The Mars Challenge secondary school resources are a set of "unplugged" computing resources, aimed at students aged 11 to 14 years old.  The resources are set in the context of the European Space Agency ExoMars mission, which includes the launch and operation of the Rosalind Franklin rover to the surface of Mars.

Instruction sets, flowcharts, abstraction, logic, algorithms, binary, bitmaps, steganography, logical reasoning, creating solutions to real world-problems, and computational logic. There are also opportunities to look at space careers and other cross -curricular topics.




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Instruction sets

Students will explore the difference between RISC and CISC instruction sets by navigating a rover to different locations on a given map. They will explore how increasing the range of instructions can reduce the number of instructions required but increase the amount of data required to store the commands. They will...

Instructions, flow charts and decisions

For this session students will think about what instructions are needed within the software of the ExoMars rover and how they will make the hardware work to complete tasks successfully. There will be a focus on three steps within computational thinking: identify the problem, decomposition and collecting data. After...

Nature and machines

This session will allow students to explore how nature has enabled animals and plants to move on the surface of our planet and how this can be used to create future rovers for exploring Mars. How will future machines travel effectively across the various types of Martian terrain and survive some of the...

Working in space

For this session students will find out the answers to the following questions: What do the UK Space Agency and European Space Agency do? What are the STEM subjects and how do they relate to a rover mission? What jobs are there from design, launch, landing and exploring? What skills are needed within these jobs?...