Earlier this week SciShow Kids published a new video titled Meet the Mars Rovers! The short video explains to elementary school students what a Mars rover is, what they’re used for, and some basic background information about Mars. The notes below the video on the YouTube page for it include links to lots of helpful additional resources.
A few years ago SciShow Kids produced a related video titled What Would We Eat on Mars? That video explains why plants don’t grow on Mars and what it would take to try to grow plants and support life on Mars. The video ends with a series of questions for kids to answer with their thoughts about how we might grow plants on Mars and what to grow and eat on Mars. I think it’s a fun video and a fun set of questions to use to get kids thinking about science.
You can give your students some “hands-on” experience with a Mars rover by using the free Spacecraft AR iPad app offered by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The app enables students to learn about various NASA spacecraft including the Curiosity rover, Voyager, Mars Exploration Rover, and a handful of other spacecraft. Spacecraft AR includes information about each spacecraft’s development and use. With Spacecraft AR installed and open on their iPads or phones, students can select a spacecraft or mission then point their iPads or phones at a flat floor or wall see the spacecraft appear. Once the spacecraft appears on screen students can move to see other angles of the spacecraft and move the spacecraft. Students can also pinch and zoom to change the size of spacecraft they’re looking at.