Do Try This At Home | Tabletop Rovers

Take inspiration from NASA and the ESA to design your own Mars rover.

Welcome back to Do Try This At Home - our series of super-fun weekly science activities.

Our building is closed right now, but that doesn't mean we can't do some science at home.


You will need

  • A carboard box
  • An elastic band
  • Two pencils or pens
  • Tape
  • Blutack


At home!

Who for


Exploring Mars

How do you explore planets like Mars, without sending humans?

NASA, ESA and other space agencies send robots.

There are three types of planet-exploring robot:

  1. Orbiters fly around the planet. They can take photos of the ground, and take measurements of the air.
  2. Landers land on the planet and take measurements of soil.
  3. Rovers land and have wheels to 'rove' around, which means they can take more measurements.

Maybe one day we will send humans to explore Mars too! They would use rovers to travel around, just like astronauts have already done on the moon.

To test your engineering skills, let's build a rubber band powered Mars rover!


1. Cut out the body and punch holes for the axles

2. Make the wheels

3. Add the axles and attach the elastic band

4. Add the wheels and add blutack around the pair with the elastic band knot

5. Wind up your rover and off you go!


Some questions for you to think about:

What do you think it would be like to drive a rover around on Mars?

Would you enjoy driving around on a Mars rover?

What else would you take to Mars?


And here's one from our collection of 10,000 questions

Anisha age 13 wants to know

'Can we colonise mars?'

Share your creation

We would love to see your Mars rovers.

If you snap a few pictures or a video, send them our way!

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram



And if you enjoyed this activity, why not try our others in this series?


Image credit: Lisa Whiting

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