance! There are many ways to be involved, including our “Mars Student Challenge” with hands-on STEM enrichment activities, the Mars Photo Booth to picture yourself on Mars, and ways to watch the landing live. The Mars Student Challenge includes activities for the weeks leading up to the landing that can be done by campers at home using everyday materials (such as Make a Cardboard Rover), activities that can be done as virtual demonstrations (such as Make a Moon Crater Perseverance will be landing in Jezero Crater), and fun short videos that explain key ideas. You’ll also get a weekly newsletter leading up to the landing and access to video conversations with mission scientists and engineers highlighting how their work relates to the activities. Throughout the five-week challenge, you can submit student questions and work that could be featured during NASA broadcasts leading up to and on landing day. During landing week, February 16–18, tune in with your students to participate in Q&As with mission experts. And of course, all these activities can be used to keep the learning going as Perseverance explores the surface of Mars, right through this summer (and beyond).

You can join in the Challenge at any time!  We developed a STEM enrichment training specially targeted just for you, the camp and out-of-school time community, available to view on YouTube and slides can be downloaded here. Frontline staff, counselors, and STEM coordinators will get entry-level, practical training for leading hands-on activities and tips for implementing the Student Challenge in your program. We provided an additional half-hour "bonus activity" for those who can spend the time.

Register soon to get all the details, and be sure to list your registration affiliation as "Out-of-school time program". As always, we welcome this opportunity to include diverse learners in the NASA family.

See you on Mars!


Leslie Lowes is an informal education specialist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. She has more than 15 years of leadership positions for NASA education projects, working with regional, state, and national afterschool and camp organizations to infuse fun, real-world STEM activities into their programs. She’s been working with directly with camps since 2014.