As part of the Mars Day 22 mission, thousands of students joined in with space-themed activities in classrooms alongside fellow schools nationwide.
Mars Hour ran from 11.00 – 12. 01 and 36.968 seconds (GMT) on Monday 14 March – a real Mars hour!
Schools either ran one full Mars Hour of activities or joined for part of the hour – whatever worked for them and their crew.
In Mars Hour we gave a shout out to some of the schools involved and many shared photos so they could be stars too!
MARS HOUR 2023
Our next mission to Mars (Day) will star another hour of activities and adventures at 11am.
Keep looking up – or follow ESERO-UK on Twitter (@ESERO_UK) and Facebook (@ESEROUK) – for the launch of the exact date for Mars Day 23.
Then you can start planning your own mission to Mars next year!
An array of Mars Hour space-themed activities and resources from ESA, ESERO-UK and Explorify are below. Continue exploring Mars in your classroom…
Martian Explorers: What are Space Robots?
Science, Design & Technology, Primary, 1 hour (1st in a 6 part series)
What exactly is a robot? How can we use robots in space? Task your students to answer these questions and more as they develop ideas for their very own space robot in the first part of a 6-part series exploring the need for exploration robots on Mars (and beyond!).
Mars Safari Education: pANcAM pATHFINDER
Maths & Computing, Primary, 1 hour
Help the Rosalind Franklin Rover navigate the Martian terrain with this twist on computer programming. Maths and computing unplugged come together as students are tasked with working together to successfully navigate craters, boulders & cliffs and ensure the Rosalind Franklin Rover makes it to the chosen drill sites.
Martian Explorers: How does the ExoMars Rover Work?
Design & Technology, Primary, 1 hour (1st in a 6 part series)
Introduce your students to the Rosalind Franklin (previously ExoMars) rover as they embark on the start of a 6-part journey developing and building their own space rover. Students will learn how different mechanical systems work and understand what it means to be an engineer working on a Martian rover!
Martian Safari Education: Solar Cells
Science, Upper Primary, Lower Secondary, 1 hour
How does a rover keep it’s batteries charged away from home? What extra challenges might a rover face on Mars? Students explore the use of solar panels and how electrical circuits work before working in teams to make their very own solar light that could be used as a warning system for their own space rover.
Martian Explorers: Can You Help Explore Mars?
Design & Technology, Secondary, 1 hour
Working as a specialised robotics engineer on behalf of the European Space Agency students are asked to design and produce a prototype for a new Mars rover that can be used in future exploration missions. Using the work of the ExoMars programme to help understand what is needed from the Mars rover students will explore the properties of space materials and structures and begin to understand how advanced mechanical systems work.
Could life survive in alien environments?
Biology, Secondary, 1 hour
Could life found in extreme environments on Earth survive elsewhere in the Solar System? In this activity students will look at the characteristics of different places in the Solar System and use fact cards of some example extremophiles to hypothesise which they think might be able to survive in the different extra-terrestrial environments.
Robotic Arm – Become a space engineer for a day
Science, Primary, 1 hour
Give your students the opportunity to build their very own robotic arm and gain an understanding of why robotic arms can be useful tools, particularly in space!
Our Solar System
Science, Primary, 1.5-2 hours
This creative research project allows children working at primary level to discover our closest neighbours in space and develop their communication skills. Working in groups, children research the eight planets, comets and asteroids in our Solar System.
Physics, Chemistry, Secondary, 45 minutes
In this hands on experiment students will investigate what happens to the fuels inside a rocket when they are lit – just like the rocket that will take the Rosalind Franklin Rover to Mars!
Building a bionic hand
Science, Primary, 1-1.5 hours
When humans are working in space, or in environments such as the surface of Mars, they must wear pressurized space suits. The development of bionic hands that can be remotely operated can help to complete tasks which would be difficult or tiring for a human. In this activity students will learn about the bones and muscles of the hand and have an opportunity to build their own bionic hand using everyday materials!
The Mars Mission: And Now for the Weather!
Science, Primary, 1 hour
Research and explore weather patterns on Mars and compare them to what we observe on Earth. Studente also learn how to build simple tools to measure wind and rain and compare their readings to those taken on Mars!
The Mars Mission: Marvellous Machines
Science, Engineering, Primary, 1-1.5 hours
Become a Martian engineer! Design and build a simple pulley that could be used to transfer samples of Martian soil and test it for signs of life.
The Mars Mission: Building on Mars
Design & Technology, Mathematics, Primary, 1-1.5 hours
When astronauts travel to Mars they will need a place to safely live and investigate their surroundings. Challenge your students to build a 3D Martian village using 2D nets. Students can then find out more about how ESA are planning to solve the very same problems on the Moon and Mars!
Paxi Video: Do Martians exist?
Science, Primary, 5 minutes
Join Paxi as he investigates the possibility of life on Mars. Looking at the characteristics of living things, he compares them to non-living things. He also looks at microscopic life and how this may be the kind of life that could be found on Mars. Paxi then considers how scientists may find evidence of life on Mars and how the ExoMars Mission will explore this.
Paxi Video: The Red Planet
Science, Primary, 5 minutes
In this short animation Paxi, the ESA mascot, explores the Red Planet telling us about past missions and what they have told us about Mars. He travels above the surface pointing out features of the planet and how future missions will search for evidence of life.
Go to Mars with…
Free Primary Science Activities, 15-30 minutes each
Explorify has over 50 free activities to celebrate all things Mars! Encourage your class to think about what life might be like for humans living on the red planet – what’s the habitat like and how would we have to adapt? Take a closer look at rovers to understand how they’ve been engineered and how they arrive on Mars.