Design Your Own Mars Rover
What are the advantages and disadvantages of using an unmanned
rover rather than people to study the surface of Mars? Students investigate
an area to find a location that is suitable for sampling, comparing two different
roving techniques and human exploration. Students will be encouraged to investigate
all factors relevant to the performance of the rover, and discuss the best way
to sample the surface of Mars.
This project can be run as part of the Mars in the Classroom program but is just as suitable for an after school science club or other small (4-6) group of students. Larger classes with access to several sets of Lego Mindstorms could, of course, do the project 'en masse'. This would enable different groups to compare results and share in a wider discussion after the project has been completed. A small group of students should be able to finish the practical part of the project in one 1 hour session although 2 hours is recommended to complete the questions and fill out the data sheet.
To do this project you will require some materials that are not provided within this pack:
All the items marked * are available for loan for the cost of post and packing plus deposit from:
Dr. Wendy Kirk,
This experiment will also soon be available online, and will follow the same structure as the downloadable resources pack, but will allow students to complete the module without the need to obtain the rover directly.
You may find more information about the products used in this experiment from the Lego Mindstorms web pages.