Mission to Mars: Engineering Rockets


Blast off to Mars in this fun science lab geared towards family science!

Our lab book includes instructions on how to make different types rockets and pushes your family to engineer the highest flying rocket – on a budget!

We also have tons of fun add-on activities to help kids dig deeper to find just the right level for them. Programming paper rovers, alien encounters, learning about the great pen debate and more!

Once you land, make sure to take a look around with our imaging and binary lab!

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



All our bags were packed, and we were ready to go, except a collision with a truck of alligators just blew up all our rocket fuel to get us to Mars. Your mission is to develop a new type of rocket fuel. Which will work better – baking soda and vinegar or alkaseltzer and water?

Design your own spacecraft in a fun family build activity that challenges you to think about function, design, AND cost – yes, there is a budget of $200 million for your spacecraft, which must include the purchase of your fuel!


What’s included:

Lab Books
There is one lab book for our Mission to Mars lab and lots 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:

  • Mission ID card: Fill out an application to be on the spaceship and get your own Mission to Mars ID card.
  • Programmable Paper Rovers: Two scaled missions for the dedicated rover driver. The first one, for younger ages, takes a trip into Victoria’s crater, while the second takes a trip up and around Olympus Mons on Mars.
  • Rocket Engineering: Create a balloon rocket to compare to your film canister rocket or develop a mystery rocket out of materials from around your house!
  • The Great Pen Debate: Learn about NASAs major investment into an anti-gravity pen, and research why the pen is mightier than the pencil.
  • What Will You See: Expand your Mission to Mars with a fun drawing and coloring project to show what you think you will see when we land.
  • Rover Landing Engineering: Protect an egg from a high drop and determine how functional your rover (egg) will be after the landing. Then try to engineer a better landing system for your rover.
  • Alien Encounter: Maybe there really is extra-terrestrial life. If there was, what would it look like to you?
  • Extra! Extra!: Learn how to talk about science to the public as you aim to gain more public funding for your rocket. In this project you get to try to persuade the public to see the importance of the trip.

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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