Collage of Mars exploration projects for students


Several sessions from April through July. (See details for more information.)



Target Audience:

Camp and afterschool-group leaders


Are you a camp or afterschool-group leader? Learn about an exciting opportunity to immerse your youth in the latest exploration of Mars with NASA!

Our popular Mission to Mars Student Challenge is back with a summertime edition for camps and afterschool groups. Join us for a series of one-hour trainings to learn more about NASA's exploration of Mars, the summer challenge, and hands-on activities you can use to get youth designing and building their very own Mars mission!

› Learn more and register

Key Dates

Registration and sign-on information for the following online trainings and recorded sessions can be found on the summer challenge info page.

  • Recorded on Jan 21 - Online Training: Mission to Mars Student Challenge – A walk-through of activities featured in the Mission to Mars Student Challenge and how to incorporate them in an out-of-school setting. Watching this is recommended "homework" for any other training!
  • Recorded on April 29 - Online Training: Learn About Mars – Both artists and scientists need careful observation skills to interpret and understand the scene being viewed. This STEAM-oriented session grows kids’ skills and their understanding of the surface of Mars using basic concepts of art.
  • Thursday, May 13, 8:30 a.m. PDT - Online Training: Plan Your Mission – What instruments would help you learn more about Mars and answer the questions you are curious about? In this session, kids consider what tools to include on a rover, and play a game to design a full mission from launch to landing.
  • Thursday, May 27, 8:30 a.m. PDT - Online Training: Design Your Spacecraft – Guide kids in gaining the skills to think like an engineer as they construct their own rover and helicopter!
  • Thursday, June 10, 8:30 a.m. PDT - Online Training: Surface Operations – Kids play a board game to move a rover to a spot on Mars where it can study interesting rocks, then learn to think like a scientist to describe rocks made from clay.
  • Thursday, June 17, 8:30 a.m. PDT - Online Training: Sample Handling – Get your tech on and code in Scratch to address rover and helicopter challenges. No coding experience needed!
  • Thursday, July 15, 8:30 a.m. PDT - Online Training: Mid-Summer Check-In – Opportunity for OST educators to share best practices and get questions answered about challenge implementation.


  • We’ll present a variety of activity styles from hands-on to online, focusing on the science, engineering, and art of exploring Mars. The focus will be on upper elementary and middle school, but we’ll touch on options for younger and older kids, too.
  • We’ll answer your questions during each training, plus the final training will be devoted to hearing from you about your experiences in implementing the activities.
  • Participate in as many trainings as you wish; prior experience is never needed.
  • Missed the training? Recordings will be made available on the summer challenge info page and on the NASA-JPL Edu YouTube channel.
  • This event is presented by the NASA Museum & Informal Education Alliance, a free membership program that supports museums, libraries, camps, afterschool groups, and other informal educators by providing materials, guidance, professional development, and access to NASA experts. Apply here for a free membership.

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Educator Guides & Resources

Student Activities & Resources

Education Events

More Resources From NASA

  • Downloads: Ingenuity Mars Helicopter Backgrounds – Mobile | Web Meeting/Dekstop
  • Website: Perseverance Mars Rover
  • Website: NASA Mars Exploration
  • Website: Space Place - All About Mars
  • Video: Perseverance Mission Landing Trailer
  • Profiles: Meet the Martians
  • Simulation: Fly Along with Perseverance in Real-Time
  • Virtual Events: Watch Online – NASA Mars Exploration
  • Videos: Mars exploration videos from NASA
  • Images: Mars exploration images and graphics from NASA
  • Articles: Articles about Mars exploration from NASA
  • Share: Social Media