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Mission to Mars - Outreach

Key info...

Learning level: Upper Key Stage 2
Location: Your school or event
Workshop length: 2 hours 30 minutes
Availibility: On demand

Mission to Mars comprises of a hands-on coding workshop and a planetarium show.

In the planetarium students will hear how humans have explored space, beginning hundreds of years ago when telescopes were first turned to the night sky to sending probes across the solar system, landing rovers on other planets and sending people to live and work in space. With such immersive visuals, the planetarium is the next best thing to going to space yourself!

The workshop takes inspiration from the European Space Agency’s (ESA) ExoMars, due to land on the red planet in 2020. Students take on the roles of computer scientists and engineers and develop problem solving and teamwork skills whilst they program our LEGO Mindstorm Mars rovers.

The missions they will be challenged with mimic the mission objectives of ExoMars. The rover must search an unfamiliar terrain for evidence of water or minerals, whilst using sensors to navigate safely around boulders and craters. Finding evidence of water or particular minerals could indicate that the red planet once hosted alien life.
This workshop offers the opportunity to concentrate their logical thinking processes, enabling the students to realise real world, and out of this world, applications for their coding skills.

What will you learn?

Curriculum links

Computing KS2
  • Develop their capability, creativity and knowledge in computer science and information technology.
  • Develop and apply their analytic, problem solving, design and computational thinking skills.
  • Design, write and debug programs that accomplish specific goals, including controlling or simulating physical systems; solve problems by decomposing them into smaller parts.
  • Use sequence, selection and repetition in programs; work with variables and various forms of input and output.
  • Use logical reasoning to explain how some simple algorithms work and to detect and correct errors in algorithms and programs.