Sep 10, 2014

Summer Special: Edible Mars Rover

Who knew NASA's work could be so sweet?

Today's Project:  Building an edible Mars Rover (with help from the UW Geology Museum and a grant from NASA)

graph paper
a picture of some past rovers
assorted candy
graham crackers
paper plates

What kids did:
First, they listened while our guest instructor told them lots of really interesting information about NASA and the Mars Rovers.
Then, she asked them to create a design for their Rover.  They were each given 10 million "NASA bucks" and told that each component would cost them 1 million (one graham cracker = 1 million NASA bucks, one peppermint candy = 1 million NASA bucks, etc.), so they had to take budget into consideration (frosting and toothpicks were free).

Some kids created elaborate designs:

 Some labeled the parts:
 Some labeled which ingredients would go where:
 And some created a running list of the ingredients they would need in order to create their design, to help them stay on top of the budget problem.

 Once the plans were pretty much done, the tasty ingredients were distributed to each table and the building began:

 (I really love how this innovator has incorporated the candy WRAPPERS in his design!  Very frugal!)
 And when they were all done, they were asked to answer at least one of the questions posted on the wall.  You can read their responses below:

I'll answer the last question myself:  One thing I learned today was that adding a budgeting element to this program not only pushed participants to be creative and resourceful with their supplies, it also added an element of realism since NASA (and other engineers) work within tight budgets and must make difficult design decisions all the time.  Great program!  Thanks UW Geology Museum!

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