Lower Elementary students learned about NASA’s 2020 successful landing of the rover, Perseverance, on Mars. This is the most advanced Mars rover to date, continuing NASA’s investigation of the Red Planet. The students learned about different kinds of rovers, their role in deepening the exploration of space, and the timeline of their landings. About the size of an SUV, the key goal of Perseverance’s mission is astrobiology, including the search for signs of ancient microbial life. The rover will characterize the planet’s geology and past climate, paving the way for human exploration of the Red Planet, and it will collect samples of Martian rock as well as regolith, which is broken rock and dust.
In celebration of this mission, the students designed their own rovers with a variety of upgrades and futuristic features such as test tubes with suctions to get samples, an oxygen tank that can last for years, no-wheel mobility that helps rovers levitate using magnetic force, and a machine to convert acid to water.