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Idaho State University



Begin the activities as soon as you know you will be participating in the program. All of the activities can be completed WITHOUT the LEGO Kits. The activities are targeted for Teambuilding and Mars Exploration. 

The full version of the activity book outlines the alignment of each activity to the National Science Education Standards. You will see below that we have begun aligning the activities to the Next Generation Science Standards. We greatly appreciate any feedback or suggestions you have, as this is a work in progress.

You can either download the entire activity book or select specific files from the list below. Activities are listed in the suggested sequential order. Feel free to change the order or skip lessons as you see fit.


Before you Begin

Before you begin using the activities, we strongly recommend you review the following files:
How to Use the Activity Books
Lab Notebook
Online Resources for Teachers
Online Resources for Students


Team Building Activities

Activity Name


Building a Working Team

Students will determine, develop, and assess qualities that are associated with positive teamwork behavior through guided preparatory discussion, practical challenges and debriefing discussions.
Teacher Version - Student Version - Next Gen Alignment

The Spaghetti Incident

Students will work as a team without speaking to build the tallest possible tower out of a limited supply of common materials. Students will discuss the importance of communication within a team and analyze their strengths and weaknesses as a team.
Teacher Version - Student Version - Next Gen Alignment

Copy Cat

Students will instruct each other on how to arrange a variety of paper cut-out shapes into an original design. Students will also practice listening and asking questions about the given instructions.
Teacher Version - Student Version - Next Gen Alignment

Parts of the Whole

To expose students to the multiple skill sets beneficial to working as a cooperative team unit. Students will assume specific roles that are essential when problem-solving in a group setting and will rotate through the roles using various practical brain-teaser problems as the foundation for working together in their specific roles.
Teacher Version - Student Version - Next Gen Alignment

3-2-1 Pop! – An Effervescent Race

Students will research the effects of surface area and temperature on the efficiency of rocket fuels. Students will follow the Engineering Design Process while constructing a series of rocket designs and will record the steps of the Engineering Design Process in their Idaho TECH Lab Notebook.
Teacher Version - Student Version - Next Gen Alignment

Earthling Exploration of Mars

Students will read an article about the past exploration of Mars and construct a timeline with information from the article. Students will then develop goals and construct a timeline for the design, construction, and presentation of their Rover.
Teacher Version - Student Version - Next Gen Alignment

Mars Exploration Activities

Soda on Saturn – Weighing In & Growing Old

Students will form a hypothesis about the weights of the planets in our solar system. Students will also calculate their own weights and ages on each of the planets. They will use their weight information to revise their initial hypothesis. Finally, students will check their weight and age calculations on the Internet.
Teacher Version - Student Version

Hangin’ Out on Mars!?!

Students will work as a group to answer a series of questions about basic Martian characteristics by performing mathematical conversions. Students will compare these characteristics to those of Earth, and imagine what it is like to be on Mars. Finally, students will brainstorm ideas as to how these characteristics of the Martian surface may impact their Rover design.
Teacher Version - Student Version

Mars in Reverse

Students will demonstrate the retrograde motion of Mars that is apparent when its orbit is viewed from Earth. 
Teacher Version - Student Version

Crater Creation

Students will determine through experimentation how five variables affect the features of an impact crater.
Teacher Version - Student Version


Students will compare the different types of channels that can form on a planet’s surface due to water erosion.
Teacher Version - Student Version

The Winds of Change

Students will demonstrate how the wind on Mars affects how the Martian surface appears from a distance.
Teacher Version - Student Version

Geography & Mission Planning

Students will find particular latitude and longitude coordinates on a world map. Students will choose landing sites on Earth based on potential hazards and potential findings.
Teacher Version - Student Version

Mars Mosaic

Students will discover how a two-dimensional map/image translates into a three-dimensional object, and how distances are appropriately measured in each venue. Students will be engaged in viewing and interpreting satellite imagery in order to create a three-dimensional globe of Mars.
Teacher Version - Student Version

Strange New Planet

Students will be engaged in making multi-sensory observations, gathering data, and simulating spacecraft missions.
Teacher Version - Student Version

Mapping Unknown Surfaces

Students will simulate radar data collection to determine if a safe landing site exists on a landscape. They will also use this data to create a topographical map of the landscape.
Teacher Version - Student Version

What on Earth-Mars?

Students will use their knowledge about Martian landforms to interpret several photographs of Mars.
Teacher Version - Student Version