TES NEWS, Volume 5, Number 1, February 1996
* Activity below was inspired by Jean Settle's "Edible Rockets" and
"Edible Space Stations" activities: Jean Settle, Aerospace Education
Consultant, 16487 Hollister Crossing Dr., St. Louis, MO 63011.
Classroom Activity Idea
Edible Mars Spacecraft*
by Amalia Plummer and Tricia Dieck, College of Education, ASU
Grade level: K--12, adjust to meet class needs.
1. Students will be able to identify:
(a) Mars Global Surveyor
and (b) Mars Pathfinder and the Sojourner microrover.
2. Students will use creative thinking and problem solving skills to
design either one or both of the above spacecraft using a supply of different food items.
Suggested Materials (per student or group of students):
Commerical product names do not represent endorsements.
Generic versions of these products can be substituted.
3 graham crackers 6 creme wafer cookies
8 gumdrops 1 "Peppermint Patty"
6 "Rolos" 1 snack-size "Kit Kat"
1 roll of "Smarties" 1 soda straw
1 plasic knife 7 toothpicks
1 sheet 18" by 12" wax paper 3 large marshmallows
Additional Materials for a Class of 25:
- 4 containers of cake frosting
- paper towels
- 25 copies of each diagram
CLICK HERE FOR DIAGRAMS!
- Mars Global Surveyor
- Mars Pathfinder
- Mars Rover (Sojourner)
To begin, introduce students to the different Mars spacecraft
(for example, see captions with each diagram). After finishing
discussion, pass out above materials. Students need to decide which
spacecraft they will construct with the materials provided
(encourage them to not all make the Mars Rover, which tends to be
the most popular item). Students should use the wax paper as a surface
to work on to mimimize mess. Frosting can be distributed by placing a
spoonful on each students' sheet of wax paper. Frosting can be used to
"glue" pieces together.
- Plastic knives work best to cut graham crackers and creme wafer cookies when they are clean.
- Baby wipes are useful for clean-up.
- Encourage students to use given materials to design all of the spacecraft.
- Allow students to design their spacecraft independently or in groups.
This activity is designed to stimulate creative thinking. There are no right or wrong answers.
- After completion, have students discuss how they designed
their spacecraft. This allows sharing of problem solving strategies.
- Write a story about the spacecraft or explain its mission.
- Students design their own spacecraft and science objectives.
- Research and report on NASAUs upcoming Mars missions.
To Reduce Cost of Supplies, Try the Following:
- Assign each student to bring in a different food item.
- Ask PTO or Home School Association to provide funding.
- Use cooperative learning and have one group of 3-4 students
design all spacecraft with one set of materials.
- Organize a bake sale to fund the project.
- Purchase bulk food items when possible.
Back to Contents of TES News February 1996