Link Bank for Take Your Patrons to Mars

Webinar – 7 July 2020

Presenters: Brooks Mitchell and Claire Ratcliffe (STAR Net), Christine Shupla, Sha’Rell Webb, and Dr. Candice Bedford (Lunar and Planetary Institute)

Contact: Brooks Mitchell ( or Christine Shupla ( for questions.

Description: NASA is about to launch the Mars 2020 mission – and now is the time to get your patrons excited! The Perseverance rover will launch between July 17-August 11, 2020, and will land on Mars in February 2021. Invite your patrons to participate in its journey! Hear from NASA Mars scientists, learn some activities you can conduct online or in-person, and make plans to hold your own virtual (or in-person) launch or landing parties!

During this webinar, we’ll be joined by Dr. Candice Bedford, who studies sedimentary and volcanic processes that provide insight into the ancient and modern geology of Mars. She is a collaborator on the Mars Curiosity Rover’s CheMin instrument, and a member of the SAND-E Mars analog mission science team. Her research has taken her to Mars analog sites in Iceland to participate in the SAND-E rover field trials.

My Trip to Mars has a variety of resources for this theme, including activities, a book list, multimedia, and more:

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Recording of Follow Perseverance to Mars, a webcast by OpenSpace and NASA @ My Library

Mars Exploration Activities

SciGames: Space science games you can play with your patrons. Available online for use in browsers or as free app downloads.

Mars Match Game: Patrons view images of Earth and Mars to compare features, just like a scientist (planetary geologist) would. After matching pairs of Earth features with Mars analogues, they discuss why they matched the pairs together.

Powerpoint version at

Searching for Life: Patrons learn about the characteristics of life and conduct an experiment, searching for life in different soil samples.

TouchDown: In this engineering design challenge, patrons design and build a shock-absorbing system that will protect two “astronauts” when they land. Suggested modifications: use materials that patrons may have on-hand, such as paper plates, balloons, rubber bands. For astronauts, ping-pong balls work better than marshmallows.


Video Resources

Overview of Mars 2020 mission: This 3:13 video provides the goals and the early planning for the Mars 2020 mission.

Seeing Signs of Life in Ancient Martian Rock: this 1:32 video includes more updated details regarding the Mars 2020 mission, on ow Perseverance will look for signs of life in Jezero Crater on Mars.

Mars Ancient Oceans: This 3:56 video provides an overview of how Mars has changed from a warmer, wetter environment to the dry cold planet we know today, and how that have affected the possibility of life. Content becomes slightly technical for young audiences in the middle of the video.

NASA Scientists and Engineers working on Mars2020:

Archive of Mars videos:

Book Resources


FREE STAR Net Resources

CSLP Resources