8-10 yrs old
11-13 yrs old
14-18 yrs old
18+ yrs old
Climate & Environment
Students will work together to plan a trip to Mars and then build a sustainable colony with limited resources on real Martian terrain.
October 12, 2018
Mission to Mars Webpage
My website with more files for the lesson.
Mars Lesson Plan
Instructions for lesson as well as teacher notes to assist students if needed.
Mars Minecraft World File
Zipped folder with World file for lesson
NASA (and other private organizations) are already planning missions to send humans to Mars in the next 10-20 years. That means students of TODAY will likely be the first to visit Mars and ultimately begin setting up a permanent colony on the red planet. This activity will simulate what it would be like to be one of those astronauts.
RESEARCH: You may want to split your team into 3 groups to research 3 main questions: 1) How to survive on Mars/what potential dangers do we face, climate on Mars 2) How to build a basic shelter/base on Mars 3) How to build a sustainable colony on Mars
Click HERE for Student Research Worksheet
PLANNING: Using notes from your research, discuss AS A TEAM, what items/supplies you would need to bring to Mars for each of the 3 questions (there will likely be some overlap). Then make a final list of 27 items (ONE CHEST) to bring with you to Mars. Load them into the chest in the Cargo Hold of the rocket. They will be in creative mode for this part.
BUILDING: Students will land on Mars and begin working AS A TEAM with limited resources (one chest) to construct an initial base camp on Mars and then expand it to a sustainable colony. They will be on survival mode for this part.
Use a slideshow program (PPT, Google Slides, Sway…) to create a presentation about your research questions. You will share your presentation with the class.
Use the camera and portfolio in Minecraft, or screenshots/screen recording to showcase your completed colony. Add written explanation of what your team built and what each structure will be used for.
Write an argumentative essay about whether or not you would want to be a colonist on Mars and explain why.
October 12, 2018 11:56 PM
This is amazing. I would love to know how you got the NPCs to have a dialogue box and how you went from creative to survival mode.
October 14, 2018 4:37 AM
I used a lot of command blocks to program the world. The NPCs should have a dialogue box by default? You might have to type in /wb to turn on worldbuilder status so you can enter text (and even add commands). I turned off worldbuilder status when players join the game with a pressure plate below the spawnpoint. For that one you have to type, /ability @a worldbuilder false. Switching game modes was also through command blocks. /gamemode s @a will change to survival mode. There is a lot of other programming in the game and I'm working on creating some tutorials to teach my students how to program a game in Minecraft. You can check them out here: https://sites.google.com/a/sequoialumberjacks.net/mrfugetech/home/minecraft
October 16, 2018 12:15 AM
Seriously loving the level of detail and potential for learning here :) Will definitely share with students in the FirstKidsOnMars.com project as a precursor to the post-settlement phase inits scenario) And I'm going to have fun playing it myself. Thanks so much!
November 5, 2018 11:36 PM
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November 15, 2018 1:16 PM
How do I download the world in order to do this lesson? Please help. Thank you
November 17, 2018 11:14 PM
I believe you have to click on download assets.
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