Mission to Mars: Imaging and Binary


We’ve landed our rockets on Mars, and now it’s time to take a look around. Image Mars in this fun science lab geared towards family science!

Our lab book includes a section explaining how computers talk to each other and encode images, as well as fun activities such as color by binary, and image transmission to Earth to help kids learn the basics of binary!

We also have tons of fun add-on activities to help kids dig deeper to find just the right level for them. High-resolution Mariner 4 data, punny jokes in binary, binary counting, and more!

You can download our labs piecemeal here, or become a Patron to never miss out on the newest Rosie Lab mystery!



We’ve landed our rockets on Mars, and now it’s time to take a look around. What will we see on Mars? How will our computers relay that image to our computers on Earth? Join us as we learn binary and encode our own images to be transmitted to Earth!

What’s included:

Lab Books
There is one lab book for our Mission to Mars: Imaging and Binary lab an add-on of add on activities to help scale it to your child’s age and interest! Tabloid versions of the labs are available if you want to print the labs on 11×17 paper to make each lab into its own folder.

Add-on Activities
Our goal is to enrich the lives of young scientists, and our add-on activities are ideas to build upon the principles and science we learn throughout the mystery. The Add-on folder is split into various grade levels with age appropriate ideas, instructions and worksheets for them! This unit’s add on activities include:

  • Mariner 4 full resolution data: Recreate the historic Mariner 4 image that became the first color image of Mars the public ever saw. Color by number, just as NASA scientists did so many years ago. The data is available as PDF or as an Excel file if you choose to investigate conditional programming in Excel!
  • Binary Bracelets: Learn how to write your initials in binary. Paper bracelets come with the printout, but you can choose to use pony beads, or even stamp 0s and 1s into metal!
  • Punny Jokes: Go from binary to letters, and then unscramble the letters to find the answer to a punny joke.
  • Secret Messages: Use our binary paper to write a secret message, then give it to a friend for them to decode!
  • Binary Dot Counting Cards: Learn how to count in binary using dot cards. With just 4 cards you can count up to 15!
  • Binary Decoding: Use what you learned about binary counting to decode a word!
  • Image resolution sheets: Color by binary to discover an image that comes into focus as the pixel size gets smaller!

Parent Guides
There are written parent teacher guides that will give you some quick tips and tricks to troubleshoot issues you might run into, tell you the broad takeaway from the lab, help you brainstorm questions to ask and give you some additional resources! Check out the Parent/Teacher video of Dr. Erica doing the lab here!

Scaling Guides
The scaling guides will help you think of ways to expand on the concepts in age-appropriate activities, while the sourcing guides will help you find everything we bought for the lab! This lab doesn’t need much though, a Cornish hen and lots of salt, baking soda, and time!

Lastly, there is our In Real Life download. This download will help you connect the concepts we work with in the labs to everyday life. It will help you guide your kids to understanding why osmosis is important and what the big takeaway of the lab is as well as safety precautions! Learn how rocket science impacts your everday life!

Worried about knowing the science behind the mystery?
Check out our parent teacher videos online to see the full lab as we answer a variety of questions you might have!


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